Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Ask Janae" Column

 Ask Janae Column #1 (written for Pink Moss, thought Help Me Grow Readers may enjoy..)

SO, I am so excited to dive into some harder mommy subjects we all go through.  It's a way I can share advice without divulging too much about a certain someone, whomever that may be.

I am assuming that on my "Ask Janae Column" days, I will be long winded.  SO if it is too much for you, just check back on another day for a shorter post.  But today, I am going to dig in.  I am going to lend whatever words of encouragement and experience that I can.  Remember, I am no pro, but I have been through different things that may help me to answer your questions.  Take it for what it is, just a friends advice.  YOU are the only one that will know if what I say can help you.  I am a firm believer in personal revelation.  YOU know who YOU are and YOUR situation.  You are welcome to throw my
2 cents into your equation, but that is all that it is....

2 cents.
I keep the person that sent me the letter private, unless they ask me to share their name.

Dear Janae....,  (question and response posted on October 26th, 2011)
Here is my question. 

I find myself loosing patience with my boys (2 yrs old/6 years old) too often and too quickly, I find myself yelling more than I should. I know that I would never hurt my kids, I just feel like I owe them more understanding and patience. What are some ways you've found to deal with times when your patience is thin and all you want to do is scream? I've never been one of those mom's who gingerly say 'Now Honey, please stop running through the house destroying everything.' in a whisper. Or, please stop throwing a fit and screaming. 


My sister took a parenting class through her ward where they talked about what not to do...I feel like that's all I do...the wrong thing. 

Tell me your secret!

Thanks :) P.S. Does it count that my 6 yr old is cuddling to my side while I type??
 Dear "short patient-ed friend :)"
Believe me, I have felt the same way you have.  All moms experience frustration with their lack of patience!  The amount of patience it takes to deal with little kids day in and day out is exhausting.  Not only are we expected to walk around as mothers with smiles on our faces like nothing gets to us, we are expected to keep the house clean while we do it, help with homework, make something edible, answer phone calls, drive everywhere like a taxi man, wipe butts...noses....teeth...and hands, get dressed without the house falling apart, read them books...you get the point.  
If we could just play with the kids, it would be a lot easier to have patience.  This is the category I put babysitters in, or their dad for that matter.  They have the kids for a relatively short period of time, and it is just plain more fun.  I remember once when I was gone for the weekend, and when I returned the kids were all SO excited to show me that they had actually made it to the bottom of the laundry trough.  {I say trough because I do actually have a cow trough in the laundry room and it's always full.} Like this one below, but with dirty underwear, not plants...


"mommy mommy LOOOOK!  Cayleen *the babysitter* washed all of the laundry!! We NEVER make it all the way to the bottom, like EVER, and we helped!!"
I cheered happily for them *for just a moment* and the second they were out of ear shot I mumbled under my breath "Ohhh, I'm SO proud of you...lazy kids!  That must have been REAL hard keeping on top of the laundry for 3 whole days!"....

I realized I was jealous.  
The kids had a great weekend full of fun and crafts and a patient caretaker AND got all the laundry done.  But that's just it.  Everything is more fun when it isn't the norm.  So I sucked up my pride and gave Cayleen a hug and told her thank you. I remember being the nanny, and it wasn't her fault that I was a frustrated ol' housewife! 

How did I get on this tangent...wow...maybe this is why we don't ask Janae questions!!
Anyway,

oh yes, patience.
These are some ways that I have learned to be patient over the years with lots of young children around.  First realize that having two young children that can't do anything for themselves is just as hard to me as having 7 that are a little bit older.  I remember feeling crazy when I had 3 little ones. They can't reason very well yet, and it is a very physical job (especially with boys!  Girls are harder emotionally from about age 10-14) As the kids get older, it is more mental exhaustion.  So you are not alone!  First realize that with motherhood, there is going to be some chaos...hopefully organized chaos, but chaos just the same!  The sooner you accept that, the better.

1.  Write down your 10 ten things that make you happy.  It is so easy for a mother to loose sight of who she REALLY Is.  What makes you tick?  I know my top ten like the back of my hand.  A few are music, exercise, family, nature, ...you see.  When I am frustrated or need a "pick me up" I pull out my mental list and use it.  I turn on a favorite calming CD and drive the kids to the mountains *not to drop them off...most days anyway*.  Make your happy list and pull it out when you need a pick me up!

