It seemed like a good time to make some non-new years resolutions (like my more aptly-timed ones)
1) Breath more. I'm going to carry this one over from last time. It is easy with kids around to feel like everything is urgent. But it is only urgent to kids because they don't really have a strong grasp of the concept of time (beyond the basics of "now"). Fortunately, I do (I just have to remind myself of this from time to time). Because the kids need someone to be calm in those situations. And they need me to manage my strong emotions so they can learn to manage their even stronger emotions. And maybe that means Mommy needs a time out every now and then? I can show them how to use a time out, not as a punishment and a time to be isolated, but as a tool and a chance to calm down and get control.
2) Observe more. When I take those Mommy time outs, I'm going to try really hard to imagine the world (and their mom) from their perspective. Like I learned during Hannah's cooking lesson, kids are usually doing the best they can with what they've got. They generally want to please you, not piss you off. So when they do piss you off, that (generally) was not their intent. They need your help, not your overreactions. They need boundaries and tools and patience, not punishments or anger.
3) Chose my words carefully. Instead of saying, "good job!" I'll say "you did it!" (or another descriptive as opposed to evaluative phrase). Instead of saying, "you're okay!" I'll say, "you're sad/hurt/upset?" (or another word or phrase that validates instead of invalidates their emotional experience). And while I'm at it, I'll try really hard (somehow...) to chose my tone more carefully.