The other day Emma spent almost the entire day moaning. She wants a biscuit….she wants Beat Bugs….she wants this elephant….no not that elephant. The day was relentless and I found myself longing for bedtime from about 11:30am. It made me sad that for everything we gave her, she wanted something else. I knew deep down that this is just toddlers for you, some days they are going to moan and there’s not a lot you can do about it.
But then there was this niggling feeling at the back of my head. Was she just mirroring my own behaviour? Lately I have been looking at the glass half empty a little more and I started to feel a lot of Mum Guilt that I had just transferred it across. Perhaps my lack of being able to look at the positive in our day, has encouraged her to do the same.
Half the time I don’t even realise I’m doing it. I don’t want to be negative as a matter of course and I know for sure that we have a pretty good life. But I was at a talk today where an interviewee said that it takes either death, disease, divorce or redundancy to make your average person get perspective on their life and realise what’s important to them. That statement resonated instantly. Perspective is what I need.
So how do I make a shift to the positive? How do I remind myself that, actually, we’re doing okay and I don’t need to worry. And ultimately, what is most important to me? I could sit here and be a cliche and tell you that those things are family, our children and that we love in a wonderful city. But the truth is, that question is something I’m going to ask myself because I don’t want to be locked in this negative spiral.
When I think about it, that anxious feeling of worrying all the time is something that’s been with me for years. I used to joke when I was younger that if I’m not worrying, I’m worrying about the fact I’m not! As I became a step-Mum and later a Mum, the anxiety I felt has just grown and at times the overwhelm is just too much. It’s taken me a while I really see that how it manifests itself and it just spurs me on to make a positive change.
As for Emma, perhaps it was me that instigated this negative streak…or perhaps it’s just because she’s a toddler and sometimes the early signs of Threenager creep out. It’s a stage I’m most certainly dreading, despite it already providing us with a lot of entertainment. It’s definitely not something I’m going to beat myself up over and eventually we’ll move onto the next challenge!