Why We Don't Keep Up With The Jones'

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A recent Girls' Night Out was just the eye opener I needed to bring my attention to a small, but very annoying personal habit. I have a few groups of friends, and none of them really mix well (I am a Jill of many trades...). With each set of friends, I am a slightly different version of myself. On this particular night, I was out with my mommy friends. We like to talk about kids, home life and vent frustrations no one else could understand. When I left the house, I was feeling fine. I was grateful to have a husband that got off of work early and a house full of happy kids. But after a few hours of nitpicking and comparing families, I was on my way home ready to set things straight.

It wasn't until after I got home and heard myself saying the exact same sentence from one of my girlfriends rants that I realized I had a problem. I was allowing other people to set my expectations for me. And I was piling their expectations on top of my own and hurling them all at my husband and kids. From that moment on, I vowed to put their feelings and my relationship with them ahead of other peoples' opinions and standards.

I am still taking baby steps. It is hard to hold back from throwing a to-do list at my husband, Alpha, when I see him watching TV on his day off. Or letting my first grader, Aiden, play outside when he could be practicing his reading words. Some days Alpha does work around the house and Aiden does stay inside to practice his reading. And I find that they are a lot more cooperative and willing to do so when I am not nagging and yelling. By relinquishing just a little control and giving them more of a say not only makes them happier, it makes me happier too. So what if that stupid kitchen light still needs to be replaced and Aiden isn't running circles around the other kids in his class. It is a small sacrifice to make for a stronger family bond.


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