Hello, One Tough Mother! Or should I say One Tough Mother-in-training? That is how I feel after reading chapters 3 and 4. You would think with 19 years on this parenting journey I would have the One Tough Mother thing down, RIGHT? Nope! But, I am working on it!
So, once again, grab your cup of coffee or other beverage of choice, and sit down and open up (you thought I was going to say shut up) your thoughts to us as we chat about this week’s reading.
Let’s dive right into Chapter 3 and Nonnegotiable #1: Be the Boss (without apology). Did you ever have one those same thoughts as Julie did during your before kid days: “How hard can it possibly be to be the mom?” “I will never ever yell, scream or use words on my children of UN kindness?” Me, too. As the saying goes, “We were all much better moms and parents during those BK (before kids) days.”
As we continue to read in this chapter, Julie shares about the various types of wigged-out moms. We have to become REAL with ourselves here and check off which one or two or maybe even three types of moms we might be living out in our mom journey.
Are you the Ambivalent mom? Can’t decide how to discipline or what to do?
Or are you the Oblivious Mom? Everyone around her sees it, hears it, and is ready to take action (if they were their kids, that is), but the mom seems to be oblivious to her child’s behavior.
How about are you the Not-going-to-tell-you again Mom? Using threats without any action or consequences. Do you think her (our) kids begin to think, “Then why are you telling (yelling at) me again? I though you already told me you were not-going-to–tell-me again?”
And last, are you the Terrorized by a Toddler (or two) Mom? Or maybe it could be terrorized by a teen mom? They have a way of terrorizing us, or should I say wearing us down.
During my mom journey I would have to say I have been the Not-going-to–tell-you again mom spewing threats at my children that I don’t plan on enforcing like, “If you don’t come right now I’m going to leave you here.” (Yeah, right, thinks my kid.) and many other threats, comments and words that I’m sure my kids thought, “Whatever,” as they continued to not listen to the “I’m not going to tell you again” mom spewing.
Then there have been the days I’ve been “terrorized by the toddler” mom, or today I call it “terrorized by the teenager” who is insistent that the more he or she asks, begs and pleads with me I will eventually wear down to giving in as I will just want to be rid of them.
This is when the One Tough Mother needs to arrive in my body and use words that I commit to acting upon like, “Go ask your Dad.” (kidding) In all seriousness, today in my Mom journey with 3 of my kids in the teen world I would have to say that I am learning daily to be One Tough Mother by not using useless threats and not letting my teenagers wear me down.
How about YOU? What mom are you? How are you allowing the One Tough Mother to take over in your body (mothering)?
As we continue in chapter 3, Julie shares the three areas we use to not be the boss or One Tough Mother.
We abdicate: not showing up
We delegate: leaving it up to someone else
We relegate: put off to different time, year, place or child.
Do we have to be honest here? Okay, I’ll go first. I have to say that at some point in my mom journey I have chosen all 3 of these options (not all at once).
How about you?
Are you beginning to feel a little bit down on your mothering about now?
I realize that I, as a mom, have been practicing many of these non-tough mother traits we have been reading about without even realizing it. So, I was glad to continue reading as Julie tells us about stepping up, and that I don’t have to continue doing tomorrow what I did today or yesterday (or 5 years ago). I can choose to step up, be the boss, and take back the throne that is rightfully MINE as the Mom.
But how, Julie, how? Whew, she did respond in her book with some useful tactics:
Speak truth. Let them know you are the boss.
Let God’s promises motivate you. Grab your Bible. There are great words of encouragement and wisdom to us as moms.
Shoot for consistent, informed and fair. Let my yes’s be yes and my no’s be no.
Say what you mean, and mean what you say. No more maybe later, we’ll see, or non-committal responses. Stop and really listen to your child’s question or request and give them decisive answers.
Are you realizing, like me, that being a full-time One Tough Mother doesn’t come easily, or even naturally, but if I step up and put to action these principles we have read in chapter 3, I am one step closer to being a One Tough Mother for my children.
Whew, that was a long, thought-provoking chapter for me. And, you are probably just about done drinking your cup of coffee or other beverage. So, here is what I think. Let’s allow these principles to sink into our heads and hearts this week and discuss Chapter 4 next week.
Before you go, be sure to think about what kind of wigged–out mom have you been? Remember, I’m the “not-going–to-tell–you–again” mom, as well as the “terrorized by a toddler (teenager)”.
Also, which principle are you going to put into action this week? I’m going to work on: Say what you mean, and mean what you say. So, watch out Novotny kids, One Tough Mother is on the loose.
Chat with you next week on Chapter 4.