My Mantra: “D-I-T-M”
DITM is an acronym you might overhear me muttering any time I’m trying to buckle my squirming toddler into a shopping cart or when my daughter insists on candy when it’s time to sit down for dinner. Any time one of my kids puts up a struggle over something that I shouldn’t give in to (another bowl of ice cream, not wearing a coat in the snow, not being dropped off for Sunday school), I immediately start referencing DITM to myself.
What is DITM? It stands for this: “Darn it, I’m the Mommy!” In other words, I’m telling myself, “Stick to your guns! You’re the one in charge here!” Too often I found myself giving in when I probably shouldn’t have:
“She hates the stroller, so even though the mall is really busy and I’m carrying a bunch of bags already, I’ll carry her too.”
“He doesn’t really like vegetables, so I guess I won’t even put them on his plate.”
“I’m exhausted, but they don’t really want to nap, so I guess I should just let them watch TV.”
One day something clicked and I said to myself, “Enough! Who is the Mommy here?!” I think that I had let myself slip into more of a team mentality – which although isn’t bad in itself – I seemed to forget that every team needs a coach. When the coach says to get in the stroller, you get in the stroller. When coach says eat your vegetables, you at least try them. When coach says take a nap, for goodness sake, you take a nap so the coach can get some rest too!
Whenever one of my kiddos protested about something that I absolutely needed them to do (getting in the car seat, getting a diaper change, etc) I said to myself “DITM!” and took control of the situation. I didn’t bribe my kids and I certainly didn’t beg them. Mommy said it was going to be done, and so it was.
I’m not saying this is magic, but I will say that it has helped me out a lot. My kids know that when I say something is going to happen, it’s actually going to happen. They also know that I don’t make empty threats. If I say that hitting your sister will land you in a timeout and you’ll lose the toy for the day, then by God that’s what happens. Why? Because darn it, I’m the Mommy! That’s why.