Monday, January 9, 2012

Mom Speak

Photo Courtesy of David Castillo Dominici
I spent hours scrubbing fingerprints off the ivory-colored walls of our rental home. I did hundreds of toe touches while picking Legos, Barbie shoes, Matchbox cars, and orange cushioning foam off the living room and bedroom floors. My hands pruned from the dishwater, and my back ached from moving heavy bins from one room to another as I packed for another move.

I was tired from a day's work. So when my daughter headed for her clean bedroom with a bowl of chips and a cup of juice, I found myself saying for the hundredth time this week, "You cannot eat outside of the kitchen. Food and drinks aren't allowed in your bedroom."

It dawned on me. Am I the only one saying these words each day? Each hour? Each minute? It's always nice to know I'm not alone in this life. How many of you can relate to repeating the following until you're blue in the face, winded, or you've discovered a hole in your child's head that runs from one ear to the other?

Here are some "Mom Speak" phrases I find myself saying too frequently:

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
"Stop yelling at each other over the video game. It's supposed to fun, not war."
"Our floor is not the trash can."
"If you don't bring your clothes to the laundry, how do you expect to have clean jeans?"
"Two wrongs don't make it right."
"Stop banging on the...(fill in the blank)."
"This isn't the playground!"
"I'm not your maid. I'm your mom."
"You don't need to eat the entire bag of chips in one sitting. If you do, you won't have any in your lunch for the rest of the week."
"Quit yelling. He's sitting right next to you."
"Quiet down. I've got a headache."
"If you don't start taking care of your toys, you won't be getting any more."

Any parenting expert will tell you consistency is key. If you're going to threaten something, make sure you can follow through with it. Set boundaries and discuss the consequences of disobedience.

Do any of you feel like you've done all you've been told to do, yet you still find week-old apple cores rotting in the corners of the boys' bedrooms? Your kids still fight over who's killing who in the video game before they have a chance to re-spawn? Are you tired of repeating yourself a hundred times a day?

Me, too. I just want you to know you're not alone in this world of mothering.

I'm considering buying one of those recordable megaphones the kids play with and putting those things I repeat on it. At least I'll get a laugh from them out of it. Or maybe I'll use that voice recorder app on my phone...

I can just hear God now. "How many times do I have to tell them...? What do they need? Fire and brimstone to get My point?"

When I think of how often I repeat myself each day, I can't help but consider how many times God has to tell me, an adult, His plan and purpose for my minute, hour, or day before I "get it." Am I truly listening to Him, or do I let His word for my day slide in one ear and out the other? Do I, like my children, get so busy with what I'm doing that I forget what He's called me to for the day?

What do you think? I'd love for you to share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading!


  1. Oh I know He gets tired of telling me the same things over and over. He's so patient with me!

    Thanks for the reminder. :-)

  2. Hi Alycia, I found your site from a retweet - how cool is that?? Love your site and your Pooh quote!

    I'm with you in that I wonder if God thinks His voice goes in one ear and out the other. But I've discovered something wonderful with my own kids (both in college now):

    Sometimes they repeat my words BACK to me.

    Ahh the joy of discovering it SUNK IN! Today I'll try to repeat some of God's words back to Him so He can know they sunk in :)

    Blessings to you. Looking forward to more posts!

  3. Great reminder Alycia! Of course, my kids obey the first time with joy in their little hearts...don't I wish. But God, even more so than we do, forgives us over and over. I, for one, am thankful He's more patient as a Father than I am as a mother!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts here at My Thoughtful Spot! I love hearing them!