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I'm Pam, and I'm glad you're here. I hope my thoughts on family, faith, and the flux of life help you laugh, fire you up or just make you think.

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mind games

Just a little ticked at mom
Sometimes I feel like my kids are out to make my life miserable. 

I know.  It’s a horrible thing to say, but when I’m self-absorbed, my thoughts get distorted and the Evil Mom tape starts playing in my mind.  I begin to believe my three charming children are doing everything they can to irritate, embarass, or distract me from the important things I need to do. 

Hopefully sooner than later, I remember that the most important thing I need to do is parent those children I love with all my heart (somewhere down deep in there).

For such moments, I’ve tucked away in my wee little brain some mantras to counter the Evil Mom impulse.  I hope you find them helpful too.

When Evil Mom thinks, “Why does (s)he do this to me?”  try thinking:

  • This isn’t about me.  This is about a child who needs . . . (attention?  food?  love?  discipline?)
  • This is normal for a _____ year old.   Toddlers throw tantrums.  Teens push buttons.   Some one-year olds bite.  Five-six year olds are “me” centered.  We still need to teach them what’s appropriate, but first we meet them where they are.
  • Mistakes are permitted here.  We must offer forgiveness for our children and for ourselves.  There may be consequences, but also grace.

When Evil Mom laments, “This is terrible!”  tell yourself:

  • This is perfect.   It’s a perfect time to try that new parenting technique.  It’s a perfect time to learn how to clean crayon off the wall, or what happens when you shoplift.   It’s a perfect time for my tween to learn about responsibility and consequences.  Better sooner than later, when the stakes get higher.

Finally, when Evil Mom worries, “What am I going to do?”  ask instead:

  • Who do I want to be right now?   I can be a criticizer–I do that well–or I can be a teacher.  I can be a crazy screaming lady (also quite talented), or I can be cool and collected.  I can be serious, funny, sarcastic, or silly.  Often who I choose to be matters more than what I do.  Take a moment to decide who you want to be before you swoop in to act.  It can make a powerful difference. 

Today, after wallowing in self for many days, I re-play the mantras that help me parent with love and put Evil Mom out of commission.  It works for me. 

Please visit Uncommon Parenting by Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller who inspired this post.  Also check out Rocks in My Dryer for other Works for Me Wednesday tips.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Tina Keller

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11 comments to mind games

  • I love this post. I fall into Evil Mom mode more than I care to admit. I love these ideas more than I can say. Thank you :)

    Heather of the EO’s last blog post..

  • I call my version of Evil Mom, Monster Mommy.

    LOVE your mantras!!

    Thank you.

    exhale. return to center.’s last blog post..barn chores in the winter

  • Satchel Pooch

    Nicely done. I’m not quite there yet, but if I squint I might be able to see it from here. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Oh, you’re bringing back memories. My kid is 23 now, but it wasn’t all that long ago when I was battling snarky comebacks and adolescent angst. I remember writing a humor column about the time my son (then 9 years old) said he wanted to send me to the Bad Mommy Camp. I wished there were such a thing as a “Bad Mommy Camp” — a place where moms could periodically get away from their kids.

    Seriously, though, I highly recommend spiritual retreats for moms when you need refueling. When we were younger moms, several of my church friends and I would rent space at a local Jesuit Retreat Center. They would cook simple meals for us, and we could have time to retreat together and re-center ourselves overnight. We always returned home feeling like we were better, more peaceful moms!

    Cindy L’s last blog post..Butterfly effect

  • pam

    Cindy, when I quit my “day job” several years ago, my eldest son begged me to go back to work so he could go to all day summer camps with his friends.
    I love the idea of a Bad Monster Mommy Camp where we can relax, play, regroup, encourage and inspire one another. For now, I call that the blogosphere.
    Thanks for the feedback!
    pam

  • Terrific post! I’m totally going to use these next time Evil Mom rears her ugly head!

    Thanks for your great comment on my post at the Bloggers Annex yesterday.

    charrette’s last blog post..I am 29. (Don’t laugh.)

  • Steph

    Thank you for this reminder, evil mom was here a moment this morning. Thanks for your encouragement today!

  • One of the more rewarding and challenging positions we hold is as a parent. Sometimes, we forget that we are human beings too and that we can be hurt by what our children say or do or the lack thereof at times. But when those moments happen, I remind myself that Christ has prepared me for this and that He ordained me to be my children’s mother. That means He has already given me all that is needed to help them develop into who they are created to be, I just have to stay focused and encouraged in the process.

    with blessings,

    Minister Mamie

  • What a wonderful post! You antedote regarding “evil Mom” is something that I can relate to all too well. These all great reminders for both Mom’s and Dad’s alike.

    The photo you chose for the post is also perfect. Had to laugh because I first envisioned that this might be your daughter. :)

    -Francesca

    Three Bay B Chicks’s last blog post..It’s All Gravy

  • pam

    It’s nice to know Evil Mom makes the rounds. She visited our place again this week, as you’ll read next.
    Minister Mamie, thanks so much for the encouragement. Yes, we have been prepared–it’s just so darn hard to remember!
    No, the photo above is not my daughter, but the expression is hauntingly familiar.
    Thanks to all of you for visiting!

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