Thursday, May 3, 2012

The complicated lives of superheros

Being a mom is a 24 hour job, literally. Like a superhero, mom has to be ready to save the day around the clock, under all circumstances. We need to be able to leap Lego buildings in a single bound and be faster than a speeding Nerf bullet!

Just like super heroes us moms have special super powers to help us in our quest. We can break up arguments with just one look, cook dinner, change a diaper and answer the phone, all at the same time, and we can make even the worst boo boo all better with a single kiss.

Some moms have side-kicks, called dads, who can be entrusted with certain aspects of child rearing. I've heard mixed things about dads. Some dads seem to have super powers equal to mom's, others to a lesser degree, but we'll discuss the merits of dads another day.

Like most superheros, we moms all have a dangerous Achilles heel that can reduce our superpowers to nothing in the blink of an eye. It is called F.A.T.I.G.U.E. This monster can suck the life out of a mom and make her feel like a deflated balloon in no time flat. F.A.T.I.G.U.E often creeps in slowly, over time. It happens to moms who routinely eat whatever their kids didn't finish, whether they're hungry or not, and to moms who don't get any exercise other than lugging the laundry up-and-down the stairs, or who don't plan any "mom" time in their day.

Before the poor mom knows what has happened, she's got an extra 30 pounds weighing her down, making her feel lethargic and preventing her from jumping over the aforementioned Lego houses.

So, what can a mom do to prevent F.A.T.I.G.U.E from stealing her mommy mojo? The answer, believe it or not, comes straight out of mom's own bag of tricks: The sticker chart.

Yes, I said the sticker chart.

I know, I know, it seems like it is all about the stickers, but trust me, the stickers are really just a clever disguise! The sticker chart is actually a sophisticated tool for setting goals, planning strategies and measuring success. If we could only convince the government to use sticker charts, they might actually get something done for once, but we won't get into that.

So what is on my mommy sticker chart? Well, on mine I'm focusing on exercise. If I exercise for thirty minutes four days out of seven I get an extra thirty minutes of "mom" time on the weekend. Princess Ariel, on the other hand, is working towards a new Barbie doll while Princess Jasmine's goal is earning a meal shared with a special friend.

Every day we have a sticker chart meeting where we compare notes. I dole out the girls stickers and they dole out mine. If one of us didn't hit our goal for the day we give her encouragement and support. Likewise, we all celebrate with whoever whoever earned a sticker that day. The group aspect of it helps keep us all accountable and on track. Truly, it is girl power in action, which is perhaps the most super power of them all.

The sticker chart, just one of the tools us moms use to keep our kids - and ourselves - heading in the right direction

No comments:

Post a Comment