My friend Diane has given me words that I repeat to myself all day long:
Who am I gonna be?
When my child spills AGAIN, I need to ask myself "Who am I gonna be right now?" The one who crushes their little heart or the one who simply helps them get a paper towel to wipe up the mess they made?
When I'm changing ANOTHER diaper (I have two in diapers...and one "in training") I need to remind myself: am I going to take advantage of this time on the changing table to look them in the eye and love them or will I complain because I am up to my elbows in diapers? (Admittedly, there are days when my cloth diaper idea isn't as appealing as it was at first...)
I ask myself this question so many times throughout the day. Too many times, I am the one who chooses the wrong option. I'm working on that. I WANT to be a better mommy, a nicer mommy. I'm working on that, too.
Another thing I ask myself each morning is a question my Auntie Donna ;-) posed to me. She told me that every morning, when we are getting dressed for the day, we need to ask "What am I going to say about myself today?"
I used to think that since I'm home and it's just me and the kids all day, why dress up? Most days I didn't even put on makeup. I did always shower, I will say that for myself. I only looked nice on days that someone from "the outside" might show up or if I was actually,really and truly, venturing out of the house.
So, as I am picking out my clothes for the day, I ask myself that question. I decided that my kids were worth looking nice for. Not to mention it's made those surprise visits from "the outside" much less panic inducing. I put on makeup, wear earrings, and I do my hair, every day. I need to do it, for myself as much as anything else.
I feel much better about myself when I am presenting a more "put together" picture and I think (ok, I know...) that my attitude permeates the household.
I'm no Donna Reed; I don't wear pearls while I scrub the toilet.
But I might put on a necklace and watch while my eight-year-old daughter does it...