Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Over half-way

I am now on Day 17 of the 28 day scream-free parenting challenge.  So far, so good I guess.  I mean, in the past two days I have officially lost my shit at least four times with the kids, but I’m not counting them as failures.  In fact, lately when I lose my temper, I’m faster to let go of it.   Prior to the challenge, if I lost my temper, I would tend to ruminate about it, think about how other people I know would probably have handled it a lot better, and brand myself as a hopeless Mum.  But not anymore.  Now I just remind myself that I’m only human, and that at the very least I’m aware of it, and I’m trying.

Each morning I wake up to my email from Jackie Hall (Self-Help for Mums) and I take the time to read it and then apply it to my day.  It’s not that hard.  Jackie has taken the big picture, stripped it down to bite-size, digestible pieces and is spoon-feeding it to us slowly each day over this 28-day period.  Some of it seems repetitious (by Jackie’s own admission), but I believe that’s because the basic premise of this whole challenge is that all of the stress and anger culminates from the conflict we have between our belief (of what should be happening) and the reality of what is happening.  Oh sister…ain’t that the truth.

The best tips I have received so far are: 
  • we should recognise that stress is caused by the conflict between belief and reality;
  • we need to deal with the reality of what’s happening – don’t catastrophise everything;
  • to detach your self-worth from their behaviour – they’re not trying to undermine you, they’re not trying to demean you; and
  • to look at the bigger picture – Jackie provided us with an ‘expansion exercise’ which truly helped me to realise how small the problems really are (it worked for me yesterday).
I feel a touch of Buddhism running through Jackie’s emails and I like it.  Buddhism for Mothers by Sarah Napthali would have to be one of my favourite books.  I discovered it in the first year of Polynesian Princess’s life and read it a couple of times over the course of that year.

So in between me writing the above paragraph and this paragraph, I have just screamed at the kids and sat back down to finish this off.  Apt.

My heart is racing, my head is pounding and I am trying, desperately to look at the bigger picture, to remain mindful and to understand they’re not trying to piss me off – they’re just being kids.

Breathing in……

And out….

Right.  Where was I?  That's right - with 11 days to go I’m looking forward to receiving more tips and advice from Jackie Hall.  I’m keeping all the emails in a folder and they’ve been great to read back on whenever I get a chance through the day.

So I'm getting there.  Baby steps, people.  Baby steps.

Are you doing the challenge?  Are you finding it helpful?

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