Date: 22 January 2020
Location: At Home, Fife
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Quote of the day
“No one can drive your car unless you give them the keys.” – Unnamed counsellor in reference to emotional reactions
I am grateful for:
The chance to really work today.
I was in the library from about 9.30 AM to about 4.45 PM and was just listening to Jim Rohn’s How To Use A Journal, taking good notes and committing my thoughts to paper.
I’ll be publishing those notes soon as they’re still not finished.
But I only have about 20 minutes left to do so today was really productive.
What did I discover new about myself?
There’s something about bedtime that brings out the dragon in me.
Most of the time, when Little Son (currently 3.5 years old) doesn’t have a nap, he conks out by 7 PM.
But there are times when he resists sleep so well that we’re sitting in the darkness for 2 hours and still he won’t sleep.
And I end up raging because most of the time, this happens when I’ve been working outside the entire day and I just want to sleep myself but I still have a tight deadline in the evening.
Yes, at the time of writing, all my deadlines are self-imposed because I work for myself.
You might think that it makes it easier but it doesn’t.
It makes it worse because I have extremely high standards that would be impossible to meet by most people anyway.
But there you go.
Anyway, why is this whole bedtime thing problematic?
Well, first, I get really sleepy.
In fact, I have a sneaky suspicion that he deliberately waits until I fall asleep to make sure that I wouldn’t leave the room.
Tonight, for example, he wanted to sleep with his neck on my arm.
Again, to make sure that I don’t leave?
It’s very sweet.
And yes, I know they’re only little for so long. I should enjoy the sweetness of the experience.
I know all this.
I also know that these kinds of moments are the kind that makes motherhood oh-so-sweet.
So, what’s the problem?
So, what’s up with the anger?
What’s up with the feeling that the time spent trying to get my son to sleep is time that’s wasted?
Actually, I realise now it’s more complicated than even I had imagined.
One, when you’re trying to meet a deadline because you need to raise a certain amount of money in 2 months or everything you’ve worked for in the last 7 years could potentially go up in smoke, your stress levels are elevated and you just really want to hunker down and focus on getting the job done.
Which isn’t possible when you have a child who depends on you for so much.
And who doesn’t want to go to sleep, just because.
Two, I’ve always known that being a mother would require a certain level of self-sacrifice that, for the longest time, I wasn’t sure I would ever be capable of. In fact, this is precisely why I’ve not had a child until just a few years back.
I just wasn’t sure that I had it in me to be the kind of mother a child deserves.
Happily, I’ve been proven wrong on many occasions.
But sometimes, I do wish I could focus on myself without having to think about other people the way I think about my family now.
I sometimes wish I could be as carefree as I was before – when I was just worrying about myself.
Of course, motherhood is one of those irrevocable life changes that make it impossible to go back and quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to.
A world without my husband and my son?
It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Three, I suppose I feel a power struggle between myself and my son.
Because he’s older now and can understand a lot more than ever before, I sometimes feel what most parents feel in situations like this: that my child is deliberately disobeying me. That my child isn’t listening and is doing what he wants, contrary to my wishes, just to spite me.
And this is, I know, quite a dangerous way of thinking because it begins to paint my son as the enemy.
And what do we do with enemies?
We defeat them before we get defeated ourselves.
This is obviously something that I need to remedy.
As far as deadlines go, I can’t really move it as it’s a legal matter.
There are just some things that I need to do regardless of the stress I’m under.
But, as Jim Rohn loved to remind us, even if I can’t change the circumstance, I can adjust how I react to stress.
And this will be something that requires careful consideration and I started by reading this post from PsychCentral, which basically gave four points that could help you react better to stress:
1. Nothing and no one can make you feel anything.
2. Exchange attitude for gratitude.
3. Relax, relax, relax.
4. Look at the big picture.
Honestly, I think the biggest culprit behind my lamentable lack of patience at the moment is point number 3.
I am exhausted.
I feel trapped and weary.
And I honestly just want it all to be over.
I want this uncertainty to end and this pressure to ease.
It’s been too long.
More relaxation is due.
I’ll start as soon as this journal entry is finished and just go to sleep.
What was the best thing that happened to me today?
Writing this journal entry, which helped me achieve a personal breakthrough in the form of greater self-awareness.
What or who made today unforgettable?
LS went to playgroup today and had a wee accident on the way out.
Like most children his age, he loves to jump and apparently, he jumped off a gym mat and onto a floor.
Which should’ve been fine, except for the fact that when he landed on his feet, he tipped forwards and he clipped a boxful of toys.
He was sporting a massive bruise on his forehead and a cut on his red eyelid.
To say that he wasn’t happy would be an understatement.
The poor boy asked for an ice pack and told me that he was so happy before the accident and then wasn’t happy anymore afterwards.
My poor wee boy!
I felt awful but also relieved that it wasn’t worse – because it definitely could have been.
A little bit lower and he’d have hit his eye and we’d probably be in the A&E today.
Thank God for small miracles.
3 amazing things that happened today
1. The job application I sent, over which I agonised for days.
2. The response which was a pleasant surprise (email still saved in my inbox).
3. LS’ nappies on sale – exactly as I wished for.
How much stress did I experience?
Quite a lot at bedtime (see above).
Did I do something that was out my comfort zone?
Yes, I sent the job application with a short and sweet cover letter as opposed to one where I nitpicked.
What can I do better tomorrow?
Oh my God, more sleep would be best – not just for my physical health but also for my mental health.
And it’s definitely better for my family!