How many times do we, as moms, heed our own advice. Whether it comes to helping a friend or passing on sage advice to our children, we often don’t practice what we preach. I think it’s time we turn that around, so I have been trying to make sure what I say to others, I follow through on as well. Here are some examples of how it’s going.
“You should share your toys, it’s the nice thing to do”
Preaching Purpose: To stop the yelling in my living room and teach my kids that being unselfish is a virtue worth practicing.
Practicing what I preach: Why would I share something that I am currently enjoying? Go get your own.
“You are choosing to feel that way, no one can make you feel that way”
Preaching Purpose: To help my kids take ownership of their emotions and be able to give emotions a name while processing them.
Practicing what I preach: When I chose to listen to my own advice on this one, it was very freeing. It allows me to recognize what I am feeling and trace it back to exactly why I am feeling that way and realize that I often created a narrative in my head that led to me feeling a certain way. Then I can recreate the narrative to help adjust how I feel. It is definitely a work in progress, but it has helped immensely with my mental health.
“Count to 10”
Preaching Purpose: To allow for the time when interacting with little brains that are learning to process. If you ask them a question and they are taking the time to think, even if you think they might have gotten distracted, don’t answer for them. Count to a slow 10 in your head, let them process, let them find their own words. If they are telling you a story about this amazing thing that happened to them earlier in the day and they can’t remember who it was that did the funniest thing on earth, even if it was YOU who did the thing, let them finish in their own time, don’t hurry them, don’t finish it for them. Let their voice be heard and valued, it will be worth it when they do.
Practicing what I preach: So I tried this one time and I can’t. Who’s got time to count to 10 when the phone is ringing, your 2-year-old is crying and your adorable 4-year-old is trying to tell you about the hilarious and life changing time he found a train under that couch, but he can’t remember what color the train was?
“Don’t keep score”
Preaching Purpose: For friends who have recently had children to help them see it isn’t a contest. It is a team game and you and your partner are on the same team. It’s you vs the baby and if you turn on each other that baby will win and no one wants that.
Practicing what I preach: This one was hard for me to swallow, at first, when I turned it around on myself. It’s so easy to think in your head, “I changed the last diaper, it’s your turn now. I made dinner last night, you do it today.” The problem is that it won’t be even. If you keep score, there will be a loser. Now I try to make sure if I am available to do something – dinner, diaper, trash duty – I do it because I am available not because it is my turn.
“You don’t NEED it, you WANT it”
Preaching Purpose: To separate basic necessities from luxuries.
Practicing what I preach: Aren’t luxuries also a basic necessity? I am fairly certain I NEED coffee.