A few weeks back I was feeling frustrated. I’m an independent person with a high achievement drive and these characteristics, which can be strengths, were holding me back – “I wish I could go to that event – but I can’t because I’ve been away quite alot recently and the kids need me here”….”I wish I could get half an hour to catch up on SoMe in the morning – but I can’t because I need to do breakfast and get the kids ready”…..”I wish I could exercise more – but I can’t because by the time I’ve got the kids to bed, had some tea, done some work or housework, there’s no time….” and so on.
And then I caught myself. I realised how unhelpful my thinking had become. I noticed it leaking into my conversations. Just a little edge of bitterness, resentment and envy. Our thinking – both the helpful and the unhelpful – leaks out of us through what we say and what we do. We just can’t help it.
When I had my realisation I made a decision – that’s not who I want to be.
Who I want to be, and who I know I can be, is a positive person who can always see there’s a choice. Who is grateful for what I have rather than mithering over what I don’t. And who knows that all these things start with our thinking – which we can choose – they’re just thoughts.
So I examined my thinking and came up with some more helpful stuff to think instead, which I’ve been practicing for the last couple of weeks.
I hope that by sharing these I can enable others who might have the same or a similar challenge to find some more helpful thoughts for themselves too…. Here are my new thoughts –
My kids mean I laugh. Everyday.
I get to sing Frozen songs in the car as loud as I like (yes, whether they’re with me or not).
I chose to be a mum and I chose to have my business – I love them both and if I want to keep them both I need to enjoy them for what they are and how they are right now.
I am very lucky to have two amazing, healthy, gorgeous children.
If time spent [insert anything I feel I “can’t” do] is important enough I will make it happen.
If it wasn’t for the kids I could be a workaholic, creating no space for fun, reflection or creativity – which I know invite our best thinking.
Having so much to squeeze into life makes me great at prioritising, and focusing on the most important things.
Having kids mean I get to spend more time outside, in grassy tree-filled places than I probably would otherwise.
I might not get to do ‘traditional’ exercise as much as I’d like but I do get to lift heavy weights (tired kids), exercise my core (acting like a horse for them to take a ride), work my thighs and glutes (going up and down stairs a lot).
Their school holidays mean I take more holidays than I normally would, so I get good breaks that usually involve lots of fresh air and activity.
They’re honest and tell it like it is which helps to keep me in check – ‘but mummy you’re always busy doing something’.
They challenge me to manage my emotions, to choose how I respond and get the best out of them – the most extreme emotional intelligence development you could hope for.
They remind me of the simple needs we all have – hugs, time to have fun together, good sleep, a reason why to help us take action, exercise, (mostly) healthy food, more hugs, the chance to be given responsibility, having someone to listen to us and how we’re feeling, and a few more hugs for good measure!
What do you struggle with? What could you think instead that would be more helpful?
[Photo credit – http://shootingparrots.co.uk/2011/12/05/theres-a-hole-in-my-bucket]
This is me…….Wild Fig Solutions Ltd