Friday, September 12, 2014

Practicing what we Preach: the Key to a Happy Home

As my 4 year old son was begging me for fruit snacks today, over and over again, I'd had it. If I have to listen to him ask me for fruit snacks one more time.... I MIIGHT EXPLODE. No, but seriously. {I'm trying to dry my hair!} After about 5 minutes of begging ( which seemed like 30) I hurried to the cabinet and threw some fruit snacks onto the table so he would stop, and I could continue blow drying my hair. While doing this, I somehow found myself putting myself in his shoes. He must get REALLY tired, asking me multiple times for the same thing, with the same old response " one minute, baby" or "hold on a sec, mommy is busy..."

Well, the same goes for us as mommies, right? What if we did those things that we so desperately want ourselves? What if we practiced what we preach and teach at home? A few things came to mind ( in between the blow drying and brushing) that I thought we could all use, to maybe...just MAYBE make things a little easier on everyone in the home.

ONLY ASK ONCE. Wouldn't it be nice if our kids listened to us the first time we asked, every time? Well, yes it absolutely would. But we all know that is impossible. We are busy! We are doing a million things at once. But can't we all try a little bit harder? What if I would have gotten B those fruit snacks the first time he asked? It probably would have saved me a couple of sighs and grumpy thoughts and he would have stopped bugging me after the first time. Maybe if we as mommies start listening to our kids the first ( or second ) time they ask us for something, they might start learning to listen to us a little more? What do you think?

CLEAN UP YOUR MESS. I can't count how many times I say this a day. "Who dumped all of the Hot Wheels out!?" " Why did you start this art project and leave it half finished?!" Why...WHy... WHY!! Well, I then thought about the things I do that I could probably be better at...unfinished sewing projects lying around the house. Scrapbooks. That LAUNDRY pile that has been sitting there for a week and a half now, definitely wrinkled and probably soiled again by dog hair, spilled milk...or who knows what. What if I would have put that laundry away the minute it came out of the dryer? It wouldn't be sitting there, unfolded, staring me in the face, and everyone would be a little happier. So what if I have a desk specifically made for storing my scrapbooking supplies? SO...think of how HAPPY my husband would be if he could eat his dinner on the kitchen table and not in the TV room because our family photos and my strategically matching stickers are all over the table! ( On a side note, at least I am doing something with those photos right? ) Point on this one...maybe we could all clean up our messes just a little bit more, a little but quicker. For our moms?? ;)

STOP SCREAMING! My 4 year old BOY is going through a screaming phase. I mean, blood curling, I think he is getting kidnapped scream...and I find myself constantly reminding him to use his "indoor voice" and explaining to him that there is no need to raise his voice unless there is an emergency. Well...does the same not go for us? Obviously, we as mothers probably don't do much high pitch screaming in our homes. But I do know that it's easy for me to find myself raising my voice when I get angry...probably a little too much at times. I know that look on my son's face when I get very upset and I know it's usually the result of me raising my voice, probably at times that didn't warrant the " I am REALLY mad voice" that came out. Maybe if we all spoke more gently, more sweetly to our children, they could learn from us? 

NO MORE ELECTRONICS TODAY. We can all relate to this one. "Mom, PLEASE can I watch another episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse?" "Mom, can I PLEEEEASE play a game on your phone?" "Mom, just one more movie today, pleeeeease?" Ok, moms. We live in Iowa. We "enjoy" Winter 9 months out of the year. It's impossible to NOT use electronics and I am as guilty as the next person when it comes to double features on a snow day. But there comes a time when we have to say NO to the TV. NO to the iPad. NO to the cell phone and computer. Because let's be honest, TOO MUCH screen time is not good for anyone. I know this is a very debatable subject so I don't want to go into too much depth on this one, but if we truly believe it's not good for our kids, can it really be all that great for us? Another one to think about as we holler out " NO MORE IPAD TODAY!!"

And on that note...I end this list of things I wish my kids AND I could be better at.  Here's to learning from our own threats, less screaming on both parts, less messes, listening the first time, and turning off our computers.