And so we begin again. I hate Mondays as much as the next person, but they do offer a mini version of that fresh start you get at the new year. So instead of looking back at how often I failed to write 500 words last week, I’m optimistically (if also naively) looking ahead to 5 days worth of 500-word blog posts this week.
So to pick up where I left off last time, my final and most challenging New Year’s resolution is to stay calm. Well, I guess the bigger goal is to just be a better parent, but specifically, I’m trying to stay calm and stop repeating myself. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! It only sounds simple if you don’t have kids.
I never would have described myself as a yeller. I don’t think anyone who knows me would say that I have a temper. In fact, I think I’ve even been described as laid back a time or two! And while that may not be true, I’ve always thought of myself as pretty calm and patient when it comes to dealing with other people.
Until I had kids.
I have no idea what happens to me. I start the day calm. I take deep breaths. I keep my voice steady. I ask a child to put her shoes away. I ask again. I ask a third time. FInally the shoes are put away. Then I tell another child to stop jumping on the couch. I tell him again. I tell him a third time. He stops jumping on the couch. I am calm. But then, after playing out some version of this scenario for the thousandth time that day, I am no longer calm. And then at exactly the moment when my calm wears off, the milk spills, or a child bangs his head (while jumping on the couch), or someone whines about being asked to bath, and my head explodes. I am no longer calm. I am a crazy yelling person losing her shit in front of the people she loves most on the planet. .
So after analyzing this scenario, I amended my “stay calm” resolution to include “stop repeating myself,” because I think the fact that I have to calmly tell them to do something or to not do something seventeen thousand times is the key contributor to me losing my shit. So instead of repeating myself, I’m just going to send them to their room. First time. No second chances. It seems harsh, I know. BUt I did give them some warning. We sat down, I told them about my resolution to stop repeating myself and to stay calm, and they (well, the older two) agreed with me that this would be a good way to help me keep those resolutions. They bought into it…right up until the point I had to send one of them to their room. But I did it anyway,
Does this make me a mean mom? Probably. But at least I’m a calm one.