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Thursday, April 18, 2013

What I Really Learned From Pinterest


Yes, I use Pinterest to pin clothing that I won't buy, pin kids activities for rainy days and even ooh and ahh over master bathrooms, I do have a board for things that inspire me. Mostly, these are quotes that I try to remember and while I don't recite quotes or put them up on walls in my house, I do think about them: who said them, why? Does it relate to me? While, today,  I was wasting time on Pinterest I came across a quote that really slugged me in the face, harder than the head bonk my youngest gives me all day long.  “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today”. I wish I knew who wrote it, that person changed my attitude and made me a better mom.

Have you ever had a day where you look at the clock and maybe five minutes has gone by? Well, I’ve been having that week. We recently came back from a house-hunting trip where we got to see my husband! It had been a month since we got to be a family so it was absolutely a happy reunion. But, when we returned to our separate lives in different states, my boys had a huge negative reaction. They have been acting out, ignoring me, hitting, pushing, kicking, not eating, not going potty, not sleeping, you name it: they’re doing it. It’s been DRIVING ME INSANE.

Have you ever had a day where you feel like you just say, “no” louder and louder and LOUDER until you realize you’re really yelling at your kids and they just look at you and don’t know what to do? Or have you ever needed to lock yourself in your room because you couldn’t take the backlash any longer? Have you wished that it was bedtime at 4 ‘o clock in the afternoon because honestly, none of you are going to have a pleasant evening? Throw in a few tears and you’re looking at me.
I can’t believe how hard parenting actually is. Where’s the parenting App?!

While I was listening to my boys from the hallway, screaming and crying and fighting bedtime, I pulled out my phone and went to Pinterest. Right there on the top of the 'Following' board, that quote was the first thing my eyes were drawn to.  It was then that I realized that I had to change my attitude if I wanted my boys to be better. I had to get rest. I had to come up with positive ways to scold or correct, I had to give more praise, I had to exercise patience. I couldn’t let the previous day ruin the next one and expect it to get any better if I still held a grudge and let my frustration show. While the boys were utilizing their independence skills (Dang! Why'd I teach them that?!) and learning how to assert their opinions (REALLY ABBEY? You had to teach them how to use words correctly and how to address their feelings didn't you?), it turns out, I was the one getting annoyed and frustrated and in turn, having an attitude with them because I hadn't had a 30 minute break to myself in who knows how long. 

Once I decided to be better, my kids were better. Sure, they still fought with one another, that’s just what brothers do, but our family aura was better. I was able to be the mom I wanted to be and that made my boys be the boys I wanted them to be. It was hard work on my part, but I was really proud of the results. It didn't take too much effort to sit back and think: OK. They need to get their energy out. I know you're tired, but get your walking shoes on and go outside. Run with them. Be carefree. Let them get muddy, you're already doing laundry. Have a little fun with them, Abbey and the day will change. 

My kids are still kids and I still have trouble with our oldest coming into my bed every night and he won’t poop on the potty and feels no shame or remorse for using his underwear instead of the toilet. And he flat out ignores me if I ask him to do something that interferes with his playing.  And yes, the youngest still throws everything he can get his fingers on and gets extremely upset and throws the world’s largest tantrum, but I’m able to combat those in a much better light when I really concentrate on what their needs are and why they are doing those things.

Sometimes you just have to take a step back, take a breath, get twenty minutes to yourself, keep your pecker up (as my grandma would always say) and don’t live in the past. Move forward. It’s the only way to be better. 

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