Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meet Your New Mom

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.

62 comments:

Tam said...

OK so WHY did your post hit so close to home for ME? HMMM Great POST! Great I say!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

What a wonderful post! Complete with a snowman--beautiful!

Don't feel too bad about your grouchy mommy week. We all have tough times--it teaches our kids that we can come out on the other side and try to do better.

Kelly said...

I could definitely take some tips from you! I've had those same struggles lately. Some days I do really good and then I have days where I hate the way I've spoken to everyone. It's a constant work in progress I guess.Great pics. I was thinking they looked familiar then I realized I saw them on facebook!!

Mom24 said...

Awesome! Great job mom. I'm going to steal your philosophy. We could use some of that around here, although honestly it's my hubby who needs the attitude adjustment the most.

I really wish he could grasp that if you want your kids to be respectful you need to talk respectfully to them.

Good luck. It is hard.

Allison said...

Ok...thanks! I needed to hear that. I have been feeling the same way lately. I am almost in tears sitting here reading every word. Good tears, though! I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that!

CissaLynn said...

I want you to know just how much I can identify w/your post!!!! I have been feeling like a total failure as a mother lately (just this morning before I got out of bed I was thinking that being a mom is just TOO HARD)! I often wonder if I am cut out to do this! I know I HAVE to do this and I WANT to do this, but man, it can be a VERY difficult job!!! Being a mom is the BEST job, yet the HARDEST, too!!!
THANK YOU for sharing your personal struggles w/us!!!! You made me feel like I can start over and quit beating myself up for the mistakes I make daily! :) It was a nice reminder that things can change - oh, and to focus on the little things that matter most!!!!
Thanks, girl!!!!! :))

Fire Hunt said...

When my boys were 2 I did this and it works and now we have fun and for the most they are respectful. I also love the photo.

Cassie said...

Great post. I know it's hard. It was hard keeping these things in mind when I was teaching elementary school. That my kids wouldn't respect me if I didn't respect them, remember not to yell, etc. But it looks like things are getting better :) I love the snowman.

Heidi said...

Hello! I got here from Karen's Fresh Fixins!! Man does this post make me think - No need to feel alone about this Kat, regardless of what people say EVERYONE does this at times. For me, I try to remember that my boys will remember the fun we had - not that you could eat off the floor at any given time. You can eat off the floor at my house at times - because that is where the food seems to end up...LOL Kids need to learn responsibility, but your right when you say by example.. do as I say not as I do - dont work baby!!! SO everyday is a step in the right direction and talking with your boys will help them understand who you are too. :) We are all amaturs at this so practice is the only way to get better at somthing!!! Keep up the great work, you have some gorgeous little fellers!!

Jenera said...

I think every mom goes through the change. I'm a relatively new mom still and I've already done it. But I think with as hectic as life is, it sneaks up on us before we realize we've turned into 'evil mom'.

It definitely feels good when things get 'fixed'.

Nap Warden said...

First...I gotta say great snowman! Second, seems like you have worked through a lot. I think we all go through those feelings...at least I know I do;)

Designher Momma said...

awesome post. I can very much relate and often feel the same way. I needed to read this today. thanks!

Jessica said...

You are such a great mom Kat! Seriously - you are; even on your grouchy days. I'm picking up a few notes and I'm going to try to "behave" better myself and see how it goes. I have those days too. Absolutely love your snowman! We still don't have enough of the white stuff to make one and my kids are highly disappointed!

Kat said...

Thank you everyone for your supportive comments. Man, they really help.
Rebecca Ramsey- That is the thing. It really wasn't just that one week that I was grouchy mom. I was beginning to turn into a grouchy mom. I didn't even like myself lately. I wasn't finding joy in my boys the way I used to and I realized it was because of MY attitude. It was becoming the norm for me to speak sharply for no reason. Just unacceptable.

This week has been heavenly. I am enjoying my boys and actually having so much fun. And I notice that they have been responding to me SO MUCH BETTER. It really is a complete turn around.
I know I will have to keep working on it one day at a time but I REALLY don't want to go back to the way I was. I like this mom SO MUCH BETTER. I feel so much more myself.
Sure I still scold and yell, but when I raise my voice it is to be heard, not to berate and scare and guilt them into behaving.
I just can't believe the difference and I am hopeful it will stick. :)
Thanks again, all!

