Your mind, what a terrible thing to waste. Do you remember that slogan? Well it brings to mind that I’m wasting my mind. I’m wasting it on negative thoughts throughout the day and that steals the joy of motherhood. So my challenge this month is to makeover my mind.
Let me set the stage for what happens almost everyday in my house. Different activities but similar outcomes. I get everything set up to make shaped sugar cookies with my twins. The boys start moving the chairs over to the counter before I’m ready for them. I start getting irritated. I get their aprons on, we pour in the ingredients and while they should be stirring, Lance is eating spoonfuls of the mix. My blood pressure goes up and Lance is ignoring my instructions. We have a good time rolling out the dough. The boys grab the cutters, start cutting over and over and messing up the dough. James starts eating the dough and I yell at the boys to no avail. I try to keep the “fun” experience going and it just gets worse. In a huff I set the boys down, take off their aprons and I announce that baking is done, not in a kind tone. Then under my breath I mumble that mommy will be finishing the cookies and making wonderful memories By Myself.
What went wrong here? It was my thoughts. What can I really expect out of 2yr old boys baking cookies? So to prevent things like this from becoming routine around my house I’ll be adjusting my mindset. I start the night before or sometimes in the morning, planning out the day. Not every detail, but the major things. During this time I will look at the activities and ask myself several questions. 1) What is the best case scenario? 2) What is the worst case scenario? 3)What is the earliest point that I’d be ok if the boys got to and bailed on the activity? 4) What are the long-term goals that this activity is teaching?
By having the answers in the back of my mind to the above questions before starting projects, I hope to alleviate the frustration of setting my mind on the “Hallmark Moments” where the kids pay attention, finish the activity and it looks good. I haven’t been focusing on perfection, good has been my goal. What does good look like? With the above questions in mind let’s take a look at the cookie scenario. Good would have been stopping when the boys quit listening to my instructions. The measuring of ingredients, mixing and rolling are all things that help my boys learn about cooking. I could have asked my boys to go play while mom finished up. Which is what happened anyways, but with me yelling and having a bad attitude. What a great memory that would have been if I had the right mindset; that would have been a “Hallmark Moment.” I loved the mixing and measuring and seeing the boys laugh as they stirred the mix and it became dough. It was even funny to hear Lance & James say “MmmmMmmm!” just like the Letter Factory, when they tasted the dough.
Knowing that December is full of crafts and special activities, this is the right time to adjust my mindset and appreciate the simple fun of doing things with the twins. In light of this, what are your expectations as a mom? I hope to see good things come from this month’s challenge!