I wish I could go one day without doing something I regret.
That was the thought I had the other night. After another day in which I had snapped, yelled or disrespected my children, treated them unfairly, been inpatient or rude or mean or otherwise not even close to the person I wish to be and really am.
I scolded myself; I need to get my act together. I fucked up AGAIN. Why can’t I go just one day without doing something I wish I hadn’t. Another moment of disconnection, another time I apologize to my child. I need to be better at this.
It feel like my days are usually more failure than anything else.
I came across this quote on the Instagram of the inspiring and informative Rachel from www.racheous.com/ (her respectful parenting, unschooling blog which is amazeballs)
At first I balked; If I focus on the good stuff I won’t be self-reflective enough and won’t do any work on my triggers and negative programming.
Which I know is bullshit because when I AM felling self lovin’, all flows easily. I am the parent and person I desire to be. With ease. AND I do the important self awareness and transformative work that I want to do.
So I started to write a list this afternoon and I am now going to finish it, of all that I DID do today that I enjoyed and was proud or appreciative of. Sure I snapped and got frustrated at a couple of points but I am so much more than those moments.
told my daughter I loved her, more than once. Not just that I loved her but that I loved her all the time, no matter what. She stood on a chair pulled up against the bench as we made cup cakes and play-dough from scratch while listening to the music she chose (Frozen soundtrack. Standard. I also not so secretly love it). I tickled her as we walked to the bus stop, she giggled with joy around the sharp corners and I helped her reach the stop button. I made her breakfast and lunch and dinner and snacks and drinks and helped her wipe the chocolate batter from her face. I surprised her at the bottom of the slide and twirled her around after we did running cuddles with arms outstretched on the grass. We iced the cupcakes and topped them with sprinkles.
We read a book together in the library, we took books home. She loves to check them out herself. A lady commented on her lovely manners; I am proud as we never have forced manners, only every modeled, and her thank-yous are warm, sincere and given generously We talked about how all people can love dogs, not only. boys. She told me she loves me. I cuddled her when she cried. I laid out a sheet that became an ice skating rink. I shook the sheet over them while they laughed and squealed. We had a picnic on the grass. Baby crawled and explored and I allowed her to do so, letting her taste the bark and hear the thud of the metal rubbish bin. I wiped her hands with a wet wipe.
I read my book and made myself good food. I actually sat to eat it. I stretched some muscles. I wrote. I read some inspiring posts on the internet. I reflected. I watched a video on improving relationships. I began the process of applying that info. I breast-fed by baby to sleep 3 times and a few times in between. I patted her bottom when she stirred. I changed at least 6 nappies. I cleaned the kitchen and the lounge; even vacuumed. I brought in the washing, made my daughters smile as I tipped the sun-dried clothing onto them. I smiled at my husband as my 3-year-old thanked me for the clean clothes and put her dresses away unprompted. I carried my baby on my hip as I stirred dinner. I soothed her frights and bumps. I give her toys to play with and mashed potato to smear over the face, tongue and hands. She ate some too.
I emptied the dishwasher and cleaned up the potato. I hugged and kissed and appreciated my husband. He plays with the girls so I can be alone with my thoughts as I potter, clean and create. I message my friends. I sort out some tech stuff with my mum. I catch a taxi, collect my repaired car, buy food for my family with loving consideration at the supermarket while my mums eats ice cream with the girls on the loving room floor (thank you)
I laugh at the girls absolute delight at the sheet being flapped by my husbands arms over their heads. I give her a rolling pin to work her dough, let her wrap my arm with cellotape as a bandage, put a straw in her water as requested.
I could keep going. Describing this one day and my part in it. It seems like so much when I write it down. I hadn’t let it sink in till now. My so-called failures pale in comparison to the love and goodness which I have brushed aside and talked down. I see that now. Wow.
I don’t need self-discipline. I need self compassion, appreciation and love. That will be my dominant focus from now on.
I will never regret that.