Last weekend my husband, the kids and I spent a long weekend visiting family. We laughed, played, and relaxed. I can recall only twice in nearly 3 days that my kids had behavior issues. And they didn’t fight or tease each other at all. But as soon as we stepped foot in our own house, the shit hit the fan. It was like a switch had been flipped.
Does anyone else experience this phenomenon? Things run so smoothly when we are visiting someone, when we have guests, or even when the kids have friends over. My kids are helpful and polite. I even act better myself. I feel more relaxed, I’m proud of my kids and in mad love with my husband. But at home, with only our family, things change. My kids tease each other and fight. They turn into whiny babies who resist doing anything for themselves. I am grumpy and stressed and bitchy. I can’t wait for those rare moments when I can be alone.
This has been a mystery to me for years and I want to know how to change it. One of my two main goals for this year is to have a peaceful, serene home. I know the stress of running a home and child-rearing will never completely go away — but wait, see? Right there I called it stress. What do I have to do to embrace my domestic tasks? I want to enjoy cooking (I already enjoy cleaning), managing the house, the schooling and the social schedule, and raising my kids – not look at it like a chore!
So what can I do to make things more “like when other people are around?” It occurs to me that maybe I have more power than I think. Like the quote from Goethe says in my sidebar: “It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.”
It’s a challenging task to change your own thinking.
I’m going to start an experiment, and I suspect it might take me a few tries to get this right. I’m going to act as if we have house guests all the time. I’ll need to force myself to imagine my parents or in-laws are in the room. How would I want them to see me acting? Similarly, how would I want my kids to act when they grow up (see Mom In The Mirror)? And if I act this way – how will it affect the way the rest of my family feels and acts throughout the day?
Do you want to try this challenge with me? Let’s start with one week! Post on your blog and link up in our Discipline Project Community. We can share our results and next Friday we’ll post a follow-up.