Tammy said...

I am glad that things are going so well. We all get crazy at times and need to let go and remember what it is like being a kid and have fun and worry later. My husband is the calm one in the family. I wish at times I was more like him...laid back and easy going.

Dawn said...

I can learn so much from you here. Thank you for being so honest. I need to lighten up as well. Your snowman is so cute.

Cara said...

Don't forget we learn from our mistakes and grow stronger by change. Every day is new!
Love, love, love the snowman and the group shot of you with the boys is great!

Beck said...

Beautiful post. My husband always, always tells me the same thing: we do not get to control our children. The only thing we get to control is our own behaviour.
Not that it makes me act like a better mother, but still.

Rachel said...

Perfection Kat. I love this post. Good on you darlin' for realizing and for changing.

Those pictures are wonderful! I wish we had snow. *sigh*

:-) Oh well. Enjoy and Blessings darlin'

Mandy said...

oh my goodness.. GREAT post. It really hit for me, too. You go, mom!!!

:)

p.s. I am back from my blogging hiatus!

April said...

What a great post! And I love the photos...that's a great snow man you guys made!!

CC said...

Hello new mom!!

Awesome snowman!

I have so many excuses: I can't be nice until I feel better. I can't be nice until the house is clean, etc, etc.

I just need an attitude change.

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

A really good post that we can all see ourselves in. And the photos make me chilly just looking at them. Of course, we live in Texas, so snow is a foreign concept.

Natalie said...

i am now feeling even colder looking at those snow shots! wow. great snowman!!!

i think that your plan will make you the best mom around. i think i need to adopt your plan and get out of my current stress induced funk!

Jewelgirl said...

You made a great snowman! How cute
are those pictures. It is hard being
a mom sometimes, and there's no manual or book that tells you how to
be a good one. We all want to do
our best for our kids. We learn by our mistakes and go forward.
Bravo Kat! You deserve a cheer!! :)
Hey stop by my blog and see the sock monkey pix, everybody ♥ sock monkeys!

Stephanie said...

You are awesome, Kat. Just awesome. I'm glad you guys had such a blast outside and I know you will succeed to be the type of mom you want to be. Keep having all that fun! I'm jealous ;)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Fantastic snowman - even he looks happy.

I really enjoyed reading your post. We have to take a step back from time to time and look at ourselves from a different angle.

CJ xx

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Picture perfect snowman, lady! Go easy on yourself--but you are right to let some things go.
I love your new blog look, BTW.

RiverPoet said...

Oh, I'm so glad you did this! That's what it's all about. I did the whole nagging and controlling thing for awhile with my kids, but in the end, the moments I remember best are the ones in which we just had fun. I wish I had done more of that. Now that they're grown, it's too late. Not for you, though.

Peace - D

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I'm certain we've all written, read or posted about this at one point. Thank GOD for do-overs in the form of a tomorrow.

Good looking Frosty!

Lindsay said...

Yay for a new mom and a new change in attitude! We ALL have those weeks though - try not to let it get you down when you have another one.

And what fun in the snow...can't say that Im that fun yet...

tweetey30 said...

You know I am the bossy parent sometimes. But that comes from being home with them most of the time I think.. But I think you did a great job on doing the spontaneous thing with them and Great photo's..

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

Everyday presents the opportunity for a do over. That's the best part of them. And, like I said on FB - I so want three just like yours. You are a lucky gal. Although, you can keep the snow :)

Amy said...

I think all of us moms go through this. Good for you for figuring it out and letting go! And it looks like such a FUN day!

Paige said...

Sounds like I wrote this. It is not easy being a mom and I sometimes tell my 9yr old son that we don't always know what we're doing so we have to test it out on him.

Thank you for writing this and for being so honest.New, patient moms UNITE!

lime said...

bravo, well done, mama

Krystyn said...

Good for you, momma!

You need to be my inspiration...I'm just not there yet!

