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Friday, February 25, 2011

Medicine to My Soul

I think J-Man may take after Superman and find solace and inspiration while in the shower. He often just stands there, not washing himself, while I wring my hands hoping the hot water doesn't run out. Last night, J-Man happened to be the first one in the shower, which meant there were four other little ones who would need hot water. After about five minutes, I went to check on him and noticed his back was the only thing wet. I reminded him to "hurry up" since everyone else still had to take showers. Five minutes later, I checked on him, and guess what? He still hadn't washed himself! I was a bit irritated, and said in a stern "mom voice," "J-Man! Hurry UP! There are FOUR OTHER PEOPLE who need to take showers!" and walked out of the bathroom. As soon as my foot got out the door, I realized I shouldn't have used that tone. I went back and forth in my mind on whether I needed to go back in and apologize. The "old" Shanti (before conscious parenting!) would have just left it at that. After all, I had already reminded him. I was justified in the way I spoke to him. But, the "new" Shanti thought, "How would I like it if somebody talked to me that way?" And I marched myself right back in there. I said, "J-Man, I'm sorry I used that tone with you. I should have asked you to hurry in a nicer way." To which he replied, "It's okay, mommy. It was my fault--I should have listened to you the first time!" And he was done with his shower in less than a minute. He came out, hugged me, and said, "Thank you for saying sorry." 

Medicine to my soul, I say. Medicine to my soul! 

Being honest with my kids, and letting them know I am working on myself has been such a blessing. I feel as though they are carrying the burden with me, and are much more likely to be on my team instead of feeling like they have to play defense. Had I not apologized, J-Man would have taken another 10 minutes to get out of the shower, we would have run out of hot water, I would have still been irritated, and he most likely would have had an "off" night. Instead, we had a moment of connection, which led to reading library books, snuggling on the couch, and baking chewy chocolate cookies together. I like Option B much better!


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