They say if you do something for two weeks straight it will form a new habit and become second nature. After a moving sermon at church on Sunday, I decided I needed to make a change.
For the last several months I’ve become increasingly grumpy with my kids. I’ve done little to cultivate learning in them, and I’ve snapped at them for things I’ve regretted.
The sermon was essentially to approach our daily lives with a “Mission state of mind.” Where even the most grueling of tasks are done with enthusiasm and pleasure because they are being done for the Lord.
While I may not be out on a mission, it is my mission to be a good example to my children and to teach them to be good Christians and good people. I have not been doing that job very well of late.
So what’s my new habit? First of all, I am setting my alarm for 6 AM every day. When I was working as a teacher and librarian I knew that I was not a morning person and needed some “warm up” time before facing my students. I was never able to “hit the ground running” and I don’t know why I’ve acted like I can as a parent. I’ve found that I tend to be much more grumpy when the kids (usually Lucas) wake me up before I want to be awake. Seeing as Lucas is a morning person, he and I were clashing like crazy. So even though I want to throw the alarm away when it goes off, I am reminding myself that if I do this every day for two weeks it will become easier. And I’m doing it for my kids and for myself.
I am also making it a point to work with the kids on the Reading the Easy Way curriculum I started with them back in October and fizzled out within weeks. I printed out everything for the entire 12 week program so that I no longer have the excuse of not having things printed. I’ve organized them in a binder so that all I have to do is pull things out as they are needed.
And I’m trying to be more hands on again. I’ve been bad about letting the kids entertain themselves the whole day instead of getting involved in their play. We’ve gone outside, played princesses, Candyland, and other games, and yesterday I sprayed shaving cream all over the bathtub and let them play. They had tons of fun and my bathtub got a little cleaner!
This is only Day 2 of my New Habit journey. By April 1st, I hope to report that we’re on the right path and that the clashing of our personalities has diminished. I love my children and the challenges they present, but I need to remember that I can only hope to face those challenges by first changing myself.