There is nothing like being a parent that exposes your weaknesses. I actually (always in hindsight) am thankful that I have little people who say things daily to help me be a better me, like:
“Mom, your roots are showing.”
“Mom, why are you talking to me like you’re mad?” (uh, because you just dumped all the clean clothes from the dryer on the floor looking for your missing cheer gear and then walked away….but you’re right, I should try to have a more calm tone when I call you back in to the laundry room, yes.)
“Mom, you just went through a red light.” (barely)
“Mom, you have flabby arms.”
“Seriously, you can’t help me with my Trigonometry homework mom?”
“Mom, how come I can’t have a soda but you have one every day.” (um, good point)
“Mom, you are having BSS again” (They have coined this term BIBLE STUDY STRESS as I get dinner finished and the house ready to host bible study each Monday)
Yep, I love it. Not in the moment of course, but later as I process, it really makes me think about how I’m speaking, thinking, acting, modeling my life for my children (and reminds me to schedule an appointment with the hairdresser). Our kids are also very sweet and loving, but bantering and respectful honesty is something we have permitted in our home–keeps us in check and helps us all learn how to take some constructive criticism, laugh a little at ourselves, and hopefully be less defensive in life.
Through this process of “child imposed awareness” I have discovered that I have developed some mom habits that are not so appealing:
1. I EAT MY CHILDREN’S FOOD
This is not food off their plate, but mainly candy they have stashed in their dresser or closet that I seek out when I realize after lunch that there is absolutely no dessert in the kitchen. I try to only eat enough that I satisfy my craving, always promising myself that I will replenish their supply. Which I forget to do 100% of the time. And I get caught.
2. I HIDE MY FOOD
In the converse, I hide the sweets that I buy for myself because with three teen/pre-teen’s living here, anything really good to eat disappears faster than a water droplet on a hot rock. Often my stash is found, but I get to stretch the York Peppermint Patties out a little longer when they are in the VERY back of the fridge behind the tall milk and OJ containers.
3. MY PHONE
I haven’t really developed enough guilt regarding the first two bad habits to make any changes, but this one I am actively working on. My phone has become a rectangular not so soft attachment of me. I find myself annoyed at how much my kids are on their phones, yet as soon as I pull into the garage I have to check my messages and email. And while I’m cooking and doing laundry. And sometimes at a stoplight (see, I do stop at red lights). You get the picture. So, I am trying to not touch my phone unless I have to when my kids are around. It stays in my purse or my pocket so it is visually out of sight. This is harder than it seems when we all seem to have the habit of “checking” our phone as much as we….well I can’t think of anything else we check as much.
This is definitely part of my controlling nature, but I remind my kids about an awful lot. This shouldn’t be the case as my husband and I are well versed in the Love and Logic parenting style, which frowns on any reminding. But, it is in our nature to prevent our kids from forgetting something, or not doing chores, because it makes more work for us to enact consequences. Yet, I know that it is when I choose not to remind, even when that means stepping over a sock, wrapper and backpack for two days as I go up the stairs, my kids learn faster (because then they earn an extra chore or pay me money). So, I am trying to REMIND LESS.
5. IGNORING THEIR BATHROOM
So this is one I just choose to do because I’m in denial. With three mixed-gender hormone laden kids sharing a bathroom, you would think nothing would surprise me. Well, think again. A month ago I walked into the bathroom (my fault, I should know better) to this:
Yep, that is a PLANT growing out of the sink! I stood there befuddled for about 10 minutes. How the heck? ? ? Then, my motherly detective brain kicked in and I remembered that my son has birds which we feed bird seed, and for some reason he thought that it would be okay to send the bird seed remains down the sink instead of the trash. The most scary part for me was that it took long enough for a plant to germinate for me to look into their sink.
So this goes on my “bad mom-habit” list. I need to pay more attention to the goings-on of my children’s bathroom.
While I’m sure there are many more not-so-desirable habits I entertain, these ones currently stand out. Hopefully this gave you a laugh or at least an encouragement that motherhood is a work in progress! I try to remind myself daily to have grace for myself and my parenting journey, while trying to seek excellence as much as possible. With God’s help, both these things are possible!
On another note, I would greatly appreciate you sharing this link, or asking your friends to “like” this on FB if you are a fan of this blog. I am trying to grow it this year!
Have a great day,