FlyLady: Give up martyr role and love your family

Published: Thursday, Dec. 27 2007 12:10 a.m. MST

All of our lives we have spent putting out fires. These fires were started by our perfectionism and our procrastination. Along with panic of these fires come the squeals of martyrdom and yells of dissatisfaction. We have all done this, and it is our family who have had listen to it.

Why do we torture our family with hurtful words? I can tell you why! You are so stressed out and feeling like a martyr! This has got to stop! I can help you get rid of the stress, but it us up to you to curb those angry words. The first step is to follow our directions for your routines.

It is up to you to change your attitude toward your family! Once you change your martyred outlook to one of blessing your family and giving teaching moments, you will see a change in them. I know that you don't believe me, but you can only change yourself. It is by your example that your family will begin to help and support your efforts to secure a peaceful home.

What does your wicked tongue do to your children, your husband and most of all you? It doesn't tell them you love them. It makes them feel less than; it hurts their self-worth. They feel that they have no say in things. It makes your husband feel that he is married to his mother! I don't even want to go there. They feel like servants, instead of family members. Those harsh words are worse than a whipping. You cut your family out of the conversational loop. The family can't even say what is on their mind because they are afraid of you. Home life is based on the fear of not making mother mad. Your family members hide from you. They become afraid to tell you when something happens.

After those words have come from your lips, just how do you feel then? Do you feel laden with guilt or do you even realize you are barking nasty remarks their way. Oblivious to the torture you have inflicted upon your loved ones.

There is absolutely no excuse for this. I don't want to hear that this is the only way I can get my family to do anything. This is the lie that you tell yourself to not feel guilty. It is time to forgive yourself and then ask them to forgive you.

Many times in our lives we are faced with things that are difficult. As sidetracked people we allow our perfectionism to hurt us and our children. We just do not know that is what is causing us to be raving banshees.

Now you have a chance to change by taking actions. You may not have known how to change in the past, but you are learning. Take these words into your heart and forgive yourself. You know the things you have said. This can be the beginning of a new relationship with your family.

I would like to suggest that you start writing your feelings down, too. Not just the pain you are feeling but how you can change. First, you have to forgive yourself. You are just learning these things; the more you write the more you will discover about yourself. You are not expected to be perfect. Love yourself enough to take these words and go forward from here. This is not the end but the beginning of a new life. After you forgive yourself and get in touch with your own feelings; then you can ask for forgiveness. My heart goes out to you! My prayers are with you and your whole family.

You can do this; you found us because you were looking for a change in your life. You are willing to make changes.

Your tongue can criticize or it can encourage. The choice is all yours. If you have not changed your attitude, then how can you expect to see a change in them? It has to come from the heart. If not they will see right through you. They may not even believe it at first, because you will not be sounding like the mother they have been used to all your life. The children may think the aliens have taken their real mother away. Prove to them and their father that you have changed. Sprinkle your words of love, encouragement and teaching all over your home. Apologize for your tongue. Don't play the martyr game anymore. No one loves a martyr. Not even you!


For more help getting rid of your CHAOS; check out: www.FlyLady.net or "Sink Reflections" published by Bantam and "Body Clutter" published by Fireside. Copyright 2007 Marla Cilley. Used by permission in this publication.