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aramis

aramis tries not to be an a**hole

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Last challenge I realized I try to do too much, and I hurt my loved ones in the process. I take too many things on my shoulders, I chronically lack time to complete all this stuff and in return I kick myself for not being productive enough, I feel guilt of disappointing someone (even if it's only me). The worst part is I started to push away my kids (and wife to some degree) and treat them as obstacles and distractions when I focus on completing my tasks. This makes me avoid my family, get irritated when someone asks me to do something, even shout at kids when they don't obey or follow commands right away. I became mean and pushy towards them. It's easy, they won't stand up for themselves, they are only 9 and 5 y.o.

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I don't want to be this person. The person I'm becoming. He's an asshole. 

 

To make things right (or at least a bit better), I will use this challenge round to work on my behavior, on setting priorities in my limited time and dealing with cause of this mess.

 

It's hard to put "I want to be a better dad" or "I want to be a decent human being" in measurable goals, so I just list some actions that come to my mind.

 

Main goal - to heal my relationship with kids

What I want to achieve?

I want to be more of a friend and support, and less of a drill instructor. 

How I will do it?

- On work week, I will spend at least 30 min with kids on fun and playful activities. More on weekends.

30 minutes might sound short, but I come back from work at 4:30-5pm. Kids have their TV time from 6 to 7, and after that - supper and bed time. This leaves a small window from 5 to 6 for doing something together.

 

- Turn my Saturday workout (fun activity) into something that will include kids.

Be it roughhousing, long walk, some kick ball or soccer, biking etc. Some move will do them good.

 

- Don't raise voice unless it's emergency.

This one will be hard, as I became short tempered and my kids can be extremely annoying sometimes. But I will do my best. 

 

- If kid misbehaves or messes on something, I will rebuke him. Once. Without dwelling on the subject. 

I like to dwell on a subject. I need to stop. 

 

- Tidy their room together once per week.

This way I maybe can teach them a bit of discipline in managing their toys. 

 

- Introduce behavior boards to note good and bad things kids do. Grant some form of reward for good behavior. 

I hope this show them it is worth to be nice. Rewards shouldn't be toys. I think rather ice cream, movie or something similar.

 

 

Secondary Goal - Do less, but do important things.

This goal specifically targets the cause of my restlessness - I try to do too much having too little time and I get overwhelmed and depressed. Anger is a cool coping mechanism (no, it isn't).

 

What I want to achieve?

I need some extra time to devote it to my kids. 

How I will do it?

Some tasks are essential, but other are just minor things. I need to prioritize my tasks and choose what can be postponed or maybe turned into fun activities to do with kids. 

 

Secondary Goal - stay fit. 

What I want to achieve?

I want to keep raising my fitness level in preparation to OCR some day.

How I will do it?

- Keep posting Daily Logs from workouts - this helps me with accountability.

- Introduce some KB exercises to my strength workouts. KB looks fun.

- Eat (mostly) healthy. Track food and weight, adjust when needed. 

- Rest. Maintain my sleep schedule and don't let myself stay up too long too often. 

 

Secondary Goal - stay sane.

What I want to achieve?

I want to relax. To ease on the pressure in my mind.

How I will do it?

- Less stuff to do should help.

- Research relaxation techniques, see if something strikes my fancy. 

- Learn to focus on success, not on failures. Maybe some sort of gratitude ritual?

 

 

For now, that's all, folks. I might edit this later, when new ideas come to my mind. Or not. We'll see.

 

All in all, this round focuses on self-improvement. Wish me luck. 

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Sigh... I've got too emotional writing first post, but let it be. I won't edit it as a warning/reminder for myself. 

 

Zero week or not, I'll try to follow my goals already. Especially those about my behavior. 

 

Yesterday my boys were invited to a birthday party of their friend. I went with them and I think it went quite well. All three of us behaved, had lots of fun and laughs. Even in the evening back home when my younger pecked at his supper I managed to convince him (calmly and with a smile) to eat his sandwich. This afternoon/evening was a win.

 

I did my workout later, when kids were put to sleep. Also started doing KB swings with 16kg/35lb bell. This little cannonball is so fun :)

 

In food department, party food got the best of me. There was cake, pizza, cookies, lots of gummis etc. Almost no healthy food... I ended overeating my target calories by less than 100, so not bad after all. 

 

Doing less stuff is hard. There is this little gnome on my shoulder whispering into my ear "you are lazy", "you should get to work", "you fail everybody" etc. I try to ignore it, but it's hard. I fear if I don't have something to do, my "afternoon crash" will hit me and I'll be even more antisocial towards my family. Sigh...

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Love the parenting goals. Rebuking once and then stopping is SO hard. Especially when you think your kids doesn't "get it" I was nowhere near a perfect parent, but I did work on  those things. Now my son is an adult, and he sill likes to hang out with us, so I take that as a win

 

Yay for KB swings. Something about swinging a cannonball makes you feel unstoppable.B)

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Very important goals. Sounds like you’re making some good decisions!

 

One of the things that helps me when I feel like there is too much I want to do and too little time is to remember that things add up over time. If I do one or two things for a year or a couple years, then a different one or two things, ten or twenty years from now I’ll have done a lot. Plus, focusing more attention and energy on one thing yields better results than a little bit of energy on a dozen things. And family is more important than any of those things. 

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Yesterday I did good. Not great, because got distracted by stuff and didn't spend enough time with kids, but I kept positive mindset all the time and even when kids misbehaved we were able to sort it peacefully.

 

On fitness - running done, food in check. Went to sleep bit too late - was doing stuff I postponed earlier. Because of this, today I had hard time to rise on time (but I did).

 

No progress in mental department. I need to find a way to make me feel better about myself. I try to do less during the day, but my shoulder gnome makes me to sort all this stuff in the evening, hurting my sleep schedule in return. I need to break this vicious circle. 

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Yesterday was... meh. I tried to be positive, but kids didn't give me a chance to spend time with them. When I came back from work I made them dinner, then older one was playing on the computer (he is allowed 30min 3x a week) and younger was watching him play. After that the asked if they can play longer instead of watching evening cartoons. Wife already agreed to it before I could react, so my plan to work out when kids watch TV collapsed (I work out in the room where PC is). This on top of feeling useless broke my mood. By the time kids were done I did two or three minor chores (but this didn't cheered me up), then sent them to pick their toys and gave them supper. Younger one was acting up, but at this point it didn't made me angry, just disappointed and blue. 

 

Workout (late in the evening), food and sleep was okay.

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Thank you, and yes, Saturday was way better. Morning was not-so-good, but later I convinced my boys to do some cleaning in their room. It ended as two two-hour decluttering/organizing sessions, but the results exceed expectations by a lot :) Even my older said he likes "new look" to their room. Maybe this convince him to keep some level of order in their toys...

Also, I gave them "behavior boards" where we will mark good and bad things they do daily. If they accumulate enough positive points over the week, there will be some sort of reward on the weekend - cinema, aquapark or ice cream.

 

Cleaning took too long to find time for "fun activity" as Saturday workout, but I'll count as one the ~3km of walking done during the cleaning. And additional test drive of Turkish Get-Ups with 7kg KB later in the evening. Food and sleep were in check.

 

And about "staying sane" - I fed my shoulder gnome some chores done - prepared rice/carrot casserole for dinner (between room cleaning sessions), managed to get groceries for Sunday batch cooking and did some smaller stuff in the meantime. This done good to my self esteem. 

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