“The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree”
We’ve all heard this saying before. It’s been around longer than I’ve been alive. And yet, I think some of its meaning has been lost simply because it’s been around for so long.
I could sit and pick apart this saying and how it relates to parenting for longer than you’d care to listen, trust me. I mean, I can talk about almost anything for longer than you’d want to listen to me (haha) but this carries so many meanings for me when it comes to motherhood.
Today, for both my sanity and yours, I want to address just one instance of how I’ve been using it as a personal mantra to help control the atmosphere in our home.
“The Crab Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree”
Now I know what you’re thinking. You literally just added one word. What’s the big deal about that? Well friends, today I want to talk about how our attitudes affect the attitudes of everyone in our household. We can set the tone for our day, but not just for ourselves but for everyone in our household too. Or I should say, you can spoil the attitudes of everyone in your house for the day.
A while back, I remember this one Saturday where I got so furious at my husband. We have this Saturday morning ritual where we all jump in the car and run to Einstein Brothers to get bagel sandwiches and coffee and get the kids cookies. Nothing too crazy, but it’s ours and we’ve all come to love this time together.
This particular morning, I cannot even recall exactly what all had happened, but my husband was in a sour mood. I mean, just grumpy at the world. And before you knew it, I was rolling my eyes and making snarky comments under my breath and my kids were suddenly whiny and being so difficult about getting ready and out the door.
I remember this thought clicking in my head. This was all my husband’s fault! He was the one who spoiled everyone else’s mood. He was the one who spread his crabbiness to all of us and now we were all miserable and our morning was ruined. If he would only realize that his mood affects us all – it sets the tone for our entire family. And the thoughts went on like this etc etc etc.
That was when I had my true epiphany. He, who I was so lovingly placing all the blame on, was not the only one who could set off a chain reaction and control the entire family’s mood. This responsibility was and is placed on my shoulders as well. How many times have I been the one who let a sleepless night or medical insurance claim issues get to me and cause my attitude to plummet, which then dragged my kids right down alongside of me?
I do this all the time. As a mother, wife, homemaker, and business partner, life can get annoying and hard sometimes. If I don’t keep my attitude in check, I can spoil an entire day for my family. An entire day wasted, because I can’t work through my feelings and frustrations in a healthy way and not allow them to seep into every interaction I have.
It was the realization that if I’m a crab apple, my little crab apples don’t fall too far from the tree either. And you know what? Parenting is hard enough without me being responsible for tiny little crabby monsters as well.
So from then on, I’ve been working hard to work through my sour puss moments, because Lord knows those won’t actually ever stop. But I can learn to work through them appropriately and then remind myself that I set the tone for our family. I decide if the apples falling from the tree are healthy green apples, or little crab apples.
I haven’t perfected this, but I have seen progress in myself and my kids’ attitudes as a result. I encourage you to stop and reflect on mornings or moments where your entire family has been frustrated. Try to find the root cause. And if it’s due to you having a crabby moment, I challenge you to take on this same mindset and work towards turning those crab apples into healthy apples.