Today’s blog is very personal but stories are personal and so I hope you will read on.
There are days when I wonder if parenting ever gets easier. You too?
Trying to balance the needs of everybody in the family, whilst making sure that I see to my own too feels like a real circus act, a professional juggling act, but the problem is I am not a trained performer!
My balls tend to fall to the ground quite often and having to pick them up feels awful.
Do you ever get to the end of the day and wonder how you are going to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again?
Sometimes the weeks feel like a never-ending cycle and my mindset begins to spiral.
‘This is exhausting. I am so tired.’
‘I am damned if I do, damned if I don’t.’
‘I am not good enough for this.’
‘I am really doing badly this month.’
‘Does nothing ever go right?’
And the really nasty thing about a negative mindset is that it is impossible to fix on your own.
You hear yourself say these things, spinning negative stories about yourself and your life and then you notice your young childreobserving you.
Very soon, to your horror, they start to imitate you.
Did you ever notice that when you speak badly of yourself, your children begin to speak badly of themselves too?
Did you realise that young children repeat what you say really quickly and frequently?
When my children were little, I often found myself staring at them with my jaw dropping to the ground, as they would pick up on the negative things I was saying and repeat them back to me.
Often, seeing the behaviour I did not like in myself projected back at me, triggered my anger and I would end up correcting them, sometimes I would even end up shouting.
I wanted them to stop doing what I was doing myself.
In reality, deep deep down, what I truly wanted was my negative mindset to shift. But instead of shifting my mindset from negative thinking to a more positive focus, what was actually happening was that I distanced my children from me.
As they heard me shout, they withdrew into themselves.
I would later apologise and wrap my arms around them in a tight hug but ugh it felt bad!
Have you had this experience too?
We know life is hard but we still cling to hope because it is what keeps us going.
Problem is, unless you reach out you cannot change this downward spiral.
Maybe you already have a good network of friends or a life coach or therapist to help you flip negative thoughts into positive ones.
Maybe you just cringed a little as you read that.
When my twins were little I didn’t have a network of support. I felt alone and sad, especially after my divorce, which left me with two toddlers and a bunch of problems with no easy solution.
Luckily, one day as I sat in my lovely hairdresser’s chair she looked at me and said, ‘Look, I’m just going to say it as it is. You need help.’
She shoved a number into my hand and to cut a long story short, I ended up calling the number in the midst of a terrible panic attack around four months later.
Yes, four months! It took me that long to accept that I needed support…a guide through the difficulties.
Ten years of therapy later and numerous training courses down the line, I now practice a positive mindset every single day and I have built a membership programme that uses storytelling as a tool to support parents just like you.
You see, positive focus does not just happen. It is a practice. You have to commit to it. And you have to find a tribe that can hold space for you.
You can do that with us or elsewhere.
In case you want to do it with us, I hope you will join The Story Solution for Parents.
For a small investment each month, you get valuable coaching time with me, Q and A sessions, a whole toolkit of specially designed story resources to help you and your children, as well as moments of connection and fun.
Start by watching this interview (Kiva ends up in tears at the end!) and then sign up or reach out.
I have trained as a professional story guide to hold space for you with love and grace.
You deserve this!
So, let’s juggle these balls together…it’s so much better than trying to keep them all up in the air alone.