How To Talk So You Will Listen

mom life mom guiltIt’s been a long day. The house is a mess. You just spilled your diet coke. You walk by the mirror to catch your reflection. You look tired and disheveled. Is that chocolate in your hair? You smell it. Nope, not chocolate. That’s poop. Gross. Your heart sinks.

It’s 5 o’clock, you have no clue what to have for dinner. It’s silly, but you can’t bare the thought of cooking. Should you order pizza? No, pizza four nights in a row is unacceptable. You berate yourself for considering it. You grow more upset as you reason through your emotions.

Mom-guilt creeps in as you find your thoughts mirroring conversations with Junior when he refused to share with his sister. At the time, you thought you were being helpful. But now you don’t know. How To Talk So Your Little Kid Will Listen warned you not to say these to your kid. So why are you saying them to yourself now?

Insults:

You are so lazy.

Yelling:

Damnit, get in the kitchen NOW and cook dinner. You startle yourself. You hope the kids didn’t hear that. They probably can’t hear your thoughts, but that one was really loud. You ask if they heard anything, just to be sure.

Blame:

This is your fault for not planning ahead. You never want to make dinner.

Advice:

You really need to start making a weekly dinner menu. If you had planned ahead you wouldn’t be in this situation.

Questions:

Ugh, why didn’t you just thaw chicken this morning? What’s so hard about thawing chicken?

Scolding/Denial of feelings:

This is crazy. Making dinner isn’t so bad.  You can even thaw something in the microwave. It’s super easy. C’mon, you love cooking. Remember, you have a Pinterest page devoted to cooking.

Comparisons:

Your friend Melissa has a Pinterest page for cooking, too. You bet Melissa always has home cooked meals. God, she is so perfect. She has probably never had poop in her hair, either. Or chocolate.

Lecturing:

Enough feeling sorry for yourself. Of course Melissa has had poop in her hair.

Being a mom isn’t easy. Was it easy for your husband to go to work today? No, but he did. Eating out is expensive. We have eaten out twice this week. The neighbors must think you are running a drug ring. No one orders food that often. If you want Junior to have any friends, you can’t have the neighbors thinking you are a drug lord.

Distracting:

Stop it. Just, look at that bird outside. Look at the bird. Look at it, look at it…. looooooook. Nope, still don’t want to cook dinner.

In a single moment, your thoughts halt. You just spent the last 5 minutes beating yourself up, and literally none of it helped. Those techniques don’t work on your kids, and they don’t work on you either. You take a deep breath, and say out loud. “I really don’t feel like cooking tonight.

And just like that, your husband swoops in. A knight in shining armor. He hugs you. “I know. Cooking sucks, right? I wish we could hire a private chef.” You swoon. Why couldn’t you let yourself think that?

Your private chef would be called Frank. He would make crab stuffed lobster tail for dinner. The kids would eat it all. Frank would do the dishes. You snap back to reality. 

“Cooking does suck!” you yell. Suddenly you feel relief. You feel validated.

Spirits lifted, you run up to Junior and tickle him. “Mama doesn’t feel like cooking today!” He offers to help you cook chicken. And you agree to let him, right after you get this poop out of your hair…

6 thoughts

  1. I love this post! It’s funny and I can totally relate. I’m like this most days, especially with cooking. And I hate when I forget to take out meat from the freezer in the morning so it can thaw. I usually end up making very rushed meals lol.

    Like

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