5 Steps To Stop Complaining
“The kids have fought a lot today.” “The dog chewed up the toy again.” ” I am so tired & frustrated!” ” I can’t get anything accomplished.” “The house is a Mess!” and on and on it went. See the funny thing is I thought I was voicing my frustrations to my husband. Then one day in an argument he blurted out in an angry voice ” Will you stop complaining!”.
At first, I was angry…how dare he think I was complaining! He doesn’t have to deal with everything all day long. He has no clue what it is like to be the parent at home all day long. I put on a major tantrum. I gave the silent treatment (thinking I will show him what not complaining looks like!)
In the midst of stewing in my temper tantrum I started to review my dialogue. I stopped and thought about it…..I was complaining. He works 50 hours a week and rarely do I hear him complain about having to work 10+ hours a day. He doesn’t come home and list all the things that went wrong that day or the frustrations he had to deal with. Instead, he comes home and sincerely asks about my day.
I realized that the way I was communicating did sound like I was complaining and (swallow some pride here!). I was complaining. I am grateful that I get to spend my days homeschooling and raising our beautiful children, it is a decision we made for our family together.
I get to run at the park with them, read stories on picnics, go to the zoo, experience almost all their firsts. Yet all my challenges were spewing out of mouth and getting dumped onto my husband. I would forget to mention all the good things that happened that day. The way our son went down the slide for the first time on his own. How are middle child who struggles with communicating made a new friend.
I decided that I needed to change my dialogue and remember that I set the mood for our home. I took steps and began to change my heart. My husband is happier and our home feels peaceful. Below are some items that I have worked towards to help me to Choose Joy and and not complain.
5 Steps To Stop Complaining
1. Eliminate Distractions – I found the days when most things went crazy, coincided with the times I was super distracted I tried to get work done when the kids needed my attention, or I was on social media, or talking to a friend or family member on the phone. Instead, I worked on finding good times in my routine for those moments and turned my phone to do not disturb for the times I was being present with my children.
2.Try a 30-Day Marriage Challenge ( you can get that here) and Practice Gratitude – I make a gratitude list every morning. Then I worked at doing all these items on the marriage challenge and surprise a lot of them have become habits. It has worked at making my marriage stronger and better.
3. Open up Lines of Communication – 2 ways that work best for us are the following…I started doing a brain dump email to my husband. Throughout the day anything that comes up I put it an email it could be something funny I want him to remind me of, weekend plans, challenges I am having with one of our kids,….you name it and I put it in there (even little sexy/flirty notes). I send it to him around mid morning. He then has a chance to read it on his own time throughout the day. When the kids go to bed or while they are content playing in the evening we talk about the different topics in the email. ( This has been life changing for us!)
The next is me paying attention to how I am speaking to my husband…..back in the day when I used to manage teams I learned a lot of good communication skills that for some reason I didn’t think to use in my life. I started using phrases like I am feeling…. I have hard time with…..I struggled with this….. I could use some help with…… once again game changer.
The other night he sincerely asked me if I was having any frustrations/challenge and was there anything he could do to help. I feel like we have found solid footing and both are learning how to navigate this season.
4. Find Your Passion – Part of my complaining stemmed from the fact that I had started to only see myself as a SAHM and lost my identity. I would feel resentful and upset over some of the smallest challenges or frustrations and blow up at my children. Realizing that my whole identity was wrapped up in my children. I had stopped doing anything that drove me to reach for MORE. Once I realized what that MORE was I began to work towards my MORE. It has made me happier. I feel like me again not a mom machine.
5. Take Care of Yourself – I started to Choose to be the best version of me each day. I began to eat healthier, drink lots of water, get more sleep, and exercise. I am learning to meditate, and focus on what brings me Joy and helps me to be a better version of myself. I practice GRATITUDE every day and Choose Joy.
In the end I still have days when I want to spew and complain but I reach for the tools I have in place and take time to think about my words. Words have power, and I was using mine to make my husband feel frustrated and resentful. He would happily trade places with me and spend all day with our children ( I am thankful for having a wonderful husband). Life can be complicated and has challenges but it also has JOY woven into it. Choose Joy and it will put you in a better place.
If you are a mom struggling with complaining. You have days that make you want to hide in the pantry with a box of cookies know you are not alone. You could be like me and dump all your frustrations on your partner/husband. You want to drink a few glasses of wine each night ( yes I used to be there too) please know you are not alone.
Reach out and connect with other MOM’s or please comment and or email me.
Til Our Next Adventure,