Will Your Kids Remember You as Being A Happy Mom?

Oh the holidays - or in my family this year, the 'holler-days.' So, I obviously took a Christmas break, but not a break in the sense of a vacation break but more in I had to focus every last ounce of my energy into remaining calm while the fires of kid-dom engulfed my world. I told a friend the other day that I would take three months of summer vacation over the last two weeks at my house. I'm telling ya, my kids' heads exploded this year from the anxiety over Christmas. It was fascinatingly scary. Preston spent most of the time in tears over I don't know what. The other two kids went into hyper-bossy and controlling mode and sibling rivalry was at its peak. The most amazing aspect of all of this was how totally calm I stayed! Truly, it was something miraculous to behold. I was dog tired by the end of the day but the break didn't actually leave me broken. Wow, what a ride though.

I can confidently say that the month of December does turn kids into crazy people as once the month ended (and step-sis went home), Preston's super erratic emotions and behavior leveled-off and he has been a different kid. No more crazy outbursts, tears, or weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. This is at the least, thrilling. It's back to book reports and science experiments and meetings with psychologists and teacher check-ins at the end of the week. Sigh.

Alas, with the year starting off anew, I'm making plans to facilitate routine, consistency and more levity and opportunities for success in the home. This starts with the 'Me Makeover' that leads to the 'Happiness at Home' project. A good friend the other day asked me that if my kids in ten years were asked what their mother was like, would they remember her as being happy. This really gave me pause and led to the following silent questions asked by myself:

Q. Am I happy?
A. Yes.

Q. Would my kids describe me as happy?
A. Probably not.

Q. Why?
A. Because I am always busy cleaning, making dinner, running errands, and often tired, anxious and stressed. I make plans to do fun things, but meaningless stuff (mostly) often seems to get in the way or I run out of time or something comes up (and then we have to give Lecture #24 about being flexible and learning to adapt).

Q. Do I want my kids to remember me as being tired, anxious, stressed and flaky?
A. Duh.

Q. How do I change this?
A. Simple. Really. I am happy. I want my kids to SEE that and know it. The answer is, make a plan including what I'm going to do to implement said plan and follow through. Because I love myself and I love my family.

I told my kids last night that a plan without action will never take you anywhere. Well, I often know what I want to do but I don't develop a specific enough plan that allows me to accomplish my goals. Well, time to change. I've been taking time each day working on progress charts, identifying road blocks and even what I will say to myself in those tough moments to reach my goals. I really have to adopt a 'do-or-die' mentality to ensure that I follow-through (especially when I'm premenstrual and deep-cleansing). The other key is this:

There is no such thing as perfection, therefore work toward progression.

In starting with myself, I've kicked the New Year off with a 9-day cleanse. Did it last year and loved it and am excited to do it this year. I'm on day four and am already down four pounds - LOVE IT! HOWEVER, despite wanting to lose the extra pounds that inevitably show-up around the holidays, I firmly decided that this year it isn't going to be about the number on the scale. Since I started cleansing and lost my baby weight, I've felt amazing. I've come to love my body despite its flaws. That has hugely helped me on a daily basis allowing me to focus on other things in my life that I want to improve on like patience and staying calm when I feel my kids are going to drive me to drink (and I don't drink). I decided that on Hot Chocolate Night (more to come next week on that big plan) I get to participate - even if I make myself an Vanilla Almond mile steamer. When its Kneader's night, I will participate (if I want to). It really is about balance and moderation. I don't have to skip out on stuff! It's about finding what works and sticking with it. There is something to be said for being in a good place yourself before being able to help others around you.

The other big 'Me' kick-off is something I've been working-on for several months, but was re-inspired by a blog post I read the other day found on the following website about letting go, read it. Do it. It's a fabulous reminder for all parents:
Let it go.
What are some new New Year's Resolutions you've made this year? And no, I didn't repeat myself - I am wondering what new ideas you are bringing to the table and how you plan to follow-through.


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