By Diana Duke, Momivate's Secretary
As I walk in the house from picking up the kids from school, I notice piles of folded laundry just waiting for the kids to knock over. The sink is full of dirty dishes from breakfast with cereal boxes and orange juice still sitting on the island. Five bags of groceries are sitting on the counter just waiting to be put away. There are backpacks and shoes strewn throughout the living room.
My thoughts pull me to a commercial with a woman in a business suit singing “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget that I’m a woman”. I don’t even remember what the commercial was pushing. I just remember thinking I want to be that woman who can do it all: work, provide, and do it looking amazing.
But as I stare at the sight in front of me, I begin to minimize the things that I have accomplished today and begin to over-catastrophize all the things that have not been accomplished.
This is a common thinking error referred to as Minimizing/catastrophizing and it is something that I need to correct. One thing I can do to overcome the thinking error Minimizing/catastrophizing is to realize when I am in the middle of this thinking error, I need to stop and redirect my thinking with positive self talk.
When I start to practice positive self-talk incredible things begin to happen.
When I see the pile of laundry sitting on the couch waiting to be tipped over, I redirect my thoughts to recognize that I am nearly finished with this load of laundry. If I ask the kids to take their pile of clothes and put them away, we will be finished with this load of laundry! I will then have time to put another load in the washer. While the latest load of laundry is in the spin cycle, I can make tuna sandwiches for dinner. Sure it won’t be a roast with rosemary and garlic potatoes, but the kids will be fed... and if I add a few strawberries and carrots from the groceries still sitting on the counter waiting to be put away, I can count two servings of the five required fruits and vegetables for the kids today.
Positive self-talk can make the half-finished work of today seem like the work for tomorrow is nearly finished.
Throughout my days, I often struggle with minimizing my accomplishments and over-catastrophizing the long list of things I could do better. The list gets longer as I dwell on the things I still need to do. But as I practice Positive Self-Talk I can overcome this thinking error.
Positive self-talk creates a positive mindset for me and sets a tone for the people in my life to be positive about their accomplishments too. Embracing Positive Self-Talk creates a much healthier thought pattern for my life as well. As I become more positive through self-talk, I can become more successful. And success breeds more success. I can eventually have a healthier and more positive way of thinking.
So tomorrow when I wake up, my work will be half finished, and I will be able to accomplish even more!
This submission is by Jennifer Wright, a MomUnity member who earned an OkkaTots diaper bag by answering this prompt:
When you decided to take on the job of raising a child (or more than one), your heart knew that you would be the giver of the love long before you'd be the receiver. And the love you give is the VERB kind of love -- every repetitive, mundane act, every phrase you hear yourself say a zillion times...
Why? Ask yourself, and answer yourself. It's a valuable practice to become conscientious and provide those reasons to get you through the hard times and be able to appreciate the good times all the more.
Here is Jennifer's beautiful and thoughtful answer. If you'd like to submit an answer and earn a diaper bag too, here's the form.
Motherhood is made up of moments. Good moments, bad moments, successful moments, learning moments, rewarding moments, and more.
Why do I spend my time being a mother? Well, honestly, there are hard moments when I ask myself that question and I can’t see that I’m making a difference. But those moments inevitably pass, and are usually followed by learning moments.
The most applicable answer is: I love my children!
Ultimately, I want them to be happy and I am the one most able to help that happen in the short term and the long run. My children need me.
I give them my time and attention so their lives will be better. I am the one that best understands them and can infer their needs. My children are young and they can’t communicate well yet, either because they can’t talk yet or are still learning the meaning of words and how to tell me something. No one else is as equipped as I am to understand and help them because I know their bigger picture, the moments that make up their world and reality.
It’s rewarding to see the progress they make as a result of choices I have made in adjusting their surroundings or schedule to best fit their current needs. I know those needs intimately because I have been there every moment and step of the way. I am positioned to best help them progress and succeed.
My children reflect me. Children are little sponges who repeat the most random things! I learn about myself in how they handle emotions and react to situations. I know they learned many of those things from me. Sometimes those moments are painful to see, but I am a better person for seeing myself reflected by them.
The rewards are in the moments too. Milestone moments of learning to smile or walk and random silly happy moments filled with laughter, and moments of progress when something ‘clicks’ that we’ve been working on.
I love my children the most of anyone on this earth, and no one else is going to care what happens to them more than I do. I want to be the one they ask for help, even if it’s 100 times a day. I want to be the one advocating for them. I want to be the one who feeds them, sees their smiles, kisses their ‘hurts’ and tucks them in.
At the end of the day, I can best celebrate their victories with them because I know the moments that make up their days and months and years. Their best chance of success is through me, and I love them, so I give them my moments.
Momivate's CouncilMom over Music, Inspiration, and Laughter provides much of what you will enjoy on this blog, either creating it herself or acquiring it from other sources. Guest authors are welcome to submit pieces as well by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org