Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My New Motto

I'm a loud kind of person. Who I am is loud. I like loud colors and I like loud music and I generally talk pretty loud unless I'm trying really hard to pay attention to the others around me.

But though I'm loud, I haven't been characterized by yelling at my kids. Until the New Old House. It's just crept in and over the past two months I've come to realize I've been yelling. Yelling, "IT'S TIME FOR DINNER!!!!" Yelling, "IT'S TIME TO PUT YOUR COAT ON AND GET IN THE VA-AAAN!!!" Yelling, "CLAIRE, PLEASE GET LYDIA OUT OF HER BED AND BRING HER DOWNSTAIRS!!!!"

It's not that I'm angry or frustrated, it's just that we're occupying three floors and I'm trying to be heard. And here's the kicker: Once my family got used to the yelling, the yelling becomes the new base-line volume. Everything else has to be louder than that!!!! So the kids talk louder, the kids play louder and then I have to be even louder to give out instructions!

Also, the adorable, lovely children find it commonplace to start yelling, "Mom?! Mom?!!! MMAAOOOMMMM!! MOMMY?!!!!! MOM!!!" from any room of the house at any time. Even if they know where I am, they still choose to just start calling instead of coming to where I am.

It's become a really vicious cycle, that I've been hesitant to actually deal with. Because . . .HOW am I supposed to deal with it?

These are the other rationalizations since my awakening:

  1. I'm trying to be heard. Did I mention that?
  2. If the kids are playing loudly upstairs, I have to be louder to get their attention
  3. It's 35 steps from my kitchen to the playroom on the 3rd floor. 35 steep stairs.
  4. I remember my Mom calling for me in her sing-song-y yelling voice and it never bothered anything.
  5. What else am I supposed to do?! Go find them and speak to them in a regular voice?

Bingo. I've got a new motto.

Move Your Feet, Not Your Mouth.

Really, truly, honestly the heart of the yelling is laziness. And lack of self-control. And bad habit. And laziness.

So I've been working my Motto: Move Your Feet, Not Your Mouth. There's no way I'm going to sit here pounding on my keyboard and blog to you that I've got victory yet. Oh no. Not yet. But improvement? Yes!

Move Your Feet, Not Your Mouth.

This changes so many things. For one, it's changing my weight! Call it coincidence or a fluke or whatever, but in the past 2 months, I've lost 5 pounds. Because if you had to walk 35 stairs, every time you wanted to tell your kids to come to the table or brush their teeth, or it's time for chores, or go play outside . . .I think you'd lose 5 pounds in two months, too!

I don't assume everyone to have the same laziness, self-control, loudmouth issues I have, but if you're like me and if any of this post has started churning something in your spirit. I've got a few words for you.

Move Your Feet, Not Your Mouth.

It works. You'll notice the change in household volume and in the waistline of your jeans.

And if I get 15 people to join my campaign we can have really cool T-shirts printed up and start a worldwide phenomenon!


Heather said...

I don't have any stairs, but I have been talking to my husband about moving his feet and not his mouth. =0)

Kelly said...

Very interesting! Praise the Lord I don't have stairs or I would really have to decline joining the world wide phenomenon!! You raise a great point though. I don't want to be a yeller but I find myself doing it also. I'll work on moving my feet and not my mouth. Thanks for the insight my dear friend.

Ginger said...

Good for you! Very wise. I've also learned that if I get face to face with whoever I'm giving instruction to (esp Elena & Chloe), I don't have to repeat myself. What a revelation that was!! Sheesh.

Life on The Rowland Ranch said...

Me! Me! I'm joining the campaign!!! Where's my tshirt??? I grew up in a LOUD, NEW YORK, YELLING home.(Seems like us New Yorkers are louder than others!) I always promised myself that I wouldn't be a "yeller". Can anyone say "inner vow"?? :) I'm with ya Jody..since moving to our "new house" everyone seems so much farther away and the stairs are not fun to climb..I've found myself "raising my voice"...(doesn't that sound nicer?) I want my kids to remember me as a Mamma with the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight! So, I'm on board for sure! "Move your feet, not your mouth!" Thanks for the encouragement!!

Edward and Gretchen said...

Conviction from God, Jody, or maybe both? How can I say no this this one. Believe me my kids will thank you for this. I've been telling Ed for months that we have got to lower our tone. But I won't volunteer him for this one, I'll just send him the link to your blog.

Jody said...

Looks like we've only got 4 people in our phenomenon. So, Jane, you're gonna have to do some recruiting if you want a t-shirt. Maybe you and Kelly could come up with a marketing strategy to increase the traffic to this site. However, you can't give anything away. I have limits and they are set at not bribing people to read. You have to want to be here of your own free will, not looking for loot.

Shipra Panosian said...

I'm late catching up to this post, but COUNT ME IN ('scuse the yelling that out but in this case i think it's needed). I sooooooo love the tag line. Short and sweet and my new mantra...Move your feet, not your mouth! YOu're right, it's a laziness issue with me too and I don't even have the excuse of 35 steps up!!!