You finally woke up the day after champagne and the ball dropping.You finally realise the last year past. Sometimes that bring stresses of last year's to do list or the fact that your health insurance has changed from what it was the day before so your ability to go to a doctor changes. Or, you had the deadline and you were going to tithe or donate money to make the 31st December deadline. Or you just were hoping to enter the new year with a clean living room. Does this sound like you? It does me!
However, the new year brings the ability to change what was... And in reality we all know that you can do this any day of the year but doing this on the new year brings a tradition of change. A hope for the future. Whether it is the age old losing weight, or more complex things, your list of what you want to accomplish starts today.
I want to share with you some of mine. They are humanistic ones... ones I am sure you can identify with. And some you may not, but you can help keep my accountable for this change.
Out with the old ... 2015 ... (In with the New... 2016)
Last year was such a struggle for me on so many levels. There were illnesses, family stress, incredible family stress, medical things, housing issues, my boy scouts transitioning to a new level and gaining more boys, my girl scout troop grew big (such a beautiful blessing and yet a lot of work, still would not change it), a lot of growing into my new self. A lot of looking at the old self. Call it the transition year.
Here are the old things though, that shall go.
1) Not Believing in Myself
Can I really do it? Am I worthy of accomplishing XYZ? Am I capable of doing it? I constantly always over think without believing in myself. This has been a constant in my life because of many factors and has adversely affected what I know I am capable of.
This could be not just what I do but in what I do. I am an awesome scout leader for example and I love doing it. I get criticised sometimes, yes, I do which is nuts why someone would criticise someone taking that on. But in the moments I can be a human and struggle in something. Believing in myself for something that I am capable has come slowly. Just because we came shy of our goal of cookie season, or only 10 of my girls attend the CPR session I set up, does not make me anything. It does not make me a failure. I did something awesome and amazing for the girls.
2) Being a Perfectionist
So what if the colours in the afghan I made were off a little? But it matters! What if someone came over to my house and saw what it was like every once in a while when the kids actually live in it, because, duh they do! But they will judge me for not having a perfectly clean house because there are toys all over the place. My kids live in it. I have taught my kids in some ways to be perfectionist simply by the fact that I can over care on the little things that don't really matter.
3) Comparing Myself
This is my issue-- I was not taught to necessarily push myself in the positive way and I have always compared myself to others. Always. I have always wondered why everyone else was so much better than I was. Comparison is one of the worst things you can do to yourself-- one may say one of the most evil things in the world. It keeps us from being our true self. If we were meant to be equal, we would be made that way.
4) Caring Too Much What Others Think
I care sometimes too much what other people think and I know this gets in my way of doing what I know is best. I have a very capable mind and comparing myself is hard and useless. I end up feeling like crap after because all I am concerned about is not my own goals but the goals of others and how I am useless and not worth it.
5) Giving Myself Reasons to Not Do Something
This is ambiguous but what it really means is that I have done a lot of second guessing myself on things I need to do. Do I really want to make extra pasta to take to have for lunch instead of buying something? Do I want to go to X event more than another event or just go home? Does A + B = C or XYZ? You can see the questions can spiral into making things way more complicated then they have to be.
I am guilty of this sometimes. Making things more difficult than they have to be. Sometimes we all do that though. I don't know anyone that has not done this. This of course leads into...
6) Not Taking Care of Myself
This is not just not nursing myself back to health. But if I am completely honest, I will push my needs back to serve those around me. And this is suppose to be good, right? It is. But there is an important balance. I can't take care of everything else if I don't take care of me and I know this. The mistake is that I will do it anyways because I feel guilty for putting my need for spiritual time or a super long bubble bath over getting ready for school for my kids or
7) Taking on Responsibility for my Kids' Behaviour
As many people, especially those whose are not parents, don't understand, we are not truly responsible for our kids behaviour but society tells us we are so we take on full responsibility. I am not talking about them doing graffiti or needing to buy the Snickers that they took off the shelf and ate at the register without asking, and yes, that happened to me as I am sure most parents.
What I am talking about here is how I took on personal responsibility for how much school work they got done, or how they weer feeling or what language they decided to use when upset. No, no, no, no. I can't believe I did and I SO did this. I took on what they should be responsible for and that gave them more license to not do what they needed to do. And that is not OK.
Why do I do this? Society, whether intentional or not, makes the mum especially, feel horrible or like it is our fault when our kid is having a melt down on the bus because someone won't get up for them to sit down (and we are talking of course a toddler) or when the older two kids are bickering over something stupid and you can try to re-correct them and yell at them, which gets attention from the public in a negative light but then if you don't fix it they look at you just the same or worse. We are taught and it is ingrained in some way that we are responsible for our kids being perfect. That is not possible. How can I be responsible for a tired child after a long day crying because they want to go to sleep but have to stand up on a crowded bus because someone won't move for them? I can't. And just as they have a right to be frustrated so does my child and so do I.
I let what others think of me get in the way of allowing my kids to grow. And this does apply to family as well. My kids are loud, I don't deny that. My kids will talk your ear off about facts from astronomy or fashion, or what they are doing in scouting. It can annoy people and I get that. At what point though, do I let that overrule my goals for my kids to be their own person? To be unique.
Anyone who says they have not done this... lying in my opinion. If they don't do it out loud, they have inside. Or they have massively learned the necessary skills to which not to do this. I grew up being yelled at and being corrected that way. Add that to my blunt honesty and no filter, it can lead to raising my voice and yelling. To be completely honest though, it does make me feel better when others get to that point with mine when they do because it means I have humanity. I have a huge threshold of what I can deal with but there are things I don't put up easily with. Things like blatant disrespect or listening especially in safety situations. I will raise my voice for example when my oldest thinks he can cross the street by himself while we are farther back and he clearly did not hear me for the first few times nor watching where he was going.
9) Being the Perfect Mother
I am the perfect mum... not. Or I try to be. I mean, if I can't be the most perfect everything including a mum, why do it all right? Um.... no! But if I am not the perfect mum my kids won't get as much as out of life, right? Again, no. In fact, trying to be the perfect mother had lead me to do the things more above rather than dealing with my humanness in a way that shows them how to deal with it. But, but, but... no buts or coconuts! Not only is there no such thing but trying to achieve it has made me so unhappy and I have tried. I have enjoyed less time with my kids trying to achieve the perceived but never could be real, the mother of all perfectionism.
10) Dwelling on the Stupid and Making Stupid Lists of Things that I Am Doing Wrong
... because that is coming to past. But really, I mean, I am going to dwell on the fact that I got upset because they would not sit down for the 10th time or that they were not doing their homework? I have a right to be upset and won't down play that. I will be upset and move on. No, they did not see my point in saving time and just getting it done rather than complain and I am just... bah! Move on.
I will often dwell on the fact that I got upset, even if I had a right to, and then make the list of why it was wrong and what I am going to do different.
Now I don't and did not do all these in one days but every so often I would hit one of these 10. These are like the 10 kryptonite of being a mum. I don't know many that don't have issues with these on one level or a not.
I did not write this for my own up-doing-- the act of moving up-- but the fact that I know there are many other mums out there struggling with the same exact thing. You don't have to be a blunt extrovert mum to deal with this. You can be introvert and clinical in thought and still feel this way. I have found this out through talking to many.
Join me this year on the journey of being a real awesome mum the way we are!
Here is one of my New Year's Resolutions
Let me know by commenting below what other things you struggle with as a mum and I will write on it! I bet you are not the only one! We are all in this together!
Here are my 16 Resolutions for 2016!