If you know me well you know that I am not a dog person. My darling husband is. If he could, he would go and rescue every dog he could find and create a weird compound where they could run free through the meadows.
We used to have two dogs. These two dumb dogs were a huge source of contention. Our lab was afraid of everything! I knew when a storm was brewing because he would start to panic and destroy things and run away. I joked that the pound was his home away from home because he always got picked up by the cops and then we would have to go pay a bunch of money to get him out. Like I said, they were a big source of contention.
After the dogs died my husband was missing having a dog around and would send me adorable pictures of puppies to try to melt my icy heart. He completed his trickery by taking the kids and me out to a breeder who had the cutest Newfoundland puppies ever. His evil plans worked and we ended up with a new dog appropriately named Thor.
I had one condition on getting the new dog. I will not help with the dog. I have completely washed my hands of him. Just a side note, before you think I’m a complete jerk, I am actually super nice to the dog, I just don’t want to have any responsibility with him. If he chews up stuff in the yard, I won’t clean it up; if he is hungry, then a kid better feed him; if he poops all over the yard, the kids better pick it all up so they don’t have to play in a minefield of poop.
As a result of washing my hands of any responsibility of the dog I don’t have angry feelings for him and I actually think he is quite cute.
Before, with the other dogs I always told myself that “I have to” make sure the dog is fed, or “I have to” make sure the yard gets picked up. But it isn’t true. I don’t have to.
This doesn’t just work for dogs, but for life too. None of us “have to” do anything. We all have a choice. If the kids are fighting you don’t “have to” do anything. You can choose what you want to do. Some options are: having them fight to the death (not a great option, but an option nonetheless), yell at them to stop fighting, ignore their fighting, go and see what the problem is and help them come to a better solution without killing each other.
After you have made a list, physical or mental, decide which one you want to do. The choice you make may not be easy or fun, but it will be the choice that will give you the results that you want. It may not be fun to go and hold a court to see what the fighting is all about, but it will give you the result you want of having more peace in your home and teaches your kids some skills of how to get a long.
Then once you have made your choice go and kick some butt while doing it. Be the happy and awesome mom you are and do whatever choice you made with a killer attitude. We have had to hold more than one court at our home. When I show up with a great attitude, and as the honorable judge, we have a positive experience and I get my result I want, which is peace in my home.
The next time you think or so the words, “I have to” think of all the other possible choices that you have. Then pick the best choice that works for you and then go and be the awesome mom you are and own the choice you made.
I've included a picture of the new puppy's nest. He brings everything to this spot on the lawn. It's weird, but kind of funny but the best part is I don't have to clean it up.