Ok guys, it’s been about a week now since my 5 rings arrived (check out these metal options and colorful silicon rings if you’d like to build a set of your own) – time for an update. (Before getting to that, if you’d like some background on this challenge go here for why we’re doing this.)
First, and probably most importantly, I’m still at it!
One of the scariest things about committing (quite publicly) to doing something outside of your comfort zone is wondering if you can actually follow through. So one of the best outcomes of this experiment so far is that it allows me to feel a little pride in myself each day for once again taking real action towards becoming a better parent.
That. is. BIG.
Here are a few other things I’ve noted since starting this journey:
The rings are a great way to start my day
As I slip one, two… all five rings on my finger each morning, the physical sensation of the metal on my skin immediately puts me in the right mental place to greet the kids. The big kids still get up before me so I don’t always know what I’ll be walking into once I open my door to get baby M.
Sometimes it’s a couple of dressed kids quietly working on LEGOs (love those days!) and sometimes it’s a pair of maniacs wrestling each other to the ground wearing one sock each and covered in yogurt from a breakfast gone awry.
Having already briefly meditated on my goal of becoming a calmer Mama (just by putting on the rings) really helps me keep my cool on these days.
The rings keep me accountable
Well, yeah – that’s the whole point right? Right. But the rings don’t just keep me accountable to myself, they keep me accountable to anyone who knows what they’re all about; my kids, my husband, my friends.
At first, this kinda freaked me out, what will people think when they see me and I only have one or two rings left on my right hand? Instead of judgement, though, I’ve found support and words of encouragement.
It makes me feel less alone, less like a screw up. People have been there. People get it. And my kids? I like to think that every time they look at my rings they’re reminded of how much I love them and how hard I’m working for them.
The rings can be a bitch
I admit it. In that moment, frustrated as all hell that the kids aren’t listening AGAIN and feeling quite wronged and superior in my role as the omnipotent parent, I have thought it, Nope, na-uh, I am NOT moving these rings. Yes I’m yelling/lecturing/ranting/etc. but I AM RIGHT.
Then the moment passes and 10 minutes later I look down at my hand and admit to myself that I even if I was in the right, I could have handled it better – and over a ring goes from the left hand to the right.
The rings can lead to action
I read recently that work by John Gottman has found one damaging act by a parent towards a child (yelling, etc.) can be repaired by five acts of love. (I would love to link to where I read this but now I can’t find it so if anyone knows please give me a shout!)
So I’ve been using the free printable I made for our post, How to Give Your Child P.R.I.D.E. to try to help me make amends for every ring that ends up on my left hand. It’s been a very straight-forward, yet powerful, way for me to end up in the black with my kids each day.
So that’s where I’m at with the #5RingstoStopYelling challenge.
I’d love to hear from you guys!! Have you built a set of rings yet? How are you doing?
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