Thursday, February 24, 2011

(In Parenthesis)

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Andy has been out of town this week, so I've been single-mom-ing-it. I think it must have zapped all of my creative energies because I have had complete and total writer's block. I'll sit down to post a blog and...blank...nothing is there.

But, alas, I've had a bit of an "ahah" moment in mothering this week that I thought I could pass along.

Recently I've been noticing an increase in my frustration with my kids. It seems like someone is always crying or whining. There is rarely a time that I buckle them in their carseats that one of them is not upset about something. I wonder why in the world I need to use windex, carpet cleaner, and half a dozen paper towels to clean up after every single meal. It drives me nuts that my walls are all so grimy. I'd like to make it through a bath time without being as wet as the kids in the tub. And for goodness sakes, could you just hold the door for me when I'm carrying 60 pounds of groceries?!?! The list could go on and on.

Any other moms out there feel my pain?

I realized that these little frustrations were beginning to wear on me, affecting my interactions with my kids and how I felt toward them. I've been praying about it so much and reading some "Mom Books" and here is my grand ahah moment...

Put the frustrating moment in parenthesis.

Normally, these moments where I want to pull my hair out and give my 2-weeks notice for motherhood last only about 5-10 minutes. However, I was letting my frustration from them drag on and on all day. When Andy would ask me, "How was your day?" I'd always just look at him with the expression, "Don't ask." But then I realized that it's not my whole day that is horrible. It's these moments. They should not characterize my whole day (or my whole life, for that matter). I've got to isolate those moments in my mind so that I can enjoy the rest of my time with my kids.

I really do enjoy my kids and love them to pieces...85% of the time. (Is that a horrible thing to say?) However, I was not enjoying my kids 85% of the time because I was allowing the 15% ruin everything for everybody. Now I'm trying to take a few deep breaths, truly forgive my child for whatever the offense was, and then put the moment in a time bound set of parenthesis.


Jennifer said...

Stacie! Thanks so much for sharing this! You are not alone in your frustrations. I have shared this same experience a bit too often lately. But you are so right. It is easy to let one 5-10 minute experience interfere with our ability to really find joy with our kids the rest of the day. I am going to keep this in mind. I think you just had an "a-ha" for a lot of us!

shauna said...

We need to call one of our places "The Fort" and bunk down the kids and ourselves when our husbands are out of town the same time.
And I completely identify with your day!

Tricia said...

great reminder. I think it is just kids trying to push our buttons. thankfully everyday is not a bad day for the boys. :)

Vanessa said...

wow! thank you so much for posting this! you are so not alone in this, and you put things into perspective for me. i also found that if i'm a little more lax on my cleaning and chores, i enjoy my kids more. i can clean up when they sleep, i want to enjoy my kids during the day. i love that you post honest and real life scenarios and don't "sugar coat" everything to make life seem perfect. staying at home with your kids is hard work but it is also so rewarding. thanks again and you're doing a great job with your boys!

Janelle said...


Yet again I read a post and feel like we are the same person... or at least that we are in the same season with MANY similar thoughts and feelings. I am totally with you and appreciate your AHA! We do highs and lows at the dinner table each night and I sometimes want to say, "Um... the whole day was a low with these whiny, messy girls", but in reality it was only 15%, maybe even less... the parenthetical note part of the day. Love your honesty and wisdom, girl!

Adrienne said...

Ooh... I never thought of it in this way before. Even though I'm not a mother yet, I can still learn to put my frustrating moments (in parenthesis). Thanks for sharing =).