We sometimes get overwhelmed and take it out on the little human beings we love the most. And precisely because we love them and they’re important to us, we have to recognise and rethink certain things. When something happens that in my opinion shouldn’t, and it’s happening right in from of my eyes!... I just lose it. The alternative is to STOP AND TAKE A DEEP BREATH. How paradoxical when STOPPING turns into a shortcut! That’s right, the shortest path to becoming the mother we want to be; imperfect, but still the best for our children.
STOP, BREATHE AND CONNECT with the PRESENT WITH NON-JUDGEMENTAL ACCEPTANCE. Sounds easy, right? It isn’t. It requires perseverance, awareness, self-knowledge and especially self-control to suppress the noise in our head, the chatter or internal dialogue that disconnects us from the here and now, which contaminates the reality of this precise moment with our judgements, interpretations, assessments…
What can help you change the way you think?
1. Spend a little time remembering inquisitively who your child is; try to imagine how he sees the world by ignoring your own point of view. When you’ve got one foot out the door your three-year-old has to pee. And he’s already all bundled up! Adults can understand why you’re annoyed; not your toddler. “Is it bad to have to pee? Is Mummy angry? Yesterday she was so happy when I told her I had to pee!”
2. Think about how he sees and hears you. Would you change your behaviour? Would you speak to him a different way? Would you smile more at him? I recall a question my children would ask me when they were little: Mummy, are you angry? Now I wonder if the look on my face gave me away. Was I aware of how I made them feel?
3. Spend a little time to think about the expectations you have for your child. Are they helpful to you or do they suit him? Do they reflect your needs or your child’s? Are they simply REALISTIC?
4. Practice seeing your child for who he is. Accept him and generously love him for the three, nine or seven-year-old that he is.
Even so, you may feel that you don’t know what to do, what to say, how to act… Observe the wholeness of the moment and simply DO OR SAY NOTHING. Learning to live with that kind of tension is a long-distance race. STAYING CALM CAN SPARE US from those few seconds that change everything, that turn a moment around and make it go dark.
M. Ángeles Jové