Ok so what I am about to tell you is probably going to change your opinion about me and you may even want to throw stones at me, but please just hear me out.
I don't like dogs. And to go even one step further... I do not like animals. I could probably handle a pet rock, but anything else is out of my comfort zone. And if you know my family, then I am guessing you are asking yourself, "doesn't she have a dog?" Yes, yes I do. The things we do for our kids... which is kind of where I'm going with this post actually.
I'm sure you have heard the saying, "all work and no play." Do you ever feel like that as a parent, wife, or employee? I am a stay at home mom and my daughters are 4 and 2 years old. They are sweet and we have a lot of fun, but in this post I am wanting to talk about feeling appreciated.
For the past month, (while I've been away from the digital world) I have been trying to focus on being a better Christian, wife, and mother. I have been striving to be perfect in my tasks and just recently realized I can not be perfect and luckily stopped aiming for that bc I just kept failing. But I am trying to improve in who I am and what I do.
I love staying at home and not having to go to work. But just because I don't go to work, there is plenty of stuff to do around the house. It's very easy for me to fall into the trap of being lazy and watching movies all day as the laundry piles up and the dishes sit in the sink.
I decided to change my view of staying at home and prioritize a little bit.
1. I am at home to support my husband.
2. I am at home to raise my girls and teach them how to live Godly lives.
3. I am at home to take care of the house.
I am not at home to be lazy and avoid all responsibilities. I am not at home to be a hermit. I am not at home to check social media on my iGadgets all day.
I think I have taken advantage of my role as a Christian, wife, and mother and I was eager to make some changes. So some of those include: I deactivated my personal Facebook account (wow, where did all this extra time come from?!). I got rid of all my laundry baskets besides 1 so I would have no choice, but to stay up on the laundry and keep folding it. - it actually works! I took back over the 'job' from my husband of putting it away (my least favorite part).
I became a reader. I love Religion literature; I have finished 3 books, am about finished with 2 others, and just started 2.
I started drinking coffee - which has nothing to do with improving myself as a person, but is something new. It's a habit I need to stop already, but am loving the Starbucks Frappuccino's! I have started a new workout program to start training for a 1/2 marathon. I journal daily. I (try to) pray for my husband and kids daily and my friends and family. I am involved in a weekly Bible book study. I try to keep the house clean and picked up. I want my husband to come home to a nonchaotic environment. He works hard all day and I want to have things complete when he arrives. Oh, how could I have almost forgotten? I cook dinner 4 or 5 nights a week! WHOA! Yes, you read that right. The crock pot is my new best friend.
So as you can see, I am taking a lot of steps to become "Suzie homemaker".
However lately, I have been struggling with not feeling appreciated. I don't do any of the above things because I want to be praised about how amazingly, awesome I am. But it does help to hear it a little bit. My husband is so amazing. He knows my love language is "words of affirmation". He is so quick to notice a clean house or be grateful of me cooking dinner. I love to surprise him with an empty laundry basket and a full underwear drawer. :) He tells me daily how much he appreciates all that I do.
But what I have been struggling with is my kids not saying, "thank you, mommy!" and feeling appreciated by them. I know they are young, but I have been getting frustrated. How many times a day I get yelled at to "wipe my butt" or get this and that with barely a thanks in return is too much. My children are well behaved kids and I think they are good at using their manners when in public (I worry about Brayce in the nursery sometimes though. lol). But why aren't they using their manners and being polite to me?
I feel taken advantage of and that they expect me to wait on them hand and foot. I am their mommy; it is my responsibility to feed them, dress them, and clean them. But also one of my responsibilities is to teach them manners. So after blowing my top today, (don't worry I asked for forgiveness) I realized I needed to focus on teaching them manners again. Not just expecting them to do it on their own. An online friend once posted something about how she makes her daughter say, "Yes, mommy" with a smile on her face to help with her whining and being rude. I loved that and implemented it with Kairi the day I read it! It works so well, but for some reason we have gotten away from that and now they argue and don't do what they are told. Kai is developing a sassy attitude. Brayce gets away with too much with me with her cute little smile, but that girl is sure whiney! She is getting to the age that she knows what she is doing and doing it on purpose.
So OPERATION MANNERS is now in progress at our house. I figure my girls aren't going to learn to be grateful if I don't teach them how. I not only want them to appreciate me, but I want them to appreciate their daddy, their grandparents, teachers, and anyone else that serves them or takes care of them.
Kairi and Brayce, you mean the world to me, but I can not teach you that the world revolves around you. That is not fair to you, me, or your future husbands. Jesus Christ came to serve others and I do my best to do that for you, but I must also teach you to humble yourselves and serve others as well.
I try to never expect anything from anyone else and to always show gratitude. I am not perfect at it and usually have much better intetions at saying thank you then what I end up doing. I am working on my follow through! I am trying to teach my girls by the best way I know how - by example.
I think it is like this with all relationships. When we feel like we are giving, giving, giving and never get anything in return- hence, why I don't like dogs or animals- it is tiring, very tiring. Most people do not do nice things to be rewarded, but it is draining to give 100% and always get back 0. I'm sure like me you have had a friend that you are always the one asking how are you, what can I do for you, and being the shoulder to cry on, but then in your time of need... nothing!
Sometimes we just want to know that people care and that we are appreciated.
Like I said, words of affirmation fill me up!! So while I love wiping my kids' butts - ok not really, but while I do love taking care of them and being able to meet their every need. A little sign that they love me and a thank you goes a long way and it makes all the hard times totally doable and worth it.
What are you doing for the people in your life that you appreciate? A relative, friend, boss, coworker, teacher, preacher, waiter, stranger... Have you told them lately? Maybe a thank you card or a hug? Just saying THANK YOU is usually enough. I want to encourage you to let those people know how much you appreciate them!
It's been a month since I've posted a blog post so I am a little rusty. I hope you were able to stick with me through this and that I wasn't too all over the place. I've got to get back in the swing of things. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate you readers, because without you I am just a crazy lady talking to herself! (Instead I'm just a crazy lady with a few readers!)
Does anyone else struggle with this feeling of being unappreciated as a wife or mother? Please tell me I am not alone!! Any tips or suggestions on what works for you and your family - to ensure manners or to let others know you appreciate them? What are the ways you like to be thanked?