Tuesday, March 20, 2012

what my kids need from me

[ Ian at 2 weeks old; not relevant to post, I just like it! :) ]

Do you ever have those days when you think you are the worst mom ever?

You feel like you are constantly getting onto them for the same old thing... brush your teeth, quit hitting your brother with that light saber, what do you mean you can't remember how to find the area of a rectangle?!, sit up straight, focus!!!, food trash only goes in the kitchen trash can, use a napkin not your sleeve, don't use that tone of voice with your brother...

... over and over and over again.

I just began reading the book 52 Things Kids Need From a Mom: What Mothers Can Do to Make a Lifelong Difference by Angela Thomas.

Since I am such a rule breaker, I jumped ahead to peek at what was up ahead...

Chapter 11: Kids Need Their Mom... To Miss a Few Things They Do Wrong


It is so easy for me to be the people police. To monitor my boys' every move and every word.

Yup, nitpick them in an effort to mold them into perfect adults in miniature form. Can I get more hypocritical? *I* can't even get through a few hours or the day without messing something up or being selfish. What in the world am I thinking to have that expectation of perfection from my children?

It just leads to disappointment and stress for everyone-- myself and my kids!

So tomorrow I am skipping ahead to put into practice Chapter 11 (even though I haven't read Chapter 1).

I do not have to see every thing that they do wrong. Even if I do see it, I don't have to call them on it.

Nag less, extend some grace, focus on the big things, and as cliche as it sounds, don't sweat the small stuff. My perfectionist tendencies need to take a back seat to the relationship I am cultivating with my children.

Do any of y'all struggle in this area? Any advice you want to share with me?


Christy said...

Ok, I struggled with this as we were getting up and getting ready for school. It seems like everyday is the same. I nag and growl. My guys are 15 & 16. We have been through a lot of big changes with my sickness and now they are going to public school. I hope some others have pointers. Just know you are not alone in this one.

Suzanne said...

Sooo there with you. No pointers, just feeling your pain.

Brenda said...

Humph. I don't like the title of that chapter.

Gwen T said...

This reminds me of Prov. 19:11 - A man's discretion makes him slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook a transgression (NAS).

I had this verse posted on my fridge a few years ago for this exact reason you talk about -- I think I need to put it back on my fridge. Thanks for this reminder.

(And, yes, we too deal with light saber violence....) ;)

Anonymous said...

Have had the same thought lately...but didn't quite connect all of the dots...so thanks for just slamming me to the carpet! ;D No, seriously...I am right there with you.

I am told to just pick my battles...and I try...but I think the key for me is to pick the battles...set the rules and consequences ahead of time...and follow through on those things. Letting go of some of the other things ...will be SO HARD for me...because I am concerned that I am not being a good parent if I let it go...but I know that is what I need to do....hugs - love you! - Donna Mc

RaD said...

First of all, welcome back!

I think I struggled with it for a while when my kids were smaller. But then one day I started being bothered by my husband micromanaging every little thing they said and did and didn't like it. I realized that's how I sounded a lot of days. We had a long conversation after that about what we should handle and what we should ignore. It's still easy to get all caught up and on those days I have to take a breath and back up.

So, in short, I understand, I really do. Maybe just ask yourself, will this work itself out without me? and start from there?

Tasha said...

Oh my, yes. YESTERDAY. Unfortunately, I can always trace bad mom days back to my own narrow sightedness (in retrospect). Yesterday it was a too-long phone conversation in the morning. If only I could just do it right, all the time!!! (En Vogue's "Never gonna get it, never gonna get it!" is in my head!)

Susan said...

Oh thanks for the reminder. Good stuff there.

Kari said...

*Much* needed words here.
*Thank you* for sharing!

Jamie {See Jamie blog} said...

I hear ya! These kinds of thoughts are what started my "Fun Mama" quest. If I'm not intentional about it, I am just the un-fun mom who reminds everyone of all the things they should've done/need to be doing, etc.

And unrelated, but you produce seriously cute children.

Leanne said...

Definitely NOT a Fun Mama here. If I don't shape and form and mold and smooth them, WHO WILL?? I HATE parenting books! I guess I just try to use the Bible as my parenting book, and my husband's voice, he's pretty wise....

But yes, I have totally had those days/weeks/months. I wonder if being honest with our kids about our own shortcomings, and maybe just keeping on striving to reach the mark, is the best policy?? What say you??

Good topic!

Anonymous said...

Marsha, thanks for your words of wisdom for this mom. This is my biggest obstacle of homeschooling! I appreciate the reminder to extend grace.
PS - it's good to have you back. I've been following your blog - emailed you a year or so ago about starting one - and finally got pushed into the deep end. :-) God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Yup, guilty.

When you're the teacher and the mom it's a fine line. We're expected to correct them, teach them, get them to pitch in with chores AND know when to back off?

That's a lot of skill and patience.

Julie said...

Sweetie I do needed to hear this today. Going to buy that book. Delivering tour sweet Amazon gift tonight. And yes, I am so guilty.

Christine said...

Any mother who says she doesn't experience this probably isn't being truthful (I say this without reading other comments). HA! Just a few months ago I came to the realization all by myself (because anyone who knows me knows that I don't pick up books) that I nag my kids too much. I finally decided to take the "don't sweat the small stuff" approach. :) Nothing causes more guilt than getting onto my kids for things that I'm completely guilty of myself. I love you!

Shelly said...

I have three boys ages 11, 9 and 8. There have been a couple mornings lately that have been extra stressful. After getting them dropped off at school and beginning my drive to work, I found myself feeling horrible, crying and wanting to turn around and march into that school and pick each of them up and squeeze the poop out of them and tell them how much I love them. I HATE rough mornings. I have to remind myself that they're little and that I shouldn't be so tough. It's always a challenge to take that deep breath and not sweat the small stuff......but we're all better off if I do. Glad to hear I'm not alone :)

Sam said...

I totally struggle as well. If it helps you, I might just order it. :)

Milk and Honey Mommy said...


I was just talking to my husband about this tonight. I notice every little thing wrong my children do and I am "kind" enough to point every little thing out. I can't imagine how I would respond if someone did that to me. I need to work on that because it isn't nurturing and I don't want them to remember mom that way.