While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt

Friday, September 25, 2009

Good Habits = Good Change

Okay so we've gone a long time where we've not been in the habit of reading scriptures as a family. Well, I up and changed that this week. I think it was a shock to even my husband too. Sunday after dinner I asked everyone to clear the table and that they were to go and grab their copy of the Book of Mormon. And the stipulation was that we read at the kitchen table. We've tried at the couch in the living room before, and I just got a bunch of whining and moaning, and lots of "Why do we have to's?" and " I don't want to's". Well, so far this week I haven't heard a single whine about getting scriptures out and reading them. Although, we didn't actually start at the beginning either. We picked it up at 2nd Nephi. And everyone is involved, whether they can read or not. If they can't read, we read aloud what the verse says and then we go onto the next person. We go around our table and take turns that way.

I've noticed a great difference, if not in them, at least me. I'm finding myself wanting to make things better around my home, and trying not to be so uptight about the millionth mess that I've got to clean up, or the fact that all the pillow cushions from the sofa and love seat are all over the living room, and that piles of "extra" junk have been dumped all over the main rooms I'm trying to get clean. Well, the weekend is coming and the kids will be home, so I think before movie night tomorrow, they'll have to clean up the living room floor and help fold clothes before they can watch a movie. I'm trying to find ways to be more productive, and be more spiritual.

It's been really hard recently for me to keep the faith, as it has been said. But I'm trying to rely on the strength that comes from my Heavenly Father as I put my trust in him, rather than that of myself. I have "goals" that I strive for, and I have "ideals" of how I'd like things to preferably be, but in reality, I often fall way short of that finish line.

I think the big LIGHT came on when my Thomas my four year old, asked me why I get mad when it's bedtime. OOOHhhh. Hello. Wake up call. I've been thinking on it, and trying to give a legitimate reason why I get so upset and sometimes loud when it comes that time of the day. But really, it' me loosing control of my emotions. I have to sit back, and have more patience. Something I've struggled with a lot in the years since I've had children that can walk and talk.

So my next thought process has been, what's the big difference between having more patience, and being lazy. Okay maybe lazy isn't the right word, but I can't figure out what is. My kids have a habit of not wanting to do what I ask the first time. So I ask again, and they still don't do anything. Ah ha here's where the frustration starts.

A) I've had a long day already. I'm exhausted and tired.

B) I want some ME time, and unwind. And would like a few minutes of adult time with my husband and not have constant interruption from the kids.

C) I'm impatient to just sit around and wait for them to get to what I asked, like brushing their teeth and getting their pj's on. It's so much easier to not care, and just let them run around like wild apes and monkey's till they drop of sure exhaustion than it is to stick to a task at bedtime and make sure they follow through.

D) I'm realizing I don't have a good discipline system in place. I swear things would be so much easier if everything was laid out in black and white and said exactly how everything should work and how to handle each child who might come along and disrupt your perfect system.

And to go along with the whole bedtime theme here, I love what my kids like to say to me either when they need to go to bed, or when it's time to get up.

  • But I'm not tired, followed by " You didn't let us sleep enough this morning"
  • They're keeping me awake followed by " I'm tired mom, I don't want to get up"
  • Mom, I'm having a good dream, why did you have to wake me up ?
  • It's too early to go to sleep, I don't want to go to sleep yet.
  • Why do you wake us up so early, (this comes only when I've tried for a half hour, and in 15 minutes we have to leave for school) ** They are crazy I tell you!!!

It's hard having three girls in the same room, and trying to get them to all fall asleep as soon as they should. But then I've also realized that they are the best of friends and they are talking, and laughing and building a relationship with each other that will span the rest of their lives. I also realize too, that one day (I'm sure it'll come faster than I want it to) that they'll be bigger girls and will be able to fall asleep on cue, and they won't be giving me the constant excuses anymore, and I'll miss the one on one interactions that will sometimes happen with one of them.

It's been amazing to really see the changes in my attitude. Granted I'm NOT perfect, but it has and will always be my goal to become so. But over time, I think that great things will come, as long as I just keep in mind and remember to have faith, and cherish the moments with my kids. Sometimes I'm selfish but HEY, I think I'm entitled once in a while for my sanity's sake and theirs.

I've gone too many months and even years without getting this habit established within our family, and the times where we have read the scriptures there always seemed to be more harmony in our home, and the times where we haven't well, my house is living proof, of what takes over. CHAOS!!! So out with old, and in with the new. It's a habit I hope to further develop and never stop again.

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