Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mum's the Word

 As a mom, I've tried to learn from my mistakes.  I recognized early on that I would never be 'that perfect mom', and so my goal was to be 'a good enough mom'.  That took a lot of pressure off me, and I'm convinced that a relaxed mom makes better decisions.  Along the way, I found that the quicker I was to respond to a situation, the more likely I would be appologizing later for over-reacting.  I had to admit that my knee jerk reactions got me in a lot of trouble.  My solution was simple, although it took years to embrace it.  I found that if I took a few minutes, my better judgement would kick in.  I finally decided that I did not have to say the first thing that popped into my mind.  As a matter of fact, over the years I stopped feeling pressure to say any one of the first ten things that jumped across my mind.  We all know that counting to ten really helps diffuse many arguments.  As I counted to ten, I let my thoughts race.  My family has said that they can watch as I reject idea after idea. I'm told that I close my eyes, make a face like I just tasted something awful, and shake my head.  A picture can tell a thousand words!
  Today I can say things like "let me think about this", or "I don't know,  but I'll get some advice".  It was a huge relief to know that I didn't have to have all the answers.  I didn't have to solve everything in a few minutes.  My old plan would be that if  there was something on my mind, I wanted it resolved during a TV commercial.  I was shocked when a friend shared that it sometimes took her a month to approach a "sticky situation" with her family.  What a concept!  That's when I started to believe that less could be more.
  I no longer have to spend time figuring out ways to smooth over a hasty comment.  I can shrug and say "sorry, I don't have the answer".    Now I can simply ask "what do you think"?  Of course, the next step is to actually listen, and not react.  This was the most difficult for me, but as usual the idea with the most benefits.  I no longer spend three days making up for two minutes of bad behavior.  It's amazing how much calmer things were at home when I stopped 'biting heads off ', and 'jumping down everyone's throat'.  Now if I  just work on my facial expressions, my thoughts can be my own!
  These are my experiences, so take what you like and leave the rest...have a good week everyone....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on.....

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