I gathered up some random thoughts, and we shared ideas about various subject areas, which I will, in turn, share with you here.
Be Cheerful. Not Cheerless.
-to what you sound like to your child. Are our responses loving, cheerful, sensitive, matter of fact, even? Or is everything we say kind of irritable? Edgy? Terse. Distant or distracted? Profoundly miserable.
-to what sets you off, puts in a sour mood, makes you abrasive. Here is a short list. Low blood sugar, sibling squabbling, hormones, disorder in the home, personality clashing with a child and the mother of all motherhood problems, exhaustion.
-to how others speak to you. Most of us really appreciate the person who is usually kind, gentle, encouraging, warm. We like those people. We want to emulate them. On the other hand, we don’t like the terse, critical, dispassionate, perpetually frustrated tone we so frequently hear around us.
Be attentive to what tone you are using with your children. Is it just a bad habit, or actual irritation? For me, I have gone through many cycles of just talking in an irritated tone when I am not even irritated. I just forget how to speak kindly. Then I have to start all over.
Maintaining these ideals is actually quite tough. Simple, but not easy. The good news is, there are things we can do to minimize irritability! It’s true! Praying is always a good idea. Miracles happen every day, you never know when your day will come. Finding a time and space to pray, even for a couple of short minutes, even if you have to lock yourself in the bathroom is a great thing to do. Reflect on something uplifting just for a moment before you pray.
My most recent quote that I love is, Let Christ be victorious in you. Isn’t that beautiful? I read that a couple of weeks ago in Quo Vadis.
LET CHRIST BE VICTORIOUS IN YOU. Post that everywhere. Or anything that reminds you of the scope and purpose of your life. Another quote that got me through many a day is by Saint Philip Neri. Paradise was not made for cowards.
Then, after you have reflected for just a moment on some inspirational thought, get down on your knees and beg, sister. Beg. BEG.
You heard me.
Beg for the courage, stamina and will to be all the mama you want to be. Every Single Day. Can’t say enough about begging. Beg for your very specific intentions, such as your marriage, your spouse, for fortitude in your journey, the particular needs of your children and your response to them. And for patience. Don’t forget to beg for patience, kindness and cheerfulness. And patience.
It is really important to know who you are, what you are, what your goals are and what you want for your family. Developing a family philosophy or mission statement is a great tool for defining this with your spouse, and also for discerning family decisions.
I will post some thoughts on developing such a statement in the next couple of days.
Order is vital, in my humble opinion, for joyful family living. Disorder leads to chaos and confusion and wasting of time and hardly any of us are happy or enjoy life when we have chaos, confusion and wasting of time.
So at the end of our get together, I made a little proposal. For the next couple of weeks, we mamas are all going to try to be more attentive to our tones of voices. Tone. TONE. TONE. Tone. Tone, tone, tone…
Let’s keep it friendly, cheerful, joyous, interested. Let’s practice…let’s see what it feels like to be nice.
It feels great to be NICE.
Hey, Nice – we should get together more often.