I’ve been on a quest to be a better mother lately. Here are three changes I’m trying to make:
- Be more patient. (This was on my New Year’s Resolution list 3 years ago. I haven’t made much progress.)
- Be happier. A happy mom makes for a happier child (And husband). Sometimes this is just a conscious effort to choose joy over frustration/impatience, etc.
- Spend time with my kids. Not just coexisting, serving them and cleaning up after them, but dropping everything once in awhile to play or read. (You also have to choose to enjoy it! Don’t begrudgingly spend the time with your kids, while thinking of all the other things you could be accomplishing.
Just those three items on my “better mother to-do list” are making a big difference in our daily lives.
Here’s an example:
You know how it is when you start doing a chore, and suddenly the kids need a drink, start a fight, fall down, start crying- it’s always something to interfere with getting your work done, right? Last week, I decided to try an experiment. I had just begun washing dishes, when my oldest asked me to read her a book. I told her I really needed to do this chore, but yes, I would love to read her just one book first. We sat down, and Little One came over as well, so we all cuddled as we read a new library book. They wanted me to read a second book (of course!), but I reminded them I said only one because I had a chore to do. And it worked! They left me alone to wash dishes in peace! Had I not read the book first, I would have heard, “Please, please, are you done yet, I want a book, please, why won’t you read to me…” the entire time.
Sometimes it’s good to make kids wait for things so they develop patience, but it’s also important not to constantly shoo them away. In this instance, my kids felt loved because I made them more important than my chore.
…And the happier we all are. It’s a not so vicious circle. 🙂