Robyn said...

Great post and Great snowman, you guys look like you had a lot of fun.

Momisodes said...

I'm crying. I can relate to this post so much. Especially this week when my daughter cried at preschool because she missed her DADDY. I need to make changes, just as you have.

OHmommy said...

Oh dear Lordy Kat, I am hoping that you will be there in Chicago so I can tell you how much your posts touch me. I feel as if I could have written this post.

Elaine A. said...

That picture of you and the boys with the snowman is absolutely priceless. Thank goodness the moment was captured.

And the rest of the post, well it was probably my best read of the day. I needed to be reminded of these things myself...

Bren said...

I could have written that myself. We should all strive to be that mom!

Great fun photos! Love the Frosty!

Kelli @ Gohn Crazy said...

This post touched me very deeply. I am so very sick of being that mom - that nag of a nag of a nag. I just wish I could figure out how to keep it up. I do alright and then I revert. And oh how I hate being that mom. It's not who I want to be or how I see myself being. Good for you. :) And may you continue along and really truly be the mom you want to be.

Savvy Mode SG said...

you guys look like you had loads of fun...

Chris said...

That does sound like a great day.
You have no idea how I needed to read this today.
Thanks for the reminder.

Cyndi said...

Thank you for the reminder. I needed to hear this. And great pictures! They look like Christmas cards.

Dianna said...

Gosh...is it just that time of year??? Seems like all of my friends and I are all having the same phone conversations about that very same thing*!*

Here's one of my fav quotes:

"There's no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one."
~Jill Churchill

EatPlayLove said...

a delightful moment of clarity.

Kellan said...

What a great post and that is really the cutest little snowman I have ever seen!

Take care - Kellan

Bethany said...

I love, love, love days like this and the clarity that comes with them.

I find that recently I am doing a better job being that mom that I want to be. I think it is partly the girls getting older and partly reading posts like this one that remind me of the mom I want to be.

Kristen said...

Kat,

You have no idea how much I needed to read this today. Today, the day I yelled at Cade three times, and then had to apologize for my actions. Embarassing. I too want to be the mom who lets go. Who gets over that her floors are dirty, and that things aren't being done the "right" way.

Thanks for the reminder that I too can start again. That I too can be the go with the flow mom and still survive. And probably survive happier.

Happy Friday Friend!

Megan Garrison Photography said...

Your snowman is great!! I bet that will be a day they forever remember and will cherish the memory! Starting over is very nice. Glad you got the chance :0)

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

great post - glad you had fun in the snow

DysFUNctional Mom said...

What great pictures, and a great post. GOod luck with keeping your resolve, I know it's hard!

wright said...

Thanks for writing this. I have been the stressed out, un-fun mom lately and I need to change. I'm glad to know it works!

Kathryn said...

Awesome revelation! Your pics are awesome!

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh what a beautiful post Kat. I want to play in the snow and not be a nag too-- what are you taking? ;-)

Roxy Wishum said...

Wow! What a fun mom! You are really growing and this is why the blogosphere is so great--we get to share it. I am proud of you.

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Simply beautiful! A mom's heart grows up just like a little kid's body. "Choose wisely" our Lord instructs . . . and this is precisely what He was talking about. Reading this reminded me of Mary sitting at Christ's feet while Martha barked orders from the kitchen. Choosing a snowman over snowpants will bring a smile to God's face every time (and everyone else's as well). You go girl!!!!! : D

Courtney said...

I relate to this oh so much. I am the nagging/agravating disciplinarian and sometimes my kids (and hubby) hate me. Just the other day my 3.5 year old told me that he didnt like me anymore just his brother and his daddy. It made me feel very sad and i had the same revelation as you. Thank you for sharing your story.

Rachel said...

WONDERFUL post; I completely know what you're mean, what you're going through, what you want, etc., etc., etc. I haven't been a mom long but I am already struggling with all of these issues. :(

Merisi said...

Congratulations on winning a spot on David's "Post of the Day" award list!

As a mom (of four) I know what you are talking about and I wish you many more days and memories like the ones you created with your boys the other day!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson