Sometimes this motherhood gig is hard. Sometimes I want to close the door to my room and pretend like I don’t have dinner to make, laundry to fold, and kids who need constant attention. In those moments, sometimes the only thing that keeps me from falling to the floor is the knowledge that I’m not the first to feel that way–the knowledge that I’m preceded by generations of women who have fought the same battles I fight today….
Motherhood defines so much of who I am right now in life. The vast majority of each day is spent caring for two little boys who I constantly hope and pray will grow up to be happy, productive people. I love my job as a mom, and yet sometimes I wonder what happened to the woman I used to be–I know she’s still there somewhere, maybe hiding behind the piles of laundry and dirty dishes. …
A few days ago I walked into my house with no kids waiting for me and no kids in tow. It was weird. That happens…never. It was completely silent, but the aftermath of the day’s activities was apparent everywhere I looked….
By changing one simple thing about they way I interact with my son, I improved both my toddler’s behavior and our relationship.
kids behaviorIt happens every day: I ask my three-year-old to get his shoes, and he’s too lost in a world of car-eating dinosaurs to even notice me. I repeat myself louder, from across the room as I’m trying to wrestle a sweatshirt over his little brother’s head so we can rush off to…wherever. I refill their water bottles and am slipping my own shoes on as I realize Little Man is still sprawled out on the family room floor, playing away….
Last Friday, I completely lost it. Not the yelling-like-a-maniac-over-spilled-milk lost it, but the collapse-on-the-floor-and-cry kind of lost it.
It started out with a simple plan to go to the store to pick up some chocolate for an at-home date with my favorite man. He’s been facing some crazy deadlines at work so we haven’t had a lot of time together lately, and I wanted to make the weekend count–to have some real quality time together. So, I got the kids bundled, grabbed the diaper bag, found the keys, got everyone buckled in, and turned on the car….
I stood on the edge of Walden Pond, watching my boys play. We’d spent a long day touring around Revolutionary War sites nearby, and the boys were thrilled to stop for a bit and have some freedom to run and explore….
I’m a list-maker. To me, there is something triumphant about sliding a pencil across an item on my to-do list, marking my accomplishment.
“I am productive!” I yell (internally, of course, because it’s nap time and I am NOT risking waking up my children and ruining my productivity).
I’ve always been a task-oriented person. It’s important to me to feel like I’m making progress each day…contributing to the world in some way. And one of the biggest adjustments to motherhood for me has been …
By removing one simple word from my vocabulary, I completely changed my perspective on mothering, life, and finding joy.
Several years ago I made a decision that changed the way I think about my daily choices.
I banned one word from my vocabulary: SHOULD.
It’s a simple word. Most people use it frequently: I should call so-and-so. I should do laundry. I should exercise more.
So why did I get rid of it? For me, “should” is a dangerous word. Should carries a negative connotation that makes me immediately feel guilty for not innately wanting to do something I “should” do, or for not feeling a way that I “should” feel….