August 8, 2013 by Katia
I have a bad habit of not planning ahead or preparing for things that overwhelm me. Whether I’m faced with a seemingly mundane menu decision or a major life change, I often do the mental equivalent of this:
And then I file the whole thing in a very deep drawer called “later” and obsessively shove the “later” items back whenever they raise their ugly amorphous heads.
When it’s finally later I usually deliver, but only after I’ve thoroughly stressed myself out.
OR I let 37 Year Old deliver and then a garden and a window I did not participate in happen.
I know that to some, maybe most, information is the key to a sense of control over reality. I get that. But for me learning what to expect when you’re expecting is a daunting task if there are 543 pages of different things I could expect. Go ahead pregnancy, surprise me!
I’ve ignorantly fumbled through pregnancy having my hand held by my obstetrician, the once a week email update from Baby Centre and by prenatal classes – which is to labour what The Bachelor is to a realistic description of a relationship. I’ve turned a blind eye to the need to emotionally prepare for my own immigration. When we bought a new house, I simply showed up. And it all worked out perfectly. So much so, in fact, that I became the poster girl for denial.
What is that principle in Eastern philosophy where you just flow with life and let it take you wherever it will? Is it Tao? If so then I’m a Taoist, by accident, of course. Life kept happening to me, repeatedly, and I reacted. Or not. Whatever. But then I discovered that while you may be able to Tao it up in certain cases, you most certainly can’t react your way through motherhood. Or, as I’ve learned, through marriage.
Last week I tweeted:
Thought about buying a marriage book, but I’m already reading “how to talk so kids will listen”.
— IAMTHEMILK (@KatiaDBE) July 30, 2013
The realization that I could apply the principles I was intending to use with 4 Year Old on 37 Year Old followed on the heels of a conversation I had with a girlfriend who was telling me she was applying “Happy Toddlers” to her husband.
Thrilled with the discovery, I’ve decided I had to share this with my readers.
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen – Effective Communication in Marriage
* When you feel all talked out leave a note – Faber and Mazlish note that when we feel we are not getting through to our kids and we’ve just about covered every conventional method, we could leave a note! Here’s one I left for 4 Year Old.
While the ones I leave 37 Year Old are not as colourful, in the traditional sense of the word, they are often just as effective.
* If you notice a recurring problem describe the situation instead of seeking or pointing out a culprit. Example: I see a wet towel on the floor. Example II: I see that the sofa has been pushed away from the window ledge again, leaving a gap big enough for 11 Month Old to fall through.
* If the situation is still not resolved say it with a word, one word, instead of a long naggy speech. Example: TOWEL!!!!!! Example II: AGAIN!!! (IAMTHEMILK’s note: this method is also great for the half of the couple who feels that she is not being listened to. Have you ever told your spouse that you’re going upstairs, because you need to pop into the baby’s room and check if the air conditioning is still on and to that your spouse replied “uhuh” and then asked you to go upstairs and check the air conditioning? Your dignity and marriage can be saved if next time you just chirp “upstairs” or “air conditioning”).
* Show the child a way to make amends/point out a way to be helpful – Remember that fight(s) when your spouse never acknowledged that anything had happened and it was business as usual as soon as you spoke to them?
Husbands Spouses are like children. You need to gently and affectionately lovingly point out a way to be helpful. Example: “You know what would be helpful? Food.”
See? Communicating with our spouse is not as impossible as it sometimes seems.
Now tell mommy about a time you’ve used a parenting book principle of your spouse.
Hmm. That must have made you feel…
(This is an example of effective listening. You’re welcome).
This post is a Finish the Sentence Friday post on the subject of “I have a bad habit of…”. Make sure to visit our wonderful hosts. When I grow up, I want to be them.
Kristi, woohoo, welcome! at Finding Ninee
Stephanie at Mommy, For Real
Janine at Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic
Dawn at Dawn’s Disaster
Well, did you use parenting stuff on your spouse?
On a totally non-related note, I have a recommendation. This is not a sponsored recommendation. I was approached by a website called Kiinzel and they told me about their services. They are a safe environment for parents in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) who want to sell and buy children stuff without using Kijiji or Craig’s List. I haven’t used them yet but the website looks very inviting and I love the idea of not posting my information out there on Craig’s List where anyone can see it. If you’re curious visit: http://www.kiinzel.com/.