WT 164: Fun & Energetic Yellow Moms
Yellow moms, this episode is for YOU! Karen is also a yellow, so this conversation is especially fun to listen to as she tells stories about growing up as a yellow and how she brought her yellow strengths to play in her mothering.
Question 1: I have a 7 year boy and 2 yr girl twins. Confession. I am spontaneous and if I’m being honest I’m rarely living in the moment I’m always looking forward to what’s “next” I live for the weekend, vacations, and fun. I’m unsettled and sometimes even depressed feeling with a mundane routine. How do I find joy in the day to day?
Karen’s Answer: Girl, I get you!!! I’m probably going to get all of my fellow yellows today!!! But, what I had to do, especially when I was in your season of life, I tried to put a little fun in the mundane. I didn’t like waiting for vacations, because they only happen once a year, so I created “fun” in everyday life. Life is mundane at times though, so you just have to realize that is part of it. No escaping. I had random dance parties at our house, I would take the kids to go get 7-11 Slurpees in VA for no reason, Abby and I would go get little bottle of Cokes after school and have burping contests on the way home from school, just to name a few.
Question 2: How do I help my husband see that my need for time spent having fun outside of my family is important for my own well being and recharging?
Karen’s Answer: Listen to this podcast together. Get the curriculum I Said this, You Heard that and do it together. You know, Greg was pretty good with giving me my free time. Maybe it was because he traveled so much he didn’t mind or the fact that he is Blue, and if I didn’t make him go with me, he was happy! ☺
Question 3: I can’t keep a routine for the life of me. I just can’t. I often feel guilty I don’t give my children enough structure. How do I balance my desire to go with the flow with my responsibility to maintain order in our home and give my children more of that routine they deserve and need?
Karen’s Answer: It’s hard!! Routine makes us feel like we in a box and I for one, don’t like that. The other thing, as much as I “try” to get structured, it doesn’t come easy for me. I will write out a grocery list, and 90% of the time, I forget the list at home. Your children will learn to get used to you. You are the mom, so therefore, they have to go along with your temperament. My mom was super Green and laidback, which I as a child wished sometimes she was a little more yellow and fun, but in the end I accepted her for the way she was and it all worked out.
Some things do work better with structure, I think the key is find out what you can do to be structured and focus on those things. Ask the Blue’s in your life to help you. Here’s what I try and do, I get structured around the things that make a big difference in my life and actually make my life easier. For instance, bed time and nap time, I was always structured about those two things because when my children slept, I had better days. But, chore charts, allowance charts, taking my children to the library every week to get books for the summer, all those types of things I never seemed to accomplish. I didn’t want to be that mom that was so scattered brained that I never could remember anything, or my children were always late because I couldn’t get out the door, so I worked on packing diaper bags, book bags the night before to help me. I learned little tricks along the way that made a difference in my life, and you will have to learn your tricks.
Question 4: How can I make housework more FUN!? And at what ages should I be asking my kids to help me with which chores? ...give me allllll the suggestions to make this necessary evil a little more enticing! :)
Karen’s Answer: MUSIC! I put on music as loud as the kids could stand it and I’d get to work. Music makes everything better in my opinion. Housework is part of our job, but I would hurry through it, so then I could have fun!
Question 5: Any ideas on setting boundaries on my own activities (talking, playdates, networking with neighbors) so I don’t wear my kids out? I think I have trouble recognizing when they need less or if I’m wearing out my welcome at friends’ homes (who are blue or red)...
Karen’s Answer: Good question! The fact that you recognize this is an issue is HUGE! Sometimes Yellows are not self -aware, good that you are. Tell your Red/Blue friends to always let you know when they need a break, that it won’t hurt your feelings. Learn to read your children, and when they start to get fussy, arguing with their friends, that is a good sign it’s time to go. I used to give myself a certain time that I would leave, if I got there by 12 I’d leave by 4:00 to start my dinner, etc. If people were at my house they could stay as long as they wanted, but I gave myself a cut off time. I also had to realize that not everyone is an extrovert like me, and my introvert friends needed some space, that doesn’t mean they don’t love me! ☺
Question 6: If I’m honest the whole long-term perspective that parenting requires is really hard for me. I make decisions more based on what works now instead of keeping my eye on the bigger picture - especially when it comes to disciplining my toddlers. Any tips for helping me be more disciplined about discipline?
Karen’s Answer: Look at the behavior and think to yourself, “what will this behavior if left unchecked look like in 10 years?” That always gave me motivation to discipline my children. Also keep in mind, the bad habits you create now will be MORE hard work in the future to undo. Be BRAVE!
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