"Why are they ALWAYS whingeing? They NEVER give me any time out. I NEVER get anything done around here. They're ALWAYS needing me for something. I'm so sick of dealing with this DAY IN, DAY OUT. Why can't they just do as they're told. They NEVER listen to me. NOBODY gives two shits about what I want. I've had enough! I can't do this anymore. I'm tired. Clearly I'm doing something wrong. NOBODY ELSE feels this way. EVERYONE ELSE seems to manage, but not me! I'm hopeless. Why can't I get this right. What's wrong with me? I'm such a failure. I hate my life!"
This used to be a regular conversation that would roll around in my head. Needless to say I would feel pretty crappy looking at my life from this perspective too.
See how I started with one little event and how quickly this little event escalated into meaning something about my whole life!!!
Here's how I would respond to myself now:
"Really Jackie? ALWAYS. NEVER. NOBODY. EVERYONE ELSE. DAY IN. DAY OUT. These words are making this situation mean something about your whole life, but it's not really that way is it?
- The kids do listen to me sometimes. It's just that they're not listening right now.
- I do get things done around here, I'm just getting frustrated with all the demands, in THIS moment.
- My family does care about me, but perhaps I'm feeling a bit run down and I need to make some time for myself. When was the last time you actually planned that time out? Have you specifically asked for some support for yourself? You have to be your own hero, don't just expect others to know what you want.
- Not every day is like this. This is just a full on day today. Sometimes we have awesome days where I've had enough sleep, the kids are happy and I really enjoy being a mum.
- EVERYONE! Really Jackie? What proof do you have that EVERYONE is managing, but you? Are you in their heads? The reality is that everyone has challenges and many parents feel the same as you. There's nothing wrong with you. This is just a tough day. Other people have challenges and difficulties too. It's part of life. Even if they aren't challenged in parenting, they'll just have challenges in other areas, because that's how we learn and grow.
You are NOT a failure. So what is the problem that you need to deal with right now and what is the solution?
All stress is a conflict between belief and reality! Be mindful that your internal conversations are not 'catastrophising' a situation that in reality, is just one event in your life that will come and go.
What you're experiencing right now is NOT a reflection of the rest of your day (or your life for that matter!)
Look at the whole picture...