Hey you. Stop slumping. And wipe that smudge off your monitor.
Sorry, sorry. You're an adult. Slump all you want to, you and your dirty computer screen. Forgive my nagging ... it's just a force of habit. Because, y'all? It's ALL I SEEM TO DO ANY MORE.
As much as I'd like to quit, it seems virtually impossible. I mean - how can I, when 90% of the stuff that goes on in my house requires a reprimand? Quit hitting your brother. Don't throw that. Wipe that up. Close the lid. Use an inside voice. Stop chasing the dog with your scooter. No pinching. Quit hitting your brother. Keep the milk in the cup. Stop pulling on that. Stop hanging on that. Stop climbing on that. Don't color on that. Don't spit. Get your coat off the floor. Close the refrigerator. QUIT. HITTING. Your BROTHER!
I swear that my family - husband included - thinks that it gives me some sort of pleasure to nag all the ever-lovin' time. But OMG. It's freaking exhausting. I get so tired of nagging. Yet what's my alternative? It's either nag, or find myself with (extra) messes to clean, (more) broken stuff (like the mini-blind that I found mysteriously dangling from the effing ceiling fan the other day), and a houseful of dudes who leave the seat up all the time. Sure, I could let them make the messes and suffer the consequence of cleaning it up themselves - but then I'd have to nag them through every step of the cleaning process.
It's like I can't win.
I've tried replacing the nagging with positive reinforcement, praising my children for good things instead of pointing out all that they do wrong. This sounds fabulous in theory. But honestly? For every one share, every unprompted cleanup, every single sweet brotherly moment, there are ten (okay, twelve) incidents that require some sort of reprimand. I mean, what am I supposed to say? "Gee, son, I couldn't help but notice as you lifted your arm to backhand your brother that your muscles are looking very strong these days. Way to go!" ... or maybe, "Wow, what a great job you did making three separate puddles of pee on the floor around the base of the toilet instead of just one!"
It doesn't help that two of my three kids are going through this phase lately where they DO. NOT. LISTEN. It's like they don't even hear me, like their little ears have stopped registering the tone of my voice, and it's just so much more background noise they tune out. So whatever I have to tell them? I have to tell them, like, a hundred times. And even if the first time it's a gentle reminder, it doesn't come out as nicely the second or third (or fourth) time.
As if that's not bad enough, I have a hard time switching effortlessly from Mommy-mode to wife-mode. So the nagging often extends (inadvertently, I swear!) to my husband. I try to keep it in check, to be mindful of who I'm talking to (stop laughing, Honey, I seriously do), but ... yeah. Like my efforts with the kids, that doesn't always work.
I'm a nag. And I hate it. And I hate that everyone seems to think I like it. Like it's part of my motherly identity. I don't want that.
But I'm fresh out of ideas as to how to kick the habit, or turn things around so that I don't need to nag. There's got to be some way. I mean, Michelle Duggar has tons of kids, and she doesn't nag.
... At least not on camera.