I continued the Mommy Challenge, although not all the days were contiguous. Day 19 was to tell your child all the reasons you love them and I decided to put it in writing. I took each of my children aside and shared a letter I had written them. I told them that the reason I loved them was because they were my children and that could never be changed. I read them a list of things that I loved about them.
I tell my children every day that I love them, usually when they are coming or going or going to bed. It is automatic, but this was such a delibrate few moments. I feel really good to have said aloud what you 'think' they know, but now I am sure. I hope it is something they remember.
Day 20 was to do one good thing for your health. My commitment to pursue a daily walk wanes and I am reaffirming that now. I think it is such a big one, that is can cover the two days that asked for a contribution to my own health!
Giving thanks to your mother for one positive contribution to my life was Day 21's requirement. My mother has made lots of positive contributions to my life and continues to on a daily basis. Thanks for all you do, mom!
Day 22 had me have a conversation with my inner teenager or child. I don't know if I had much of a conversation, but I did reflect. I made some connections between past behavior and experiences with present day. I recalled being the ages that my kids are now. If you haven't taken time lately to remember what is what like to be 11, or 9 or 3 - try it - it might change your perspective. I found that it was a worthy exercise. (Like all 21 exercises before this!)
I am becoming an expert at the challenge for Day 23 - letting go of perfection! There was a day when I really believed that if I just did things 'right' I could have things' perfect'. I lost alot of sleep trying to keep up with my own expectations.
The whole idea of 'perfect' seems strange now. What is 'perfect' for you, might not be 'perfect' for me. It's such a swear word at this point. The 'New Perfect' is 'Good Enough' - take it from me. I am shooting for doing the best I can, in the moment that I am in. There is room for improvement, or doing this differently. But there is no more room for the "P" word. I am getting rid of, and have been for some time, the notion that anything can be 'perfect'!
I have been thinking about the criteria for Day 24 for a really long time. Dennis and I have had several converations about this. I'd like to challenge you, along with myself if you have never thought about mindfully and deliberately 'saying yes'! Some of us start out our parenting journey with false beliefs. One is that we need to say 'no' often and firmly. Some of us even learned to say 'no' as a first reaction to most requests (check yourself if you don't think it's true). Sometimes we say 'no' to something because our parents did, or other parents are, or for a reason we have yet to identify. I was surprised when I began actively 'watching' how it happened.
When I first read about 'saying yes' I was blown away that anyone even thought about how much they were saying 'no' and how that paradigm can be changed. I enjoy telling my kids 'yes' and they enjoy hearing it. I will continue working diligently in this area so that my kids can experience all they want to experience.
Doing this challenge has gotten a little bumpy at times. Like when I had a meltdown in the middle of it, or when I forget what I am focused on that day. But, since I am eschewing perfection, I wanted to continue this practice, because it has proven itself so worthy for the first 1/2 of the challenges, I knew I would get just as much out of the second half. The 30 Challenges are listed here: try them!