I don’t respond to the tone in my home. I set the tone in my home.
You know how women tend to process things verbally? Well, look at me go.
Sometimes setting a positive tone in my home is easy. It just means smiling when my son wakes up in the morning, and how hard is that, when he comes pattering out of his room with bed-head and bed-eyes, clutching his blankie and jonesing for a hug?
Sometimes it’s more of a struggle, like when the dishes are piled high and – just like always – I have no desire to break out the Dawn and the sponge (how I long for the day when we own a dishwasher).
And then there are Those Days. When the baby is screaming, the laundry is piled to the roof, you’ve got a headache, you need to run to the bank, your hair is greasy, your fuse is short.
Even on Those Days, I set the tone in my home. When I’m feeling grumpy, having another grump in the house doesn’t make me feel any better. But so often that’s just what I do; when I nurture my grumpiness, my son picks up on it and feeds it right back, only making me grumpier.
Moms have ample reason to be occasionally frustrated, and there’s no reason to hide the feeling. I think letting our children see our frustration, our weakness, can be a powerful thing. We’re not perfect, and we don’t want our children laboring under that delusion.
But that only applies when imperfections are handled gracefully. Walking around the house sighing and rolling your eyes only breeds disrespect and more complaining. Instead, we can let our children know we’re frustrated or tired in whatever direct or subtle way makes sense at the moment. Then we can shower our children (and anyone else within firing range) with love and grace – by choice – and in so doing demonstrate something incredibly valuable, for our lives and our children’s.
When a child sees a bad day handled with grace, it’s a positive, potent, faith-instilling event.
Plus, then Kiddo’s day gets better, which just makes Mom’s day that much better. Misery loves company, but so does cheerfulness.
… Do you see the power we moms have? I hope the thought makes your next One of Those Days a little smoother; I’m sure it will help me.