Yesterday afternoon and evening was one of those that a mother dreams of. And, I’m being totally sincere here. It was one of those rare afternoons where apparently neither I nor my daughter were cranky or hormonal. We spoke to each other with respect and harmoniously accomplished a huge list of chores.
I got a glimpse of what a day could be. And I’d like another PLEASE!!
I’ve been thinking about it since she went to bed last night (very obediently during small group without a need for three re-tucks). What was the trick? What did I say or do that made it work? I’m still not sure I figured it out, but I have some ideas.
ONE – I wasn’t stressed about work when I picked her up. All summer long it’s been this insane balancing act to try and get my work done while schlepping her from one thing or another to keep her busy while I’m trying to work. The result was a stressed out mommy who didn’t think she was giving enough to either her job, kid, or husband. I was constantly tense and thinking about the next thing.
Yesterday, when I picked her up at the bus stop, I was focused only on her and getting our after school routine established. I’d accomplished a lot at work and had felt I’d put in a good day at the office, so it was time to wife and mom.
TWO – I’ve gone back to written lists for me and her. My husband and co-workers don’t understand my need to write on paper (lots and lots of paper), but I feel so much more in control when I actually write it down and then cross it off. And yes I will write something down just to cross it off if it wasn’t on the list to begin with.
I’d crossed a lot of my list yesterday. When we got home, she relaxed for a minute and then tackled the list I wrote out for her. I wasn’t having to be bossy so she wasn’t whining back at me. She just did the list and managed to fold two loads of towels, unload the dishwasher, and clean up her room with no complaints.
THREE – I ASKED for her help. When I needed her to help me clean the top of the mirror in the bathroom, I asked her to please come help me. I didn’t boss. I asked. And guess what? She was happy to do it. And then she asked for a dust rag to clean the top of the mirror and lights because “Mom, these are nasty up here.”
We don’t have as many cleaning tasks to do today, but we do have to get to a voice lesson and the grocery store. I’ve already made out her list, and it’s on the counter waiting for us to get home. I’m cranking through my list at work so that I feel like I’ve put in a good day.
I’m hoping and praying that I get another one just like yesterday…