Last day of “Staycation”, 425 days of loving more!
Dear Orange Rhinos,
We are lucky to have another honest, inspiring guest post. This writer has asked to stay anonymous and it goes without saying that I respect that! She is a married 35 year old working mother of two boys ages 6 and 2. She has been following the Orange Rhino page since last fall and actively trying to work on her progress since January. Many of you have asked me how to stop and catch myself. And that is why I love this post – here is how this mom does just that!
The Orange Rhino
I’ve been working on being a more patient person, especially with my boys. Not that I yell a lot (though when I do I instantly regret it.) More like I snap a lot or I am impatient a lot. I could be the snapping turtle or the impatient bunny or something. I’ve been doing great this last week or so. I’m determined to overcome my impatience. I’ve seen successful days and I know it is possible. I’ve learned that the airlines are right about one thing: You have to put on your oxygen mask before your kids. In other words, take care of yourself so you can take care of them.
All the trigger tracking I’ve done with this challenge have shown one thing. When I write down why I yelled, snapped, or used a mean tone, nearly every time it is something like I am hungry or I am tired or I don’t feel well or I am distracted with something else or I am feeling impatient. The common denominator in all those statements is “I”. The boys can do the same exact thing in two situations, and if I am well rested, not distracted or hungry I react calmly. If I am hungry/tired/stressed, I react impatiently. Nearly every time the boys are just acting age appropriately like the small boys they are. I am not acting age appropriately like the 35-year-old mom I am.
Someone needs to grow up here and it is not them.
I can’t rationally expect them to control their emotions and not throw temper tantrums when they watch me model temper tantrums to them. I know this, and it is improving.
I can see improvement.
I am noticing that when something happens that I would usually instantly snap “stop that” or “no”, I can pause for just a second to quick think. Why do I feel I need to say no? Is what they are doing dangerous? Are we getting ready to leave so we can’t get out more toys? Or am I saying “no” just as a habit and just because I don’t feel like dealing with the normal mess and noise that having young boys creates? Usually if I can make myself pause, I can make the right choice. Right now I just have to work on that pause button.
I need to focus on my relationship with my husband, too. He is patient and wonderful not only with the boys but with me. I don’t (usually) shout at him but I can be the most negative, demanding person at times (more times than I care to admit). Seriously I don’t know how (or sometimes why) he puts up with me. It is because he WILL put up with me at my worst behavior that he deserves my best behavior. Just because he CAN and WILL do it does not mean he SHOULD have to do it. So again I need to slow down my immediate reaction of saying the first (negative) thing that pops into my head and THINK first. Is what I am going to say appropriate for this situation? Is this something that a grown woman should be saying? Or does it sound like a whiny child?
I did not create this acronym but I find it is helpful.
Before you speak, press your pause button and think. Is what you are going to say?
I’ve been keeping track of my good times and bad times on a calendar. Each day is divided into 4 smaller squares. If I get through 1/4 of the day nicely, I color a small square, etc. The whole day and the whole large square is colored. Looking back at March so far, the majority of the days are 3/4 or fully colored. That is great! That shows I can do this; I can WIN. And when I win, my whole family wins.