Sunday, November 8, 2009

Decisive Under Pressure

That's what I want to be.

I had this sudden realization today after a week of frustrating parenting. Yes, the things the boys do annoy or frustrate me, but the real frustration is that in the moment, I feel unsure of what to do. We had a great groove going with the boys until I got sick, and it seems like we have been struggling to get back on track ever since. I had a good idea of where we were headed and how to get there with the boys, but once I got so tired, I tended to defer to the path of least resistance, and I'm afraid I'm still stuck somewhere in that murky haze.

I am not a decisive person by nature - just ask anyone who has said the phrase "Where do you want to go eat?" to me. Inevitably, my answer is "Oh, I don't care. You pick. Just not Mexican." (Even I can scrape together one food boundary.) I am just not decisive in the moment. And in the moment with a child who is melting down, pestering, or arguing is not a good time to mull over and decide on effective parenting strategies.

It struck me last night while watching Band of Brothers - I would be a lousy soldier, and an ever worse commander (and not just because I don't like lifting heavy things). I could never, ever make wise decisions under the pressures of combat. Heck, I buckle under the mere pressure of the quivering lip. My dream of being a middle linebacker is in jeopardy because at this point I would be stuck at mid field while the play unfolds around or behind me still frantically deep in thought, "Pass or run? Pass or run?"

I don't think this is a fatal flaw, but I do think this is something I am going to be intentionally working on in the next few weeks. I told Mark tonight that I want to think through a big picture parenting plan and put together some skills to walk that out in the short term. Hopefully when I have a strategy already in place, I won't buckle while in mommy combat.

If this is a war, I really want to win it.

1 comment:

Renovation Girl said...

After the morning I've had with Builder Boy, I'd love to hear the plan you come up with...we certainly need it! Good luck!