My four year old son, Ryan was in hospital over night after having his tonsils and adenoids out (they were the biggest tonsils you’ve ever seen!) and is now in quite a bit of pain.
Seeing him in pain and not running around being cheeky and mischievious like he normally would is not only heartbreaking, but it gets you thinking. All of a sudden you see a new perspective about your life.
There are parents out there who every day have to watch their child in endless pain and receive endless medical treatments and it really makes you grateful that you are lucky enough to have healthy kids.
It is so easy to get consumed by the everyday-ness of being a mum. You know, the tantrums, the backchat, the lack of sleep, boredom, feeling like you are a failure.
But sometimes you just need to step out of this everyday-ness and take a look at the bigger picture – what’s important in the grand scheme of things.
Ryan is usually my challenge child, and usually the one that sends me into applying the tools that I write about in The Happy Mum Handbook (yes I apply my own advice).
But being in here with him and not being tied up with the everyday demands of being a mum and running a business, has given me time to think and I wanted to share those thoughts with you.
Your child may be running amok and playing up, but just stop and watch that for a minute. See what you can find about that situation that has some value. Do they have great lungs in order to have that whoppingly big tantrum? Are they doing exactly what every other child does in their age group because that is their brain growing and developing exactly the way it should? What about those kids who don’t have proper brain function or have the energy or capacity to run, jump, shout, scream, tantrum, etc.?
Your baby might cry through the night, but what a godsend that is to a mum whose child was on the brink of death when they were born, or how much a mum who lost her child yearns to hear those cries. We don’t think that way though, because that has not been our experience. Because of what has occurred in our lives, our brains have a different filter when looking at these types of situations. Instead, we view these times as being a hindrance to our lives.
However, sometimes when we feel overwhelmed by things like this, it takes a bit of mindshift and change in perspective to look at your children in a different way and hence feel differently about those challenging times?
What if someone took it all away? What if the fairy godmother granted your wish for peace and quiet and took your kids away? Imagine what a void that would leave?
Instead of letting these challenging moments engulf you, when you notice this feeling, stop what you are doing, sit down and watch it happen. Smile on the inside because these moments can be opportunities to make you realise how lucky you are to have such a healthy, ‘normal’ child with loads of energy and self-expression.
Your child may be going through a challenging stage right now, but you can change the way you view that challenge and don’t have to become consumed by it. When you step back from what’s going on, right in that moment and think about the bigger picture and what things you are grateful for, both about being a mum and having the child that you have, then you teach yourself how to de-stress.
Think about those fun times, picture those smiles on their faces and their precious giggles, picture their wonder, their excitement, their unconditional love, the appreciation over the little things, the good times, the cuddles and kisses that you get for no reason at all and the joyful things that they bring to your life.
Whenever you feel yourself going downhill with thoughts of resentment over your new life as a mum and how you miss your pre-child days, fill your mind with all the joy being a mum has given you instead and the positives about your child and you will soon realise how grateful you are for those precious moments and for having a precious, special and healthy child who is capable of giving you these challenges.
Every day is special for a mum and when we train our mind to see the hidden good in the bad, then we become happier, more loving and, surprisingly you often see better behaviour in your children.
Have a great day, give your kids a big hug and a kiss, tell them how much you love them no matter what they are doing and appreciate the gift you have been given to raise such precious little beings.