I recently read an awesome devotion from the book Hold You, Mommy written by Laurie Lovejoy Hilliard and Sharon Lovejoy Autry. It talked about the times as a mother that you feel like all you do is say "no" to your kids and everyone is in a crabby mood. It is a vicious cycle! When mom is frowning and stressed all day, so is everyone else in the family. It tends to rub off on the people around you. Believe me, I know! I do it all the time! At the end of the day, I ask myself sometimes, Did I say "yes" once to the girls today? The book describes this as a "basement day."
On the other end of the spectrum would be the "balcony day." These are the sort of days I would like to aim for! They are the days when you have patience with gum on the carpet (yes, happened this week), arguments about who gets to turn off the TV (happens daily), and questions like "Mommy, do you have a baby in your belly?" (happened today... no, I'm not pregnant). Balcony days are days when you stop saying "no" and start having a little fun with your kids. The laundry that needs to be folded can wait. Let them help with chores or make their lunch, even if it takes ten times longer and you end up with a mess. Take this time to lift them up and show them gentle guidance instead of bossily telling them what to do all day. Trust me, you will end up with better behaved, loving kids!
Well, I have been trying very hard to be a balcony mom lately. I admit I am not perfect, but at least I have a goal, right? One thing that I said "yes" to this week was breaking out the sidewalk paint. It has been hidden and forgotten in our laundry room for several months, possible a year. I have not wanted to mess with it to be honest. However, the other day, my girls had a blast in the driveway. We even had our neighbor out with us (I apologize for your messy child, neighbor!). At the end of the day, yes, I had a huge mess on my hands. They were covered head to toe. But, the joy they received from this moment of freedom was worth it!