Friday, August 3, 2007

Mean Mom

Due to my lack of doing something fun for myself and having the kids home 24/7, I have gotten a little cranky. The other day, I caught Ben riding on the back of his friend's bike without a helmet. Instead of saying "Ben, I want you to get down from the bike, please." I yelled, "BEN! GET OFF!" Later, Ben said, "Mom, why are you being mean today?"

Gulp.

I had been feeling it for a couple of days, that I needed some "me" time, but hadn't taken it yet. This was my sign.

Over a year ago, I had an in-depth temperament test done. It's titled the Arno Profile System. Mine was administered by a counselor, but I think you might be able to do the test on-line. Google it. It costs around $50, I think. All I can say is, it's well worth it. I received a good sized report on the three areas of my temperament, as well as recommendations for living with my temperament types. It's more than one of those little tests you take that tells you what animal you are, or if you are a choleric, etc. It is quite specific about your needs and in what situations you will be the least stressed in, to name a couple of things. It is extremely helpful in relationships, so you can know what the other person's deep needs are.

I'm telling you all this, because I found out from the test, that I become refreshed and renewed by having time alone. Too much socializing tends to drain my energy. Interesting, huh? I thought so. Of course, my husband is the complete opposite! HAHA! Now, that I know this about myself, I can be aware of how much alone time I am getting, in order to take care of my needs. Hence, I can be aware of my feelings, before I become "mean mom." The temperament test has been a wonderful tool in understanding my needs as well as my husband's. I even had it done on one of my kids. It gave me a sheet with parenting recommendations for that child! Cool!

I've been a good mom the last couple of days, as you saw in my previous posts, by making cards. Yesterday, I went to my favorite paper store, and bought a few things. Then, I came home and made a really awesome card, that I want to keep forever (I'll have to post a pic later). It took me a little while, but soon, I could feel myself decompressing and enjoying the creative process.

Today, I am much less cranky, more on top of my attitude and the way I'm saying things to the kids. Moms, we just work plain hard, don't we? I have found that, if I can't leave the house, there's nothing wrong with telling the kids I'm having a "mom day." I tell them I'm basically not to be bothered. I say I won't be watching them outside, so they'll have to find inside things to do. I've even given my kids consequences for bugging me (Ben's a big "bugger"). I do this, because most of my days are spent doing everything they want to do. Amidst the regular household chores, I sit outside to watch them ride bikes, put everything on hold to be their chauffer, respond to endless requests for food, supervise them in the pool, etc., etc., etc.,! So, I'm not going to feel guilty for not letting them do what they want for one day, once in awhile (they end up finding something fun to do anyway). They will live.

I told my son last night, "I'm sorry I was mean today. I'm cranky because I need to have some fun. You know, mommies need time to play sometimes, just like you do."

2 comments:

Chelle said...

Kudos to you Jodi! Good for you, taking time off for YOU! I think moms need that, often, and wish more would take some time for themselves.

Plus, not doing everything a kid wants to do shows them the world won't collapse if their every whim and desire isn't met. You are teaching them a lot by taking your "me time," and it's a valuable lesson.

Hope you are able to stretch out, relax, or do whatever you want. Whooopppee! :)

rochelle said...

Funny - I just wrote a post as well about how I need time alone. I'm a semi-introvert who wants to be an extrovert. I've always known this about myself, but I've been surprised at how much I want to be included and be part of the group, even though I want to be alone, too. Confused? Me, too. My task now is finding something that I can do as Me Time. Maybe I should join a gym. I can be alone, in a crowd, and maybe lose some weight! It's hard with kids. Especially the young ones.