Linda and her husband, Richard, have raised nine exceptional and strong-willed children (five sons, four daughters, no twins, all genetically theirs…just to get all the questions out of the way). Linda is an accomplished author and co-founder of Joy Schools. You can learn more about Linda at ValuesParenting.

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I Didn’t Plan to be a Witch!

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Several years ago, whilst in the thick of mothering a herd of children, I wrote a book especially for moms called, I Didn’t Plan to Be a Witch.  This is because a more accurate statement was probably ever made!  

 

Before I had children I had such a rose-colored picture of Motherhood ingrained on Mother’s Day I think as everyone talked about their wonderful mothers!  With that information safely tucked away, I planned to be a kind, gentle, loving Mother who was responsive to the needs of my beautiful children in every way.  I knew that mothering wouldn’t be easy but I knew that I would enjoy the challenges. There would be hot cookies and a healthy snack waiting for my kids after school every day as I listened to the stories of the delightful things they learned. 

 

Boy, did I have a lot to learn!  Nobody told me how to deal with sleep deprivation for years on end, or about taking an extra outfit for the baby AND me on every outing and meeting in preparation for a “blowout” from either end.  No one ever mentioned the agony of realizing that the stupid tooth fairy didn’t show up again, and the panicky feelings that accompany lost and forgotten homework.  How could I have known that continual crying over anything and everything can drive a mother to the edge of a cliff and that we would eventually have to label dinnertime, as a friend recently put it, “Whining and Dining”?

 

There were just a lot of days when I realized that as much as I loved my job as mother, to be realistic, there were just times when it seemed that “being a mother is like being pecked to death by a duck”!  Sometimes the only alternative was to get out the old black hat and broom, stick a wart on my nose and become a bonafide witch!  Luckily, that state was usually only temporary and often regarded by my children as pretty funny, but it somehow just made me feel either better or worse, which was better than just staying there in limbo!

 

Through it all I found three things that helped me snap out of my “witchhood” which I will list below. If you are a mother of young children, you undoubtedly have a list of your own!

 

1.  Decide on calmness in advance.  Look into the bathroom mirror first thing in the morning, even while the kids are pounding on the door demanding lunch money and decide that you are going to be the calm center of the storm!  Think through visions of tantrums and arguments and decide exactly how you are going to react with calmness and a peaceful attitude rather than “freaking out”.  It works about 40% of the time, but it’s better than not at all!

 

2. Change!  Analyze how you react to the little things that drive you over the edge with each of your children.  For example think of a child who always has some physical ache or pain (or as one of our children did…always thinks she has a new kind of cancer every day).  If your normal reaction has become irritation and you give her the feeling that you are annoyed and don’t want to hear about it, change your reaction.  Take one minute to get down on your knees, eye to eye, carefully examine the problem and assure her that she will be fine!  This is usually magic.  If you change first you give enormous room for your child (or husband) to change next!

 

3.  Laugh. Sometimes you just have to realize that the situation you are in is so ridiculous that the best thing you can do is laugh!  Learn to laugh at your kids funny stages like crawling in bed with you every night which makes feel as though you’ve been sleeping in a washing machine when it’s time to get up.  It may not seem too funny in the morning, but in three months when they go on to a weirder stage, it will be very funny! 

 

All is all, being a witch isn’t all that bad, especially if it teaches you something about yourself, your children and even about your husband. More and more you see your “witchhood” as a passing event.  Your children will accept your apologies for temporary outbreaks (especially if you explain the circumstances behind your behavior…they are such forgiving little creatures) and eventually even your husband will learn to handle those sometimes hormonally induced witch attacks with a knowing eye, a sympathetic ear and a smile acknowledging that “this too will pass!”    

 

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