I’ve had plenty of reminders to check my tone. I have had plenty of opportunities to practice my count-to-5-first rule. (Rowdy 2 and 4 year olds are good for that 😉 ).
So now, about three weeks since my last post on my Nasty Voice, I’m seeing a marked improvement.
Yes, I’ve snapped on occasion. Yes, I’ve regretted my choice of words directed at the offending child. But each time, I have learned a little something new about myself and about my children.
Awareness. That has been the greatest gift of this exercise. By counting to 5 before I respond (and including the times that I have “missed” the opportunity to count to 5), I have become more aware of myself and of my children. I see them for the intelligent, creative, frustrated little people that they are. I don’t just see the temper tantrum that causes my Nasty Voice to rear its ugly head. I see the child.
And this has been the most wonderful gift.
I have also learned patience. (Not that I’m exercising this renewed skill as often as I’d like. But let’s be realistic for a moment, shall we? I’m a working mother of two whose husband comes home late every night.
Sometimes Most of the time, I just have to rush to get the kids out the door on time.)
Stemming from the desire to exercise more patience, I have begun building more time into my morning routine. I get up earlier, workout and get myself ready. Then, when my kids get up, I’m good to go. I can take care of their needs in a calm fashion. Sometimes this plan falls apart (I can only control my behaviour. If my daughter wakes up on the wrong side of the bed (which shouldn’t happen since her bed is against the wall 😉 ), there is very little I can do to cheer her up. She has her father’s morning disposition (oh woe is me 😦 )).
If I could only figure out how to build more time into the rest of the day. It seems like, as the sun goes down it drags time with it…and inevitably, my cup, which was so full of time at the dawning of the day, runs empty.
All that aside, I have successfully controlled my sharp tongue for the last three weeks, and my children and I are very happy about that.
As a mother, I spend a lot of time analyzing my actions and reading about other mother’s trials, tribulations, and successes. I read a post just this morning that fit right in with what I have been doing lately, and it gave me strength to continue on this path, even on the especially hard days when my own exhaustion and bad mood takes over the more serene part of my mind and pushes me toward unlocking the cage that contains my Nasty Voice.
The simple timeliness of that post was like a sign. I’m holding on tight to that key that keeps my Nasty Voice locked away. And somewhere out there is another mother or many other mothers who are working toward the same goal of “secure kids and restrained parents” to quote The Gypsy Mama. She’s got it right. It’s hard…but…
“…if I can set my mood by the desire to send them off at peace and full of the knowing that they mattered, then they will have a gift to unwrap the rest of the day. Knowing that they mattered to their mother more than her to-dos.”
~ The Gypsy Mama
Summed up. Simple.
And that’s what keeps my Nasty Voice in check.
My children. My connection to others trying to do the same thing. My belief that I can be better.