"Life is managed not cured." I heard Dr Phil say this today and I really like this saying.
Often we have an unrealistic expectation that we should be feeling happy 24/7 and loving life all the time. If we are feeling down, then we are often looking for the cure to our unhappiness, failing to see the value in the challenge that we are experiencing.
This can be especially true when raising children. The shift in perspective is that we need to manage life, meaning that we stay aware that there is ups and downs in life. We can manage those down times by looking at them in the bigger picture and looking at what we are learning from those times.
In every experience, we need to find the hidden good in the bad. There is always something that is giving us either event learning or life learning. Event learning is where we learn from the event - we learn what has worked, what hasn't worked and what we might do differently in the future. Life learning is being able to see what this experience is adding to our development. How has this situation helped me to learn more about myself, and about life, thereby contributing to my development as a person? Life learning is being able to look at an unenjoyable experience with the reality that it doesn't imply anything about who you are (or who you are not), it is simply another event in your unique story of your life and a time to look for the learning that is needed from it.
So whenever your child is unco-operative in any way and life's challenges seem to be taking over, force yourself to stop for a minute and really look at the situation for what it is. This is just an event in time. It is reality that children are learning and developing and with that comes tears, fighting, noise, disobedience and also the cute things they say and do and the enjoyable times. All of this is the normal part of raising children.
Similarly you are also learning in this role called motherhood. You are learning to be a mum, learning new skills, such as breastfeeding, getting your child into a sleep routine, organising your new life with a child and all the other skills involved with being a mum. Think of this like a new job. It takes some time to get your head around it, but it all falls into place eventually. Also with a job, you are often learning new things along the way even when you have got the main part of the job down pat. This is the normal part of being a mum too, so if you feel like you are falter during this learning phase, that's okay, it's all part of the process.
How did you learn to run, jump, skip, eat, sleep yourself. You did it through repetition and consistency. This motherhood gig is exactly the same and so is the being a child gig. We are all just growing as people and learning how to experience life and this is an ongoing thing.
When we stop trying to find a cure to life by trying to be happy 24/7, and we begin to manage situations by learning to look at them in a more realistic and accurate way, then we will start to feel more okay with life's ups and downs.
If you haven't purchased it already, these are the crucial skills that I teach in The Happy Mum Handbook, so please buy your copy today so that you can teach yourself to look at life in a more accepting way and not get bogged down when life doesn't go to plan. And by learning this, you can pass this information onto your kids, so that they don't get bogged down in life's challenging times either.
Take care and have a great weekend!