- Parents: you are not alone in this difficult, uncertain time
- Learning to maintain our patience
- Dealing with the fatigue of parenting
- Naming that we are tired and frustrated
- Setting boundaries
The following is a full transcript of a Facebook Live, where Susie is speaking extemporaneously – she is unscripted and unedited.
Hi friends. That was a start and a miss. So we started and then it went to having trouble to connect and then it started again. So I don’t know about you, but are you having lots of wifi troubles, issues? It feels like everybody’s on zoom. Everybody’s on wifi. Everybody’s on broadband because we live in a tiny house. Hi John, because we live in a tiny house and we live on the road full time. We do not have the plug in wifi, ethernet cables. We live with these hotspots. We, I think we’re up to four different hotspots now. We have horizon ones, we have 18t ones depending on where we are. And let me tell you if you think you’re frustrated with your dial-up, who has dial-up anymore. If you’re frustrated with your internet in your house, you have got to spend a little bit of time living with wifi on a hotspot.
It is not, it is not the best. It is not the easiest. It is tough. Tough, tough. So, if you’re here to hear about today, we’re going to talk about being tired of hearing mom, mom, mom, or dad, dad, dad, I think at this point in time, almost everybody I’ve talked to. Hey Judy, my sister in laws on, so I’m going to greet a couple of you really quickly here. And then we’re going to go to the topic of the day. Hi Judy. Hi John. Hi Karen. Hi staff. So glad to see you guys here. Hi Mary. I’m so glad you’re joining us. Hi, Jen. And I’m excited to talk to you today about better relationships with your kids. If you have like Judy and I do grown-up kids, they’re dealing with their kids. This tip will help all of them. Before we got started here.
I was talking with John a little bit about the frustration with wifi. Cause it started up, it stopped. It started up again. So let’s just hope and pray that the wifi, the cellular service sticks for the whole Facebook live. But I will tell you, this week has been a week of tech issues for me and I am not a tech girl. I’m a people person. And so there’s moments when I just wish I knew more about how to deal with crashing websites, failing emails, back-end code, and those kind of things. And yesterday I spent about well, we’ll just say quite a while on the phone with zoom, trying to figure out some issues there. So if you are having any tech issues, if they’re driving you crazy and you want to pull your hair out, give me a thumbs down or thumbs sideways.
I don’t know. Give me a me too, or give me a check is hard in the comments because it is a tough thing that we’re all dealing with because everybody, everybody, everybody, and their uncle is online all at the same time. So anyway, not to complain, but to move forward with what we can do today. And that is to talk about being tired of hearing mama, mom, or dad, dad, dad, and feeling like you are the entertainment committee. The, you know, the cook, the short-order cook the school teacher, the science teacher, the history professor, the tech person, you know, all those things. If you are feeling those things you are not alone. Everyone I’ve talked to in the last week or two has struggled probably in the last I would say a week to 10 days is finally getting so hard to maintain patients to maintain perspective and to deal with the fact that now some of the States have extended.
Some of the States are opening up and that’s another whole other topic. But one of the things I hear from everybody, when I say, Hey, how you doing is I’m tired, I’m tired. And honestly, folks, I’m tired too. I get it. Are you tired? If you are tired, let’s just go ahead and admit it in the comments and say, I’m tired too. I’m tired too. We don’t have to stay tired. And here’s the thing. The word I wanna use is fatigue. It is this idea of it’s more than just tired because sleeping, sorry about that. Sleep Isn’t making it better. We are maybe getting enough sleep, but our bodies, our minds, our souls are our brains, our physical everything physical, sorry, the phone just rang. So I got distracted. Everything is, we’re just tired and we’re fatigued. And that’s the word that they’re using that I think really, really fits well is fatigued.
But in that place, there’s lots of my friends who are moms who have said, I’m just tired of hearing mom, mom, mom, all the time. My kids are not handling things well, my kids are needing me for more and more and more in the middle of the day things they used to be able to handle on their own things that they really don’t need to ask me that they’re asking me anyway, you know, squabbles with their brothers and sisters questions about, you know, can I have a snack? You know, can I, you know, you know, watch more TV. Can I have more screen time? Can I, you know, help me with my math, all these things. And it’s this whole thing of mom, mom, can I have another snack mom? Bobby’s bothering me, mom. You know, my, my Internet’s not working fast, mom, you know, I don’t know where my shoes are.
Mom, can I go outside? You know, and if you’re a dad replace that with dad, dad, dad. But most of the women I’ve talked to, or most of the people I’ve talked to are in the mom mode where their mom, you know if they’re like if I hear my name one more time, I think I just might have a come apart because all they’re hearing is need, need, need. I need you, I need you, I need you. And some of that’s really legit. Some of that is I need your help with a problem, or I need your help getting set up, or I need you to deal with this major issue with my sibling. But a lot of what has happened in this stay at home time is our kids have just gotten real casual about not thinking for themselves, not figuring out for themselves not problem-solving for themselves, but just yelling mom, because they assume that you will come and be there at their Beck and call.
