“We have all been there. Sometimes it feels like all we can do is beat ourselves up. It feels like finding the good in ourselves and our capabilities is just impossible. As a mother, a partner, and a person.
Now, I wish I could just tell you all you have to do is ‘think positively and it will fix it all.’ If this were the case, well, I wouldn’t be here writing this—and you wouldn’t have decided to read it.
There are so many things we can do to stop beating ourselves up, but so many of them feel easier said than done. My mind leads back to ‘just think positively and the rest will follow,’ which I am guilty of saying…often. However, as cliché as it sounds, sometimes it really does help.
So, what do I mean? Not in the sense of ignoring all the issues and your own thoughts, and shoving toxic positivity down your own throat. But by looking at a situation you might be struggling with or beating yourself up over, instead of picking yourself apart over what you could have/should have done.
Look at the situation, and pull out the things you are happy with – what went right, and what you know you couldn’t have changed even if you wanted to, and be okay with that.
Sometimes we overlook the good parts of a situation and block them out because we are so focused on what we need to ‘do better,’ or we need to change this, that, and the next thing about ourselves.
By breaking down our situation and turning what we first saw as a terrible day, event, situation, or whatever it was, we can change the narrative in our head into one that wasn’t as bad as we thought, and realize it was actually a really good one.
Now, there are going to be things we can’t exactly turn into a great event. A child throwing a tantrum, for example. At the end of the day, you might look back at it and think, ‘I should have just given them what they wanted,’ or, ‘I was so embarrassed. Why does my child do this?’ ‘We were having a good day. What did I do to make them have a meltdown, or how could I stop them from doing it again?’
Some of these are valid. You are allowed to feel embarrassed. Not that a child having a tantrum should be seen as embarrassing; however, sometimes you can’t help but feel some sort of way when you are the parent carrying the screaming child out of Walmart. I get it, I’ve been there too.
But, taking all the blame and deciding you are the problem or the reason this happened, doesn’t fix the situation and only makes you feel like you are carrying guilt for something that occasionally just happens. Little people have big feelings they don’t always know how to deal with, and sometimes it ends in a tantrum.
The same goes for things like burning dinner or forgetting there was something scheduled on the calendar. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it can make you feel silly, or whatever other word you want to use in that situation, but these things happen, and it’s a lot easier (and in our better interest) to laugh it off, shake it off, and go with the flow.
You can make something else, like have a snack-y dinner and a picnic on the living room floor, and now burnt dinner is fun. Reschedule the appointment and maybe look at your calendar and what’s coming next, and think of other ways you could go about remembering when and what things are coming.
I personally have multiple calendars around my house and apps on my phone to remind me of things. I forget things a lot if it’s not in the daily routine, so I find it helpful to be constantly reminded.
Sometimes, as ridiculous as it sounds, we really do need to laugh it off and look at the positive or the ‘it-is-what-it-is’ side of things and try to move forward. Yes, days are going to suck, and not everything in life can be positive. But there’s no reason to drag ourselves down when we are trying our hardest.
One day, the things we get upset about now won’t seem as upsetting, and we may even laugh at our last selves. That’s not to say the way we feel in these situations isn’t valid, but being able to remind ourselves we don’t need to beat ourselves up over them is important.
And just a little reminder for all you parents out there:
A bad day doesn’t make you a bad mom.
You do not need to have an activity planned for every day.
It’s okay to have a ‘lazy day.’
Sometimes just being present is enough.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ashley Cirka of Canada and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, her blog, Twitter, and Pinterest. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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