Forget Routine… Mama Needs Grace (Day 3 of a strict routine)

Remember that time you told me about how bad behaved your child has been lately? And I proudly gave a smug smile and lectured you on what my routine for punishment is with my well behaved child… well that’s biting me in the a** right now.

I’ve reached out to all you amazing moms out there for advice and got some great stuff. To sum it up it seems that my three year old’s bad behaviour could be in cause of implementing this new “strict” routine on my family.

Routine I was just beginning to like you… but it’s not me it’s my three year old. She has outrightly been doing every thing I’ve told her not to do. And everything I tell her to do she challenges me on. It’s not like I’m insisting she follows a routine of forced child labour! Eating on time and having a story time and nap time on time is not torture, so why rebel against it?!

So in light of all the drama we went through and the exhaustion of coming up with new method after new method of consequence and reward… Routine and I took a break for one day. I had to do it. I couldn’t help it and honestly it was like my mind wanted to stay on schedule but my body found the couch and turned into a potato.

On this day break when my three year old acted out I just sent her to her room to play. I kept the television off because I really needed silence. I even took a nap at one point. Mind you, a very short one because I woke up thinking, “Esperanza definitely got into something by now”… and she did. I closed my eyes for 15 mins and she already found icing sugar in the cupboard above the counter.

And when hubs came home, I told him I am not cooking dinner, I am exhausted. He happily ordered Church’s Chicken and the last thing I did with my children that day was have dinner at the table together, before excusing myself to lock the door of my sanctuary.

Sitting there on my bed I felt like a loser. I felt like my entire day was an absolute failure. I wondered if my three year old even liked me. My mind was racing, going over every crime and punishment scenario and then I just stopped. I looked at the comments from all you moms out there following my story and I realized there was no one rooting for my failure but rather for my success.

You guys were all giving me comments of encouragement and advice wishing, hoping and praying for my current trial to end. So why couldn’t I have grace for myself? I’ve admitted and accepted that I am in fact a maturing mama. I’m not there yet and this “strict” routine is so brand new. It’s a wonder I took the leap into this insane journey of honestly admitting to the world that I don’t have it all together and hopefully you moms out there can learn from my mistakes, my attempts and my success.

So that was yesterday and today was a new day. Day 3 of a “strict” routine. And I decided it was time to focus on a “strict” consequence and reward routine. So once again I reached out to you moms for effective methods of driving home my point to my three year old and I soon found a winner.

I gathered up every single toy of hers and put it in a garbage bag in the play room where her bigger play toys are. I closed the door to this room and told Esperanza she can earn back the privilege of playing with each toy. At first she laughed thinking it was a game and soon she frowned and realized I wasn’t joking.

However that frown actually didn’t last long. You see, the moment I showed her the Star Chart; her saving grace to win back her toys, there was a look of determination on her face. She had accepted the challenge and was ready to take it head on. (That’s my girl!). For the last half of our day every time I asked Esperanza to do something she did it and reminded me she could get a star now.

Esperanza now understands that it is rewarding to listen to her mother. And that is how we have developed our routine for good behaviour. I honestly feel like the last few days have been an Iron Man marathon. I’m so exhausted and yet I also feel like I’ve gained a new muscle for parenting.

Thank you so much to all the moms out there that offered support and encouragement through messages and comments. We’re all on this journey together. Please never feel shy to reach out. Whether that’s reaching out to me or to a mom next door or finding a mom on social media to talk to. Honestly only another mom can understand the chaos of raising children… and the reward. We can all remind each other that at the end of the day, it’s worth it.

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