Monday, February 1, 2010

Welcome to My February!

Well, it happened like clockwork...I turned the calendar page to February and cabin fever struck - right on schedule. I'm not sure if the whining and the complaining actually increases or if my ability to deal with it goes out the window. Maybe it is a little of each.

In years past the routine would look something like this:

~ rant and rave
~ threaten to send them to public school
~ call my husband and rant and rave again
~ lock myself in my room and not come out until March 1st

This year, however, I tried a few different things:

~ rant and rave
~ only THINK about sending them to public school - don't actually verbalize the threat
~ NOT call my husband after remembering that he will just roll his eyes and remind me that it is February and that this happens every year
~ lock myself in my room and pray

Wow, now there was the key...prayer. I immediately turned to the Blessed Mother and begged for strength and inspiration. Here is what "we" came up with: (Note - anything that succeeds in this endeavor came from her, anything that fails came straight from me!)

Welcome to NaNoCompMo!

What is that, you ask? Maybe you've heard of NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writer's Month? Or maybe you've heard of NaBlCroKniMo - National Blanket Crochetting/Knitting Month?(although probably not because my daughter just made it up.) Well, NaNoCompMo is inspired by both of those and stands for

National No Complaining Month!

In the first two examples you are required to produce something by the end of the month; either a 50,000+ word novel or a really large blanket. In my month the goal is NOT to do something; and that something is complain! What is even better is that anyone can participate - you don't have to know how to write or knit or whatever. If you can talk, then you can participate (and probably should participate) in NaNoCompMo. And, there aren't any hard and fast rules, either. I believe that it should be up to each household to set their own rules and consequences.

In this household I am going to try to hold to a zero tolerance policy for the month along with natural consequences. For example, if you complain about a meal, then I will relieve you of the stress of eating the said "swill". If you complain about an assignment, it will be doubled. If you complain about a chore, you will do it twice instead of just once. I've always done this sporadically (If Dr. Ray were reading this, he'd tell me that the word "sporadically" is the real problem here!) but NaNoCompMo will give me the incentive I need to stick with it for a whole month.

On the flip side, I think it only fair that my husband and I participate, too. However, children, there is a distinct difference between complaining and instructing, reprimanding and disciplining. For example, "Why can't you kids ever pick up your toys?" (complaining) and "Johnny, please come here and pick up your toy now or I will immediately donate it to the first child without a toy to come to our door." (instructing)

So what do you think? Are you ready to play? Is this just the thing you've been looking for? I'd love to have you leave a comment if you and your family will be participating in this new national event (although people rarely leave comments here, so don't be surprised if you don't see any!) (was that a complaint?). For all of the participants in my house, I have this to say...

Be thankful February is a short month!

Good luck and remember that the world would be a much happier place if everyone would stop complaining. Here's your chance!

PS. Help spread the word and link to this post from your blog! Thanks.


  1. I'll try! And I teach writing to college freshman, so it'll be a challenge. But that's not a complaint...I'm just saying! :)

  2. I'm up for the challenge and will be sharing this with the devoted husband tonight :). Maybe he'll even join in, although he complains like 1% of the time I spend doing it.

  3. What a wonderful idea...I will probably forget in a day or two, but I will try to be consistent. Oh except for the week I will be gone. That could be a difficult one to monitor! I don't think *I* will be complaining that week...:O

  4. Claire keeps trying to remind me...but I haven't been doing so well. I am great at remembering after the complaint is done. I just complain way to much and now is a good time to start stopping. =)
    Thanks for starting this!