Resetting My Mom Goals
I recently had the opportunity to attend the MomLife event at Buckhead Church. David Thomas, the Director of Family Counseling at Daystar in Nashville, TN shared three things kids need from parents from birth through young adulthood. This hour-and-a-half event re-energized me and reset my mom goals. David shared his insights with the large group, but there were a few things from his tips that put a spotlight on areas for me that I plan to infuse into my home life and my relationships with my sons. With school starting in a matter of days, here are three key things I plan to start to strengthen my connection with my children.
1. Start each day on a positive note
For many, this one sounds like a no-brainer, but it can be quite difficult. Sometimes minor issues escalate quickly. I could write for hours on the many examples of finding out my son needs blue ice money as we are walking out the door, waiting for a child determined to do-it-himself tie his shoes, or discovering your child has not brushed their teeth even though they told you they did. It throws off your schedule, it's agitating, it’s life. Being frustrated over things can quickly turn a good morning bad, and then you send your child off into the world knowing that they’ve upset their parent. While we can’t control everything, work to control what you can to start your day on a positive note. I don’t keep money on me. I am a self-proclaimed debit card diva. This year I added a money jar in the kitchen. Any change that I find around the house I put in this jar, so whenever my children have a last-minute request for blue ice or the book fair I can pull money out of the jar without interruption to our day. I started setting my alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier to allow for a slow shoe tier or to send my son back upstairs to brush his teeth.
2. Lower your expectations, and realize practice makes progress, not perfection
There are times when I look at my children and question if they are on track? Why aren’t they doing this yet, or why aren’t they doing that yet? What I’m learning as a mother of two boys is that boys are different than girls (that statement just blew your mind, right?)! But seriously, think about what things you are expecting your children to do that are outside of your comprehension. I know about being a girl, and now a woman. Work to trust the process, keep encouraging them, and realize that this stage of your life and your children’s lives are just a phase. You will both continue to grow. One day you will laugh at the fact that after refusing your help, your slow shoe tier unable to tie his shoes just tucked the laces into his shoes. Some days you tie the shoes, and some days you just let him be and pray he won’t be a shoelace tucker for the rest of his life.
3. Minimize the monologues
My “lessons” to my sons are Shondraland worthy. I can go on and on and deep into a monologue with the thought process of, I'm not yelling, I'm teaching. I'll solve this problem with my 30-minute monologue, we’ll hug it out, and I’ll never have to address this issue again. Heads nod, “I understand” are muttered but a few short weeks later, I feel that my message has landed on deaf ears. That’s because they did. They didn’t hear a word I said. After the first few sentences, they stopped listening to me. In emotionally charged moments words are lost. So, although I’m giving an Emmy deserving speech, all my children hear is blah, blah, blah on repeat. Getting straight to the point or not addressing your children when you are angry will enhance your child’s understanding.
These are my new mom goals that I am striving toward. I know it won’t be easy to change overnight, but if I’m allowing my children to follow practice makes progress then I will work to apply that rule for myself.
I’m adding Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas; and Are My Kids on Track? The 12 Emotional, Social and Spiritual Milestones Your Child Needs to Reach by Sissy Goff, David Thomas, and Melissa Trevathan to my reading list.