2.  I remember when I was a young, newly mommied mommy and I used the trick of pretending my parents were in the room.  My dad was a very patient man that always taught to parent out of decision and not anger.  When I wanted to kill my kids (mostly Kinley) because she was my first toddler and a hard one, I would imagine them by my side.  This helped me when I felt somewhat out of control.  Luckily I had great parents to model my behavior after.  If you didn't, think of someone that you respect and how they would deal with the situation.  If it works better, think of a the 5 o' clock news reporting on your parenting abilities...haha

3.  I learned a long time ago that if I yelled when I was frustrated, it just made everything worse.  I believe that if I can distract my little kids from doing something  that I don't want them to do, everything runs more smoothly.  Most of the time they aren't trying to be bad, they are just being kids.  If we look at them like they should understand like an adult would, it makes us angry.  Plain and simple...they don't understand.  They are learning what acceptable behavior is and our reactions is they choose differently.  If we teach it by yelling, that is what they model.  If they are buggin', try to shift gears with them, pick them up and set them on the stairs and walk away...or if it is really bad 
* I have been there* then just walk away.  If you can't leave them, pull out a magazine and sit down.  Believe me, they notice when you aren't putting energy into their freak outs!  Give your energy to the good things they do, not the bad.  Not that you don't have to deal with the bad, but give more attention when they come to look at the magazine with you, not yelling when they are yelling.


4.  This may sound too simple, and it may be... pray.  Take time in the morning and night to reflect.  What things set you off?  How could you change up the patterns that are triggering their bad behavior before it happens?  Handsome always has issues getting in his car seat, for whatever reason...for about a year now he will freak out when I put him in.  It drives me CRAZY because it is always when we need to get somewhere *which is always*.  The way I FINALLY found to stop this is by getting in the earlier so he can climb in his own seat.  This is all he wanted all along, and I am usually moving pretty quickly to get out of the door.  BUT the change has been worth it.  It stopped freak outs from going on for 20 minutes or so as I drove.  A pain? Yes.  Worth it?  Yes.

5.  Breathe....................... Seriously, I will count in my head sometimes before I blow!! Think before you yell..."is this something that I can teach without yelling?" Meaning, a lot of times what moms are saying is valid and need to be said, but don't need to be yelled.  The longer I have had little kids, the more I have learned what is worth getting upset and what isn't.  With my first two, it was all upsetting.  Think through your day and separate the issues that will cause long term problems, and ones that are like spilled milk.  Spilled milk wipes up/A kid running in the road is danger....kind of thing.  Decide which things are worth your energy and how you will respond ahead of time.  
*I know, easier said than done!*


I guess the things I have listed are more proactive then fixes for the moments  you are already loosing it.  I realized as I typed this morning that half of the battle is doing some decision making and skill building before you actually loose your cool.  But I get it, and there are some days I just want to scream!  When this happens,  I say scream!  I have been known to scream in a pillow before when I was so mad, and yes I have yelled at my kids.  I have also tuned up the radio really loud when we were driving so I could focus on the lyrics and not my kids antics!  There are many times I have run out the front door of the house, as soon as my husband walked in.  I put on those running shoes and ran and ran out that energy until eventually I had to turn around and run home.  {I always had less pent up energy on the way home.}  Also remember that it isn't a bad thing to feel mad or impatient.  We as mothers are human too!  Just do your best! If you are trying your best every day, that is enough.  One of the best lessons my mom ever taught me was whacking my butt with a wooden spoon.  Motherhood is hard, and there is no such thing as perfect!

Ah man, I could write for a book about this subject, I hope somehow I helped in some way with the hour I spent on this response.  Hang in there my friend!  And yes, it does matter that your child is laying by you as you type.  You care and you are trying, you asked me the question because you are doing your best!! Remember This is the quote you had on your google signature at the bottom of your email "~ It doesn't matter where you go in life, what you do or how much you have.  It's all about who you have beside you. ~  
I remind my kids all the time that someday they will get a chance to try and be a better parent than I am! 

And, as you mentioned in your email to me, my blog life can look as though I am perfect or handle everything perfectly.  Simply put, I don't.  I am just another mom trying my best.  Thanks for introducing yourself and the parts of my blog that mean something to you!

xoxo
Janae Moss, Pink Moss
"Dear Janae" Advice Column

If you have any comments or followup questions to my comments, feel free to ask! Also, if you have something to help answer this question...feel free to chime in!! 

(if you have a question for me, my email is SHMONAE@GMAIL.COM . Please leave your full name, email address, your question *possible title of post*, Your Dear Janae post with question included, what name I should use for you  i.e. 
"confused in Virginia" and a photo if you have one you want to share

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