a choice



Yesterday I picked up Evie from school at 3:00 and she immediately asked if she could play with her friend that lives across the street.  I told her that she could as soon as she finished her reading and her math.  She agreed and we walked inside, had a quick snack, and sat down to tackle the homework.  All she had to do was read to me for 25 minutes from her little chapter book and do a few quick math worksheets.  She could have easily been done by 4:00 and had lots of time to play with her friend.

Well, as you have probably guessed, things didn’t go quite that smoothly.  We sat on the couch for about 10 minutes while she whined about not wanting to read. When she finally did decide to read she was skipping words or adding words, reading way too fast and not really paying attention or putting in any effort when it came to a word she didn’t know.  She would stop to complain about how much she didn’t want to read.  She would lose her place and they get upset when she couldn’t find it.  I warned her that if she didn’t start trying we would have to read another chapter, to which she had a complete meltdown, crying and stomping off up to her room. By this time it was 4:00.  I let her be and 10 minutes later she came back down and sat by me, still crying uncontrollably and saying, “Mama! You are making me sad.  You are making it so I can’t play with my friend!  You are making me have a bad day.”  I gave her a hug and then I calmly corrected her.  I told her that I understood she was sad and that she really wanted to play with her friend, but it was because of her choices that it was not happening.  I wasn’t the one making it so that she couldn’t play with her friend, she was.  I told her that if she just put in the effort to read and do her math she could have been playing with her friend right that minute instead of crying on the couch.  It was a choice.  And it was her choice, not mine.  Then something seemed to click.  She pulled out her book and read the second chapter and finished her math without anymore complaining.  And even though the time was cut short, she still was able to play with her friend.

Isn’t it so easy to sometimes put the blame on others or a situation when it’s really our choice when we act the way we act or feel the way we feel?  Oh so many times where I do the same thing.

So today I choose:

…to not let this April winter snow storm turn me into a depressed hermit.

…to work out, instead of complaining about the few pounds I’ve gained.

…to not feel sorry for myself when someone doesn’t meet my expectations, maybe they don’t know that I have those expectations.

…to let some things go and not dwell.

…to realize that everyone is different and not everyone is just like me therefore not everyone will treat me like I would treat them, and that’s okay. Everyone has there own way of showing love.

…to be patient instead of yelling at my kids to put their shoes away and coats away and their toothbrushes away…and…  They are kids, Stacey.  Don’t expect them to act like adults.

…to not let my past dictate my future.

…to not sit and worry about things that are out of my control.

…to be honest when someone asks my opinion, instead of just saying “I don’t know” and then being upset when they do something I didn’t want. I never shared my opinion so they didn’t know.

…to get the laundry and cleaning done before Evie gets home from school, so I’m not blaming the laundry and cleaning and saying no when she wants me to sit on the couch with her after school.


Sometimes making that choice isn’t easy, but don’t you think it’s freeing when we recognize it?  Just like Evie finally did yesterday.  She choose to just read and do her math instead of sitting there crying.  This kid has to stop teaching me lessons, it’s wearing me out.  :)

Carla - I need to stop and think about these things. I’m pretty sure that Joe’s homework went into the recycling the other day because he had complained / whined / stalled / cried about doing it for a good half and hour (he could have done the entire thing in that time). I sent him to his room. I feel your pain about this homework business sometimes. I only really have this problem with one type of homework he brings home. It was more challenging homework to go with his reading since he does really well with reading. Not everyone gets this homework and during conferences his teacher said he didn’t have to do it anymore because of something else they are doing. I made the choice to have him keep doing it because he struggles with it and I think that’s the only way he is going to get better. I just didn’t realize I was going to struggle along with him. Thanks for sharing your story. You handled things much better than I did. :)

Andrea - You’re a really great mom Stacey! :-)

Liza - It’s so hard to stay calm in situations like these and that was a wise choice on your part, too. So glad the E got it!

michelle - Meh! I tried to stop my comment from posting so I could correctly spell your name. Sheesh. Sometimes my fingers just want to spell things the way they want. Sorry friend. I DO know how to spell your name. I blame the weather. ;)

michelle - That was some brilliant parenting, Stacie. Really. I love that she seemed to get it. And I remember early childhood being the time that my kids taught me SO many lessons about myself. It’s a great time for how much you all grow together but it is also so tiring. Keep on, keeping on, S. You are doing great. And yay for new workout pants that help inspire a workout!

Rebecca - I’m having deja vu. I swear I has this exact conversation with my daughter yesterday. So lovely Stacey. And a good reminder. I know I am bad at leaving comments, but I do love your images and your words so very much. XO

tracey - Crazy how much mental effort it takes to make good choices huh? I tend to gravitate towards the easy/lazy way out. Keep up the mental work out! And yay for letting our kids teach us the most important of life’s lessons.

Laura - Mmmhmm. Important lesson well taught. Hard for the little ones to comprehend sometimes that it’s NOT mama’s fault!! They will thank us one day for the tough love. :)

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