It's 4:45 pm. We have been to the amusement park in the early part of the day. We have watched television for much of the afternoon since the little one didn't nap. And now, inevitably my kids are in the playroom trying to play together. But it sounds more like : "Get off ME!" "Stop IT!" "Don't draw on me" "But I want to" "Don't kick me!!!!"
I'm standing in the kitchen feeling destroyed. Tired. Irritated that I'm home alone, parenting solo again. Thinking ahead to tomorrow when I'll be solo-parenting, and all of next week when I'll be solo-parenting, and flying across the country when I'll be solo-parenting. I would like to be anywhere but here hearing this noise and knowing it is dinnertime, not bedtime. Also, I'm munching on randomness.
Many. Many. Many times I have been brought down by this very situation. I have fallen victim to my mood and the kids' frustrations. We have had a lot of terrible evenings together that have ended in tears for all three of us.
I hate it when that happens. I know it doesn't have to.
Tonight, I shifted it and we all made it through with more laughter than tears.
Tonight, I stood in the kitchen and decided to rise up. To literally pull myself up by the straps and be bigger than my cranky mood. Tonight I remembered my intention which is not to be a mean, bitchy, irritable mother with the mindset that I want to get the job done so I can have some peace and quiet.
My intention is to raise healthy, resilient, children who know they are loved no matter what.
My intention is to be an open-hearted, loving, presence in this world and to teach my children to do the same.
Like I said: I fail at this often. Usually I fail and I fail hard. Tonight I made it happen.
I did some work this spring with a coach named Michael Trotta who helped me in about a million ways. (So much that I'm enrolled in a 7-month course with him, more on that another time). Here's what I learned from Michael that helped me turn around the course of my evening tonight:
You can either be moving towards your Greatness or your Mediocrity. You can either be being the Big Bright Bold person you know you are meant to be or you can be moving towards the Small, Dull, Fearful person you've habituated yourself into.
Be Big or Be Small.
THE CHOICE IS YOURS
Right now, The choice is Yours.
Tonight, I chose Bigness. I have a song for my Bigness. Maybe that sounds weird but it totally works... you know you have something you psych yourself up with. So I put on my song pulled myself together and looked at the clock. Two hours until bedtime, let's make them good.
The actions I took aren't particularly significant. I separated the kids, fed them healthy food, engaged with them at the dinner table, made sure we made it outside, bathed them, and settled them in with our normal routines. Totally a normal evening. But the decision to do it in the most open-hearted way that I could, to show up rather than run away or be dragged down by my own fatigue changed the entire tone.
We laughed around the dinner table and counted bunnies on our walk through the neighborhood. I enjoyed mothering my kids tonight which is not something I used to be able to say very often. I loved them, and I struggled. Remembering my intention changed it all. I am so grateful for that.
So now the questions to you become:
In an area of your life where you are tested regularly.... do you have an intention? if so, what is it? and Who do you want to be in the world? What do you need to do to start living as that person right now?