A Happy Mommy
The other night a regular routine turned into a particularly negative and adversarial process. It was bedtime, and my husband and I were ill prepared for the strategic warfare employed against us. It was exhausting, frustrating and just plain maddening. After about an hour and a half of ignoring, threatening, hand-wringing, and yes, sadly, a fair share of yelling – our three little opponents finally fell asleep. Hardly a lovely and sentimental nighttime scene. When we had finally won the battle and our kids were sleeping, we did not feel like celebrating our victory. Instead we sat for a few minutes sharing our disbelief at how badly our kids had behaved and how incredibly out of control they all were, etc.
Once we had vented our self-righteous criticisms of our 7, 4 and 2 year old children we felt slightly better. For about 2 seconds. Then we sat there together in an uncomfortable silence as truth and reason somehow managed to seep into our consciousness through the cracks in our carefully crafted shield of self-serving assessments.
Finally one of us said, "You realize they’re only reacting to the things we’re doing or not doing, right?" "Yes," said the other one. From there we began listing all the things we had gotten so lax in. When was the last time we’ve had a really quality FHE? When was the last time we had family scripture study? How consistent have we been with family prayer? When did we start yelling so much? When was the last time we enforced a rule?
These are all things we believe in and have successfully done throughout most of our kids’ lives. We never sat down and said "Let’s not do these things anymore, I just don’t see the value in them." I guess we just kind of forgot that if we don’t do it, nobody will.
The next day we sat our kids down and reminded them that we tuck them in once each night, after that if they needed to go to the bathroom they could without telling us and without being tucked in again. If they did choose to yell for us or get out of bed unnecessarily, they would go to bed earlier the next night. We tucked them in and of all the strange things -- they went right to sleep. What adorable and lovely children we have.
Perhaps you relate to some of or all of my saga. The reason I wrote about it is because it got me thinking about a statement I read several years ago. In a book by John Rosemond, I read something to the effect of "If you’re not enjoying parenting, you’re doing something wrong." I’m wondering whether or not you think his statement is true? For me it has always been true and helped me get back on track to being a happy mommy. What do you think?