7 Day Challenge Day 3: AHHHGH

Today was much more work than I expected. The Dad decided to take everybody but GB and I to the Annual Fright Fest at S*x Fl*gs. They left early this morning and still are not back. GB and I had a “GB” day. Showers, breakfast, and spending time with Ellie. We went out to get markers for pumpkin decorating, a pumpkin, and regular Saturday errands. GB had an appointment with her therapist. We had lunch and then GB wanted a manicure. She was pleasant and delightful. I STILL had to watch myself to stay completely positive. I didn’t expect  it and I was exhausted by the time we got home. I turned on a movie for her to get my breath back. Dinner was fine, as was evening chores. As we went up the stairs, I blew the whole day.

All over the landing of the staircase was a shredded, diaper.and its accompanying poop. MK had not secured said diaper in an appropriate container. Instead, she put it in an open waste basket in the hall. Ellie couldn’t resist. This is a recurring problem and before my brain engaged, “God Dammit” was out of my mouth. Fifteen minutes before bedtime and I lost THREE days. GB was so disappointed and mad at MK. I explained that only I was responsible for what came out of my mouth, regardless  of what happened. She didn’t look convinced, but she went to get ready for bed.

Cleaning up was not fun and gave me too much time to think of how I blew it royalty. I am going to bed early and starting over tomorrow. I hope everybody else had a better day.

11 thoughts on “7 Day Challenge Day 3: AHHHGH

  1. I’m pretty sure I’d have the same (instinctive) response if I found feces (human, dog, or mineral 😉 all over the stairs–only my exclamation would be “Sh*t!!!”

    I sorta think that cursing, to the open air, is understandable and allowed under the 7-day challenge. Say I stubbed my toe because an ottoman was moved out of its normal place by Child, and I walked into in the dark and automatically let out a curse because my toe hurt.

    I wouldn’t think that was cause for me to start the challenge all over. Unless, of course, I started mumbling something like, “Child, you never ever put the furniture back where it belongs. I’m sick of this! Why can’t you just do the one, simple thing I’ve asked you to do a million times.” If it came out of mouth, even if no one was there to hear it, I would set the calendar back on my challenge. Otherwise, a simple curse?—nah.

    Things can hurt in lots of different ways. As long as the exclamation of pain isn’t followed up by a long string of criticism, which in my case it often is. (“Too many words, Mom! I don’t need a paragraph. I can’t even pay attention to a paragraph. Just a sentence!)

    Better luck tomorrow—especially with respect to the poopy diapers.

    For what it’s worth, when we had a beagle who always ate *everything* in any garbage bin (and I couldn’t train my young daughter not to drop food in her bedroom wastebasket), every single wastebasket in the house was a cheap, ugly, white plastic one with a lid that could not be removed easily. I didn’t win any decorating awards, but the solution worked.

    Of course I caught holy hell from my Ex for throwing out a lovely rattan office wastebasket 😦 Whatever …

  2. I agree with Marianne. One curse doesn’t blow three days.

    Honestly, I don’t understand an “all or nothing” challenge. Of course push for perfection, but one slip shouldn’t blow it all. Isn’t this supposed to help you see what being positive can do for you and those around you? With the result being that it becomes easier for you to be more positive in the future?

    Don’t beat yourself up. Acknowledge it and move on trying to do better.

  3. I agree with Kristine.
    I would go even further by saying that you try teaching to MK, GB and Hope that in life, it’s not always “everything or nothing”. Try to do the same with yourself, and I acknowledge that breaking old patterns is very hard.

    Also, “God damn it” is a curse, okay. But you didn’t insult your children, you didn’t hurt them, nor you did to Ellie.
    You didn’t tell MK or Ellie that “they are bad”, “why would you do it again ?” yada yada.
    It happens even to the most positive person to curse sometimes. It does not make them “less positive”.

    Also, I think that such a challenge may not be the most realistic challenge to start with for you, with everything you have on your plate.
    You can try smaller challenges like ” I will try to find at least one positive thing about each member of the family and acknowledge to each member of the family”.
    It is less tempting to beat yourself up on very small challenges than on revolutions like “saying only positive or neutral things for 14 days”.
    The same applies when someone wants to be healthier, BTW : if you want to change everything at once, it leads to beat yourself up at the slightest failure or sense of failure (even when you didn’t completely fail).
    If you slice your huge goal into very tiny, concrete steps, you are less prone to beat yourself up at the slightest failure or feeling of failure.
    Then, once you completed a very tiny step and you have mastered it for a month, you add another very tiny and concrete new step.

    This curse is not a failure on your goal to be more positive. You feel you failed because you expected perfection.
    But you cannot expect perfection, because perfection does not exist in this world. It may exist on another planet, but not here.
    And you cannot be more positive if you always expect perfection : positive and perfection are absolutely antagonist.

    You do your best for your children. And it’s already enormous.
    Please, please, for your own sake and for your children’s sake, stop trying to be perfect, because no matter how hard you try, it’s not a reasonable goal. It makes you and your children sicker than you and they are already, so it creates more problems than it solves.
    Your children don’t ask you to be a perfect mom, and even CPS cannot expect to find perfect moms : they don’t exist.

    And if someone else says that he can change everything at once without any problem, you can still reply : “I am happy for you that you can change everything at once. But I don’t have such a capacity, and I reach my goals much better and definitely when I set up very tiny steps at once”.
    Don’t believe people when they claim to be perfect, they are obviously lying.

  4. What is the appropriate response to finding feces and shredded diaper strewn all over the place? Are you supposed to say “MK, I’m so proud of you for changing your son’s diaper and being such a wonderful, attentive mother but unfortunately the dog got into the waste basket and now there’s poo all over the place! Oh my! Let’s try and think of a good way to resolve this unpleasant situation, shall we?”
    I prefer to scream, curse and kick things.

  5. I say you did awesome –you used the opportunity to teach GB that we all screw up, modeled accountability for what we do and how to move on. Hugs to you.

  6. I have tried these “challenges” before, and I’ve decided that – in the end – they are not helpful for me and our situation (one typically developing child, one child with special needs). No one can be perfect (and I’ve beat myself up with enough guilt at this point), and sometimes a situation deserves a “negative” response, for example, when you need to show your child that his/her behaviors can have a negative effect on how others feel. I think the key is to focus on kindness and respect in my responses. And part of that is saying, “hey – I’m sorry I got mad at you. I was really upset about X, but I should have said/done Y.” I also try to focus on “OK, how can we solve this problem?” And there are times I think or say things like, “You know what? I’m really upset right now and I can’t handle this in a good way. I will deal with this later.”

    But I do like having a way of holding myself accountable. I try to follow the THINK rules when interacting with the kids: Is it true, is it helpful, is it important, is it necessary, is it kind? And I make it my goal to always be improving on this journey, acknowledging that improvement is not always a straight line up, but more like a general trend up, with some hiccups along the way. I figure this is what I expect from my children, and they need to see a model of how to do it.

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