Life has been very busy lately. I mean life is always busy, but more so in the last few weeks.
I am still learning how to be a home schooling mama, how to lesson plan and teach the kids. How to keep them focused and happy throughout our school day. And then of course there is the daily chores to keep up with. Oh, and not to mention my Autumn indoor/outdoor clean-up list that we've barely begun! And now of course it's hockey season. And with 2 of the 3 boys playing this year we are at the rink Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, every other Friday, Saturday & Sunday. WHOA! And this doesn't even scratch the surface. There's still appointments, commitments of mine or my husbands, errands to run, ect. There's a lot going on, and I am starting to feel the drain and stress from it all. Me, and so many other parents who have so much on their plate feel the drain and stress from it all. So where does this leave us? For myself it's left me tired, disorganized, and quite frankly - grumpy. This is not how I like to feel, and certainly not how I want my family to see me.
So how do I deal with this type of stress? Not well apparently.
On Friday evening, after a very long day Jaxon had hockey. Mike was still at work which meant it was up to me to get everyone ready and out the door. The kids were tired, I was tired. Tyson didn't even want to leave the house, BUT we have the commitment of hockey and we follow through. Once we're at the arena I feel frustrated. Jaxon only being 5 still needs me to put his equipment on, but Tyson wanted to be held. And Ryan was complaining of being hungry, even though we just ate supper. I can't hold Tyson while I do Jaxon's equipment, so Tyson sat on the bench crying. And Ryan sat there complaining. It's then that I really noticed my tone of voice. It was that "mommy's not in the mood, and you're driving me mental" voice. And it didn't sound nice. It's also then that I noticed my 8 year old using that same tone of voice when addressing his brothers. Eeck, definitely not the way I want to treat my kids. I took a deep breath, reminding myself that a 2 year old has every right to be over tired and want to be held, and 8 year old boys complain of hunger in hopes to get a snack from the concession. That's life. DEEP BREATH! DEEP BREATH! DEEP BREATH!
After a few minutes of Jaxon being on the ice, Mike was able to meet us at the rink, and I took a very tired Tyson home and let Mike finish up with the practice.
Once I was home I could not stop thinking of this tone of voice that I tend to use in frustrating or stressful situations. I felt sick to my stomach thinking about how often that mean mommy voice creeps out. I know I'm not the only parent who does this, I could hear other parents all around me acting in the same manner. In fact, at one point I actually heard 3 moms comparing whose children were worse (in front of said children) . Yes, you read that right. WORSE. Is this how parents behave? Our children have become an obnoxious pain, and not the precious jewels they are intended to be?
I don't have the right to let my frustration or stress rule situations with my children. It doesn't build positive character or confidence in a person to have someone speak with a harsh tone every time they are annoyed. And it doesn't teach my precious little ones how to positively handle their own stresses.
So my goal is to make sure that my own stress and frustration don't change the way I interact with my kids. When things are normal and everyone is in a good mood we all talk nicely and positively towards each other. This doesn't need to change just because I'm tired. I will ask myself "Is this the way I would want to be spoken to?" If my answer is NO, then it's time to take a DEEP BREATH and start again. I want my kids to always know, they are PRECIOUS. And NOT a pain!