I am not going to be that mom anymore. I am not going to be that nagging, bossy mom that makes my boys feel as though they are walking on eggshells. After last week's episode that ended in the boys telling me that they only want their daddy and not me, I have seen the error of my ways. I deserved those words from them and I'm so glad that I really heard what they were saying, because it opened my eyes.
Living with me was not fun. I made things difficult. I stressed the stupid little things too much and completely forgot to stop and notice the important things. I made life so much more stressful than it had to be.
I nagged about everything. They didn't put their toys away properly. They didn't eat their food fast enough. They ate their food too fast. They were too loud and they gave me a headache. They talked too quietly and I couldn't hear what they were saying. Nag, nag, nag.
I think I was confusing nagging for discipline.
It is hard to be the disciplinarian in the family. It is such a responsibility. Sometimes I feel that I have to be on the boys at all times in order for them to grow up to be respectful, hard working, thoughtful boys. But really, I just need to let them be.
If I want them to be respectful, I need to be respectful. And not just to others, but to them as well. They deserve my respect as much as I deserve theirs. If I want them to be compassionate people than I need to be a compassionate mother. One that calms their anxiety instead of adding to it. If I want my boys to be able to handle their anger in a healthy way, then I'd better start showing them the proper way to do so. If I want my boys to be loving, then I need to be an example of love in every circumstance.
This past week has been a complete turn around. The boys have behaved as they always have. Sometimes sassy, sometimes great. But I have been a different mom. I have been able to maintain calm. I spoke with kindness. I bit my tongue and said nothing when I wanted to correct things I knew didn't need correcting.
This is the mom I want to be. And I hope that if I practice this type of mothering enough it will become second nature. Because this is who I am. I am this mom. I am fun. I am loving. The boys just didn't get to see enough of it before. But that is gonna change. I know it won't always be easy. I know there will be times that I will fail and revert back to my old ways. But I am determined to do my best.
I'm letting go so I can be a better mom.
When we went to pick Joey up at school yesterday the snow was just too pretty to pass up. Tommy asked if we could get out and play on the playground while we waited for Joey. Though it is not normally like me to let the boys frolic in the snow without snowpants and gear (oh the mess!) I figured this was a good opportunity for me to practice letting go. I let Tommy and Ben out of the car and we went climbing all over the snow piles the snow plow trucks had created. When Joey came out of school he joined in. We played and slid and stomped through the snow, and when I told the boys it was time to go they happily obliged and climbed into the minivan.
We got home and the boys didn't want to go in the house yet. I told them they could play in the backyard for a while until they got hungry. One thing led to another and soon we were all building a snowman together. Tommy and Ben were rolling around in the snow sans snowpants, and Joey was wearing his two sizes too small snowpants that he put on at school, but I couldn't have cared less. We were having a blast.
By the time we were finishing up my jeans were soaked through and Tommy and Ben were wet little popsicles. Todd came home for lunch just in time to capture the moment for us.
We finished up our snowman and scurried inside to defrost. The wet clothes were thrown in the dryer, and new warm, fuzzy clothes were put on in their place. The boys ate quickly and drifted right off to sleep, exhausted from the fresh, cold air.
And I sit here thankful that I was given yet another opportunity to start again. Another chance to let go and just enjoy being a mom. Another moment to seize and not care about the mess or the clean up. Another shot at showing my boys how to be spontaneous and how to have fun. How to live. And how to love.
It was another great day.