“Mom”, “Mommmm…”, “Mommmmmmmmmmm…”!!
With the rise of Spring and fading April showers it’s a wonder this three lettered, one syllable word doesn’t cause bile to rise in your throat for how often it’s called out. The usual frequency is now increased given the anticipation of warmer weather and more outdoor socialization. Everyone who’s anyone starts the mass exodus from indoors to out, leaving behind the gray, cold winter and replacing it with anxious excitement for spring!
Kids especially tend to ratchet up to another level of emotion where anything they do is more energized and demanding. Walking to the bus become skips and dances in puddles. Discoveries of flowers poking out from a once frosted ground create squeals of delight. While sand and salt and gravel still smatter the streets, the bikes, skipping ropes, wheelie shoes, skateboards, and more now litter the driveway/garage. Through all this, their passionate abundance is tiring and so are the demands on Mommmmmmmm!
Often, we mom’s find ourselves in the middle of daily tasks and to do’s while being nagged, interrupted, distracted, or hounded for an answer, attention, or action. Most of the time, we drop everything in service of others and spring into action finding a resolution as best and as quickly as we can. However, when doing that without setting an expectation with ourselves or the significant others in our lives, we set ourselves up for losing a tremendous amount of time. Our time is important, and we typically, and unconsciously allow it to be sucked away from our day inadvertently.
What’s a mom to do? How to survive and thrive? Answer: Employ a 3-2-1 Switch!
3 – Spend 3 minutes of focused attention on whoever the demanding culprit is (family pet, husband, sister, wife, kids) no matter what. Engage, focus, smile, nod, fake it until you make it if you have to. Kick a ball, rub a back, apply a Bandaid and kiss boo boo’s better…. Spending 3 minutes doing this sets your own expectation and calms you down knowing this is a short term engagement instead of blowing up, snapping, or brushing them off.
2 – After 3 minutes is up – tell them you only have 2 more minutes before you have to go back to doing what you were doing and if they’d like to help you with it = by all means! (Most of the time, they generally start to lose interest and focus knowing you will be redirecting elsewhere and that they may also be involved in something they don’t want to do)!
1 – Identify the final minute by putting up your index finger. Sounds silly but a physical sign sends messages loud and clear (don’t confuse it with that middle finger) and they’ll know their demand on your time is nearing its end.
Now you can ‘switch’ back to what you were doing! 3-2-1 Switch!