I don't know that slowing down is the right word for it. I've been moving pretty slowly since the end of monetarily fulfilling work for me. I think I remember a spell of laziness that I considered to be a bit of relaxing.
At some point in time, I could no longer honestly suggest that I was really being anything other than lazy. The house was getting messier and even dirtier in some areas. I've caught Momma one too many times cleaning things that I should have done. She works hard enough, so my lazy ass really needs to scrub the damn toilet.
The slowing down of which I speak is more what unschoolers might call deschooling. Mostly, I'm relaxing my attitude toward a lot of things having to do with the boys. I'm rethinking the concept of rules, making my expectations of them make sense. I've long known I need to work on the yelling and being angry dad.
I've always felt that I needed to expect a certain level of everything from the boys. I've demanded a lot of them that I never needed to. I've forced levels of behavior that are often ridiculous. Now I'm trying to undo some of that. It's a hard moment realizing that you don't meet the expectations that you have for your kids.
Just these early tentative steps have been paying off. Momma has noticed that I'm nicer these days. I think I could have listened to her a few years ago and saved us all some trouble. She has been a little short with the boys, but I think a lot of it was my negativity being so much that it trickled down. Had I been more relaxed from the beginning, she would also have been. She has tried to show me before how I was being a butt, but I was certain I was right and probably argued my point better.
That's parenting. I certainly didn't ruin the boys. They're everything you could want in kids really. And we can all be just a little happier and loving toward each other. I'll do my part by expecting more of myself than I do of them. I'll model how I should be rather than telling them how I think they should be.