I picked up a few days late on The 30 Day Mommy Challenge, but I was up for it! When I read through the challenge I thought, "these are the important things, this is what matters!"
It was Day 3 when I started, so a I grabbed a Sharpie and jotted down inside my forearm, 'Yelling', 'Watching', 'Playing' based on the first three days' challenges.
I have a history of going in cycles of raising my voice and yelling at my kids. I live with a lot of cognitive dissonance in regards to that. I grew up with a lot of yelling, and did not consider until well into my 30s that 'yelling' is not only not effective, it damages relationships and becomes *extrememly* habitual. I hate it, and yet I engage in it. Yuck. I don't yell everyday, and some days and weeks are better than other. I am getting to the point where I can feel the feeling that causes most of my distress creeping up (insight) and am able to make other decisions. Even when I feel like I've failed, I know that I am making changes, and I always make apologies to my children. But, having that concreate (or Sharpie marker) reminder that it was NOT what I was going to do that day was great! It also let me know that a little mindfulness goes a long way.
I 'watched' many interactions with my kids and them with each other without intervening. I 'watched' how bickering started, how snotty answers were formed, how impatience grew. It was interesting and informative to be a 'spectator'. It was then that I realized that point of this 30 Day Challenge. I realized that these were not things I could forget about tomorrow when the next challenge came up - I wanted to keep doing them! The list on my arm is getting longer!!
'Playing' is usually my forte. I play alot with my kids. Board games, video games (I am even trying to learn to play Halo) and I usually particpate in anything they are willing to do. I made time to sit with Sean and play a new game he got for Christmas. I admit I started the game thinking it was something that I 'should' do, but ended wanting to play with him again - are you catching on to the point of this challenge?
Each day of the challenge highlights a habit or behavior. But, I have realized it is not just 'No Yelling' on Day 1, or only 'Playing' on Day 3, and whatever comes next, these are things to be added to our daily ritual. I might be needing a new tattoo.
Next up - Adding a family tradition or ritual and remembering,
they're only kids!