I feel like I've been slowly having this realization of how much thought I put into how I, or my family, is perceived to the outside world (as in: everyone). It is extremely strange to step back & think, "What the heck? Why do I even care about how some random other mom sees me?" or whatever it is at the time. Or when I see how much fear goes is allowed into my daily thought process. I have really opened myself up to a fear-based way of living & it seriously sucks. One of the things I've noticed since starting a new parenting approach is how much my parenting was about....me. It says this in the book I'm reading & it's resonated so profoundly with me that I think about it a lot throughout the day: it's that the way we react to our kids is not because of what they are doing, but because of what WE as the parent are feeling. As in, my kid jumping on the couch might not make me raging mad, but it could piss you off to the point where you see red. And that has nothing to do with what the kid is doing, but our own experiences as children & our fears & emotions and blah blah blah. That is heavy hitting right there (perhaps not the 'blah blh blah' part). And it nails it. What makes me blinding mad at my kids, does not make Ben, my husband mad. And vice-versa. We have the same kids! It's not our kids, it's us. Something triggers our emotions & we react to what's happening based on that. Knowing that has freed me and also given me a severe case of: wtf is wrong with me? But in a good way, if that's possible.
I yell at my kids. And I hate it & feel terrible about it later. I see how freaked out they get when I do it & it kills me. More often than not, I will apologize right afterwards and tell them that it's wrong for me to yell. I do think I've gotten better, but it is such a downer to be having a great day with them and then to have them do something that just pushes me into an emotional vortex where I flip out and scream. And now that I know it's my own issues & not their behavior doing that, I can't just be all high-horse about it. I have to take responsibility & go, "why do I react that way when they do that?" And people, I am so sick of working on myself. I feel like I've been doing that my whole life. Trying to rearrange the screwed up way my emotions work & be normal. But none of us are, are we?
I think that's part of my thing. I have the completely wrong idea that I am the only way that yells or has maniac reactions to dumb stuff. That I'm the only one who has to deal with the anxiety that comes with comparing oneself to another. That's BS. I know you are all as insecure as I am! Okay, maybe only some of you. I know there are some confident people out there & I don't know where they come from or if there's a club, but good for you.
I am so tired of walking around in defense mode. That is not who I want to be or who I was made to be. I let so many things get to me and I carry them around all day & then something tiny happens and because I've been carrying around all this crap, the tiny thing sends me over the invisible edge of doom. Well, no more. I do not give my anxieties & preoccupation with my image permission to screw up my life or my kids lives any longer.
The other day we had a picnic outside & later I realize I didn't take any pictures. And I thought, "Oh bummer I can't put those on the blog or instagram or..." and then I thought, "Hey, I just enjoyed my family instead of thinking I should document them, that's pretty awesome." This is not to say I think taking pictures is bad. I don't. I love taking pics of my kids & the stuff we do. But I don't want to make my life about that. I don't want to feel like I need to take a picture to validate our experience.
And on that note...
Happy Mother's Day!!!