I had a very bad parenting moment last night. Actually, make it several moments.
My oldest son decided that the washer was too full, halfway into the cycle, so he pulled all the laundry out and left it in a soaking wet pile on the floor, then headed out to the Nationals game.
I found $30 worth of junk food and trash underneath one of the kids’ beds…thanks to the hungry dogs!
My daughter forgot to text me when she got home from softball practice, but managed to text the majority of the 7th grade about the drama of the day.
I was tired, hungry, and—frankly—just hoping for some semblance of organization when I got home. No such luck—and I lost it!
I slammed doors, stomped around, yelled a lot, and said, “Whatever,” at least ten times! Real mature, huh?
I thought about avoiding everyone this morning before they went off to school. Let them skulk out the door and feel guilty all day for wrecking my night! Yeah! Power to the Parent!
No. Not the right choice. So I got up, made a cup of tea, and sat in the kitchen while everyone came downstairs, conveniently pretending like nothing happened. “Guys,” I said, “I’m sorry that I blew up last night. It was wrong. I don’t like the irresponsible behavior you chose to show me last night, and I want you to take your chores and responsibilities to this family more seriously.”
Blank stares…crickets chirping in the background…they had no clue what they had done wrong and no idea why I was so freaked out last night. They just knew last night that they needed to get out of the way before I starting throwing things or burning my own hair!
Great parenting work, Mom! Last night, when I encountered the laundry pile, the starving dog pack, and the 13-year-old texting aficionado, if I had taken some deep breaths, tackled each issue individually with each kid, and clearly defined my expectations, it would have turned out so, so differently.
But we can’t always be Super-Mom, ready with a calm but firm directive, dressed in heels and white designer slacks while skillfully serving homemade cookies and fresh milk purchased only hours earlier from the local organic grass-fed cow farmer!
We need to change our expectations—not of our kids, but of ourselves. That’s what I did.
Wanna learn how? Wanna really learn how to get your Parent Power back? Join our monthly parent consulting group. Bring the kids; share terrors, triumphs, and tears.
And don’t wear white designer slacks!
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