And together we learn

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Somewhere between stimulus and response

I'm realizing more and more that this mothering thing all comes down to attitude. My attitude. It's all about CHOOSING which attitude you will have. I think it's Covey who talks about the space between a stimulus and a response where you can choose which action to take. I know that this isn't really a profound concept, but tonight I got it.

Steve left, and was stressed out and grumpy getting to the airport. I, in turn, was stressed out and grumpy once home from the airport. Calvin napped for about 20 minutes all day, I didn't feel well, and the girls were being needy and whiny. Bad bad bad all around. So I put Calvin down for yet another attempt at a nap, and I felt drawn to the piano. NOTE: at this point I had company coming in an hour, and the house was a Big time. So playing the piano was NOT on the to-do list. But I felt drawn to it, and I began to play.

I played Abide with Me, How Great Thou Art, Love at Home, Families can be Together Forever. Hymns about Christ and about home. And as I played my heart felt soothed and salved. Calvin started to fuss at that point. Again. As I got up to get him the old irritation returned, but I made a concious decision to react with love and patience. And as I did, the love that I was trying to show was multiplied a hundred times, and I was flooded with peace.

From that moment on, the afternoon was bliss. The kids worked so hard, and we got the house shining in just a few moments. They both have such different needs, when it comes to motivation. Hazel loves praise, and would ask over and over, "Now what can I do", just to hear me say, "Wow, that's music to my ears, darling!"

Chloe, on the other hand, lives in a fantasy pretend world. She likes to be Cinderella, and I am the wicked stepmother who orders her around. I hate trying to sound mean, but she gets so into her game and loves it.

So I was alternating between a sweet voice for Hazel, and wicked stepmother voice for Chloe, and it all got rather muddled for a while! But, the house was clean. Hazel even vacuumed AND mopped the kitchen. By herself. Incredible.

ANYWAY--back to my topic! The joy and harmony of the afternoon was the direct result of my choice to react with the spirit. That's what it ALL comes down to. If I have the spirit with me, there is love and joy in our home. Sure, they might still act up, but MY response is what dictates how bad things really get. And I KNOW this, but sometimes still want to wallow in my grumpiness. It takes a bit of effort to get to that point, but once you're there, such joy!

The three of my sweet babies were in the tub, and I was singing to them. Three shining, rosy, happy faces turned up to me, three sets of huge brown eyes, and three wriggly, wet, chubby bodies. I am so blessed.

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4 comment(s):

I so agree with you - you can (usually) make a choice on how you behave, or react to things that might be stressful. It's so hard to do it for that first split second - but then it becomes so much easier.

I've always thought that if I pretend I am in a fabulous mood others react more positively and then best of all, I sometimes fool myself into a good mood after not too long.

By Blogger theotherbear, at 10:43 PM  

Good post Becca. Indeed it's all in the attitude. Your babies are so sweet. Loved the pics.

By Blogger Mrs. Darling, at 8:30 AM  

Good for you for remembering to "Be still, and know that I am God" during your time of stress. Taking the focus off of our troubles, and getting it back on Him where it belongs, will give us peace every time. Your kids definitely reaped the benefit of the choice you made, and in the end, so did you. Great job!!

By Blogger 5KidMom, at 1:56 PM  

That's what it's all about - truly finding the blessings in each crazy, loud, hectic day! I LOVED this post!!


By Blogger Dy, at 1:33 AM  

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