And that is exhausting. That’s tiring. That’s hard. We don’t want to be in that position and we don’t know what to do with it. And we don’t want to get so fed up that we go stop using my name, you know, or one of my favorites was always, go ask your dad. And so living together all the time in this Corona crisis we are dealing with weariness of this fatigue. But on top of that, I really think mamas are struggling because they are getting this constant interruption, this constant repeated mom, mom, mom, and the frustration comes because there are things that the kids can handle on their own. So what to do about that? I’m going to give you a couple of tips. The first thing you’re going to do is you’re going to streamline and keep things simple. Have a snack box, have drinks that are approved or water that is approved.
Give them my mom’s limit. That’s funny, John, John just said, my mom’s living with seven moms in a row before exploding. Yes. And I think the moms were exploding and we don’t want to explode and we want, then we beat ourselves up and we feel bad about ourselves. And that’s a whole another thing where we start playing whack-a-mole, which I talked about in yesterday’s video about self-care. So go back and watch that if you’re following, falling into the whack-a-mole moments, but here’s what you can do. You can streamline, you can streamline, and then we’re going to have a strategy that’s gonna work for you. So the streamlining is have some approved snacks, you know, pull up the fridge. If you open this drawer, there’s fruits, there’s vegetables, there’s cheese sticks. This is your snack drawer where you don’t have to ask me, this is your water bottle where you can use it and fill it up 17,000 times a day and not get all the cups dirty on the sink and not have to ask me if you can have that.
This is what you’re going to do in terms of schooling. You’re going to work until the timer rings. And when the timer rings, you then can come and ask me the questions that you’ve written off to the side. If you get stuck and you can’t move on, then you can. let’s say mom’s in a meeting and can’t be interrupted, you can move from math to English and we’ll come back to math, give them some streamlined strategies to help them take care of themselves. You can do this. If you are bored, when my daughter was in kindergarten, Susan doubles, I love her to pieces. She was her kindergarten teacher had something called a time wait and it was what the kids could do. And this was these five and six-year-olds that they could do while they were waiting for the rest of the class to finish an assignment on the chance they finished early.
And there were manipulatives and I remember tangent blocks. There were puzzles, there were colors and crayons, and there were quick and easy things they could do to take up time without going up and starting with the teacher. Cause I’m sure teachers feel this way. They hear their name zillion times during the day. And so what you could also do is have a bin of what you could call time waits when you’re waiting for time to pass. When you’re waiting for me to be available to you, you can go and you do any of these activities without asking. And so if you get stuck at school stuff, and I’m on a meeting, you can go over here and use these manipulatives or you know, these creative colors or Plato or you know, anything that’s pretty easy for you to contain and clean up.
These are the things to use to spend your time when you’re waiting for me now in tandem with that strategy, I want you to give them and you know, five or seven, you know, playing cards or pieces of paper, get posted notes, get a piece of cardstock cut it up and write mom on each one and tell them that these are their mom cards for the day. These are the mom cards that they can use to call you in any certain amount of time. And you’ll have to know your kids, you know, some extroverts are gonna need more and they might need like five per hour, you know, or two-hour chunk. But you will say to them when you call for me, you will turn in one of your cards. And that means you will not get that time again. So, you know, if you’re going to do mom, Bobby’s looking at me funny.
That is really a waste of your mom card because you can ignore the way he’s looking at you. You can turn your chair and do your work over here. You can figure out a way to handle it rather than use up your mom card. Now there’s a caveat here. If they run out of cards and they’re bleeding, if you are bleeding, you can come and see me that doesn’t count as a mom card. But what I have found in the people I’ve given the strategy to is wow, that was kind of, the people who I’ve shared the strategy with who have used it have found their kids are pausing and thinking about how often they’re saying mom, mom, mom, and all these little things that they would normally handle on their own. They’re just being lazy about are beginning to be re-handled on their own by the kids.
Because suddenly they’re looking at their, their, you know, deck of mom cards and going, do I really want to use this for this moment? No, I’m going to wait. I’m going to go find something to do while I’m waiting for mom to be available to me, I’m going to not ask my mom, you know, a bug her because my brother, sister’s looking at me sideways or took my pencil when I can go get another pencil. You know, I might have to use one for the internet, went down and I’m in the middle of class. But what you’ll do is you’ll adjust and you’ll see, I don’t want you to be legalistic, but you’ll see how this works for your family and your kids. And what you’re doing here is you’re teaching them to problem solve on their own, to pause and to ponder and think, can I handle this on my own?
