When was the last time you asked yourself this question?
When you ask yourself now, are you being honest with yourself? Do you automatically think… I’m fine? Or do you dig a little deeper?
The reality is that we all have a bad night’s sleep. We all have arguments with our spouse. We all lose our shit with our kids at some point. Of course, it’s not every day, but life has ups and downs. It’s normal.
So when was the last time you asked yourself, How Am I Doing?
I thought about it this morning on my walk after dropping the girls off. I have been working at it for a long time now, focusing on changing my communication style with the girls. I don’t want to command and control them. I don’t want to raise my voice to get them to put their shoes on. I want them to be independent girls. I want them to be individual thinkers. My old parenting style didn’t allow or accommodate this.
Why am I sharing this with you now? Because before we left for school this morning I completely lost my shit with the girls. Not over anything major mind you.
But then I stopped. I took a deep breath. I regrouped. In a big (read group) hug, I spoke quietly with them… “I’m so sorry, my head was not right, I shouldn’t yell at you.” Miss J looked at me with her beautiful eyes, “it’s OK mummy”
But I know that it’s not OK.
I know it’s normal, we all crack under pressure. And that is OK, cracking is OK. But perhaps if I had taken a moment to acknowledge that I was stressed, that I was feeling tired, then perhaps I wouldn’t have gotten to the point that I lost it.
I am realising more and more, that to be a more present parent. To be a calmer parent. To be a parent who doesn’t yell all the time. I have to be more in tune with my own emotions and feelings. It’s actually not about the girls at all. It’s not about them being well behaved or not. It’s about me, and how I react and respond.
So on my walk I asked myself, How Am I Doing? And I dug deep, and that’s when I had clarity. My mantra has been “I’ve got this” for the past couple of months. I have been focused on getting everything sorted and done for our transition. I have been doing lots of stuff. But I wasn’t keeping check on me.
So what do I do when I loose my shit? I stop, and I apologize, as soon as I practically can. Sometimes it means giving everyone a bit of space, and then coming back.
Then I find a way to switch my mental space. If I can, I go for a walk and get some fresh air and sunshine. If it’s evening time and I can’t, then I put on some music. I make myself a cuppa tea. I find someway to physically change what I am doing.
Why am I sharing this with you? I’m sharing this with you now as an example because I am learning. We are all learning. We are all on a journey to become the best adults we can be. It’s not finite.
And maybe, sharing my low point, helps you find your way out of one too? Take time now, ask yourself… How Am I Doing? I have a worksheet that you can download to help you reflect on this. In this worksheet, I have outlined a few simple questions that you can ask yourself, to help you assess and regroup to find your way forward. Download your copy here.
I want to leave you with this quote, which is a favourite of mine. I first heard in watching The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and it became my thing while living in India.