Monday, July 6, 2009

"Yes" Mom Challenge: Day Seven

Rather than give an example of a "yes" from today--and there were a few!--I thought I would share a bit about the thoughts that have been rolling around in my head during the past several days.

Share my thoughts? Boring, I know. Stick with me.

The biggest thing that I believe I am being impacted with on this whole challenge is actually giving thought to my answers before I let them escape from my mouth. Conquering the selfishness is a pretty big one, too, don't get me wrong--but I believe that this area is just as hard, if not harder, for me than that one--simply because I am a focused, task-oriented person.

Proverbs has a lot to say on this topic:

Proverbs 15:28a: The heart of the righteous weighs its answers (emphasis added).

Proverbs 18: 13: He who answers before listening--that is his folly and his shame.

This is something that I coming to discover that I am severely guilty of.

A couple of days ago, Cameron came to me in the kitchen. I was focused--cleaning up after breakfast--and he asked me something small. So small, in fact, that I can not for the life of me remember what it even was that he asked me. All I remember was that, without even thinking about it, I immediately replied, "No."

A couple seconds later, it hit me. I stopped cleaning. I realized what I had just done.

I thought about what he just asked me (I truly think it was something as small as 'could I play with my cars on the counter?' I think that was it, anyway) and looked at him and said,

"Oh, buddy, I'm sorry. Mommy wasn't really listening to what you asked me. Yes, you can do that."

This wasn't a case of there being no good reason for him not to do whatever he was asking--I shut him down immediately because I didn't even give the question any real thought.

I am so guilty on this front as a mother.

I get so busy doing whatever it is that I am doing at that moment--cleaning up, folding laundry, running the vacuum, getting a meal together, writing up a grocery list....I could go on, and on, and on--that I just move into this mode where I am simply functioning.

I am able to function at all of the multi-tasking areas that I have going on--and do them all decently well--but it is a mode where, many times, I am just doing and not thinking.

Take Cameron in the kitchen for example. I was cleaning--focused on what I was doing.

Okay, I have to get this dishwasher unloaded so that I can get all the dirty dishes from breakfast off of the table and back in the dishwasher to be cleaned; I need to clean off the counters and the table so the kids can do their craft time; which reminds me, I need to write 'glue sticks' on the grocery list, because we are almost out of those; Oh, and we are low on milk and cheese...those need to go on there too; Got to take out that meat for dinner tonight, and shred the zucchini today so I can make bread tomorrow. "No, Cameron, not right now, buddy." I have to throw in the towels too, or else we won't have any for showers tonight.

Wait, did someone just ask me something?

It's this kind of thing that I'm talking about. My mind was so wrapped around the seven other things I was doing that poor Cameron got shoved to last place--and my children have no business being placed behind grocery lists and clean counters.

I answered before listening, and that was my shame.

I am learning that I need to make more of a conscious effort to listen, think, weigh my decision, and then respond.

For all the wonderful comments on 'how great' you may think I'm doing--thank you so very much. I appreciate your encouragement, I really, really do! But, well, here is a bit more of the reality of how far I still have to go.

But, I will sure be continuing to work really hard--for the rest of this challenge, and beyond.


Mary Ann said...

Devin, this post contained some really good points that extend even beyone the realm of 'mommy-ing'. As a daughter, sister, aunt, girlfriend (wife as of this coming saturday!), I find myself doing this same sort of thing to others all the time. Maybe it's not saying no to a request every time, but I often fail to put aside what I consider to be 'so important' to listen to others. It's a shame to me. Thanks for your transparency & insight; it's been an encouragement!

Julie said...

You're doing good Dev, and it's not easy to be so transparent as to expose flaws in our parenting. (Lord knows I'm terrible at that)

I SO know what you mean about just saying "no" because you're in auto-pilot. Been there, done that.

YOU are encouraging others, dear friend, with your determination to step out of the "no zone". Seriously. Ande and I took the kids to the park yesterday just because we could, and left a messy house and piles of laundry sitting...and the kids had a GREAT time playing and sharing snacks and just getting out of the house!

I know eventually my house will be clean again...but my kids will only be little for a short while.

Anonymous said...

you are so right. I do exactly the same thing as a Mum. I just automatically answer 'no'. AGAIN, you have challenged me. xo