Do I really need to bother mom? I’m not going to use a mom card for snacks because I know where the snack drawer is. I’m not going to use a mom for, can I go outside? Because I happen to know that the rules are when I play, when I finished my work, I can go outside in the yard. I just need to, you know, you might want to use what mom I’m going outside. That’s really different that doesn’t mom, I’m going outside to play with my brother doesn’t tire out moms. That’s an okay one to use the purpose of these is to have them stop saying, mom, mom, mom, at every, you know, turn in the road at every frustration at every bend at everything. That’s not going right for them. And to really pause and think, Hey, you know, do I really need to bother, not bother my mom, but involve my mom in this?
Because sometimes it’s just an easier thing to say, mom, can you help me with this? Or mom, this, I can’t find this. Or mom then figuring out themselves. And so in this time of crisis schooling/homeschooling in this time of trying to juggle work and mom and you know, entertainment committee and, you know, short-order cook and, and, and, and housekeeper. And I guess the one thing you are not doing is you’re not being a chauffeur. So we get, we can take off that hat, but all the hats we wear as a mom, it is tiring. And we are trying to help our kids learn how to navigate this well on their own, on, at the age-appropriate level. So I would love to hear from you, if you are tired of hearing mom, mom, mom, put mama mom in the comments. If you think that it would be helpful for you to give them a three, five, or seven cards per hour, put that, doing the mom card in the comments so I can cheer you on.
They really do. This helps the most I have found when there’s that inter-sibling tension. When he’s looking at me, he’s touching me, he’s bothering me. He’s, you know, he’s in my space. Well, how would you problem solve? How would you problem solve? You’re going to move away. It’ll keep the tattling down. It’ll keep the bothering down because they realize if I tattle I’m using a mom card. The other thing I think this is really, really, really helpful for is when they finish an assignment or they finish a chore or they finish, you know, being entertained and the timer hasn’t run yet. If you’ve given them an hour where they need to self, you know, self entertain themselves or beyond, you know, I mean, rarely do they say, Hey, the screen timer went off. You know, my screen, time’s over. Can I have more?
They just sit there and play on and play on because they’re smart little ones. But in that way of when they finished a time, you know, a project and they need that extra 15 minutes of occupation, you know, they’re not going to go, mom, I’m bored, mom, what can I do? Because they’re going to look at their cards and go, Ooh, I don’t know if I want to use it for this. I think I’m going to use it later. And I’m just going to go do puzzles, or I’m going to go play a game or I’m going to go do one of those other projects that are in the time wait box. I talked, I talked about that at the beginning. These little things they can do to fill time when they finish before you are available. So if you implement this, please, please, please let me know, because I’m kind of collecting some data on how this works.
Is it a three, a five, a seven for your family? Tell me the ages of your kids in the comments so I can hear how you’re doing it. And really this is an overarching strategy. I was going to say overall, at the same time, an overarching strategy that you can use with your kiddos, but you have to tailor it for your kiddos. And I would always add the caveat. You know, if you’ve used up all your mom cards and you’re bleeding, you can come in and bother me or talk to me. If dad is not available this is going to be hard because the first time they do it, they’re not gonna proportionate out. Well, they’re gonna run out of cards before they’ve run out of need for you. And so you’re going kind kinda if at all possible, hold the line and let them feel the ramifications.
They will be learning about resources, supply, and demand. I can see this, you know, a way they learn about even money. Like, gosh, I don’t wanna use it, my money here, cause I might need it for here. I don’t wanna use it. My mom cards in this hour, even though my bug Bob, my kid is bothering me. I’m gonna use it. I’m gonna wait. So they’re getting get skills. They’re going to learn how to handle things on their own. They are going to become problem solvers and you, Oh, mamas are going to have more sanity because you haven’t heard mom mom mom a zillion times an hour. You’ve only heard it seven. You’ve only heard it 10 and it will help with some of the tension and the anxiety and the, just the frustration that we’re all feeling right now with this constant barrage of being needed.
So mama’s as my friend, Mona Corin says little mamas, take care of yourself, get some strategies in place to help you out so that you have some patients and you have some energy at the end of the day because you’ve not been mommed to death. I hope that tip helps you. I would love to hear how you use it in the comments below, share this with your friends. If you have other moms who are struggling share this idea, the time waits, the strategies, the mom cards, I promise you, they will thank you. And then you could all get together on FaceTime or zoom at the end of the day and, you know, lift your glass and cheer each other on for getting through the day with less than a zillion moms, I am here cheering you on to help you create better relationships with your kiddos, with God, with yourself, with your spouses, with your teammates.
And this has been really fun to do these last couple of weeks. Tomorrow we’ll be talking about faith and walking with God in the midst of this. And then next week we’re going to a new format that I’ll announce on the page. So let me know things that you want me to cover in the comments below, or you can feel free to PM me if you want to keep them anonymous. Hope this tip helps hope you have a great day. And your kid is probably calling mom. So jump on Facebook and see if you can set up this mom card idea. Talk to you soon.