I was lucky enough to grow up with two great examples of parents. My mom was always patient with us as kids and my dad is the KING of positivity. His favorite movie is Pollyanna. Never heard of it? It’s a 1960s Disney movie with Hayley Mills where this little girl teaches everyone to “play the glad game” no matter the circumstance. Whenever we had a negative attitude growing up my dad would remind us that things weren’t all that bad and that we needed to find the good in the situation. We needed to, “play the glad game.” My dad has all sorts of these sayings that he would recite to us whenever we needed an attitude adjustment. In fact, in my parents’ new house my mom has printed out all of his sayings and posted them on the walls of their gym. (I guess to encourage people to keep going when they are cursing that they have another 30 minutes of cardio, right? J)
Even now, when I feel like Liam is being a handful my dad will spin the situation to seem not so bad.
Me: “Oh Liam, why are you being so fussy?” Dad: “He’s not fussy, he’s just communicating.”
Me: “Oh Liam, why aren’t you taking a nap?” Dad: “Who would want to take a nap when there are so many fun things going on?”
Me: “Oh Liam, why did you get into that?” Dad: “He is just curious – lots of things to discover.”
This week I have been focusing on playing the “glad game” and honestly, I have noticed a difference. Not necessarily in Liam’s behavior, but in my reactions. I have found myself laughing at Liam instead of getting frustrated with him. I have found myself being more patient. I have looked for the teachable moments instead of just giving in to his demands because it is the easy thing to do. I am figuring out how to find joy in this next phase of motherhood.
I am also realizing the importance of my kids growing up with positive parents in a positive atmosphere. I need to be a good example of how to tackle challenges and how to make the best of situations. Life is hard some days! We have especially learned that this summer. It’s not always perfect, but there is power in a positive attitude and your outlook on life. I am reminded of that this week and will continue to challenge myself to be the kind of mom I want to be.