How true is it that your attitude about life directly affects how stressed you are? Very True. I know from experience, if I decide to have a bad attitude then my day is just one big stressball. However, if I choose to look at things in a good way no matter what comes, I can handle it. Funny how that works huh? Once I heard a story about a pilot. He was flying a plane and hit some bad weather. If he had chosen to look at the storm around him he would’ve crashed. Instead, he focused on the attitude gauge, trying to keep it level. He made it through the storm, and all because he focused on the attitude not the circumstance.
I believe there is a lesson for we as parents in that story. Confession time; I’m a planner and I love having everything just so! Perfectionist with a side of OCD that’s me. I was a teacher before having kids, so it helped acclimate me into a chaotic world. Nothing was ever exactly how I wanted, but pretty close after all they had to listen to me. Report cards can be powerful, let me tell you! At the end of the day, I could leave my class, go home, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with an ordered house. Fast forward to now, my house is never as clean as I want it. I don’t have time for everything I wish I had time for (poor plant really needs to be dusted…).
I’ve learned that the only guarantee with kids is that nothing is guaranteed. My two year old can be terrific one day and terrible the next. Why does his willingness to listen and obey change with the wind? No clue, in fact if you know please tell me! My 5 year old is an angel right now, but give her a hour and I’m sure she will have done something not so nice to her brother. It always seems like as soon as I clean the bathroom sink, someone spits toothpaste on it. Or I just swiffered the floor and oops someone spilled something. Now, I could (and have) freaked out, I JUST CLEANED THAT!?!?! But really what is that going to accomplish? Will the spill magically disappear, or the sink sparkle? No. I could have a bad attitude and lose it over every little thing or I could just accept the fact that kids are kids. It’s inevitable, something is going to happen to upset the “zen” of my home.
As parents, if we focus on the circumstances we are going to screw up this job that was given to us. I fully believe that we are setting our kids up for success or failure based on how we handle stressful situations. Remember they are looking to us to see how to manage in this world. Bad attitudes make for stressed out moms and who suffers? Our kids. You need to stop, breathe, and smell the diapers. Babies aren’t that small forever. Children won’t always be running around your house. One day you will wish you could hear the noise that comes from the pitter patter of little feet. Relax and just enjoy the season you are in. The storms come and go. There is nothing to be done about them. You can hardly remember the circumstances once they are passed. Choose to focus on what you can change, your attitude. It really does make a world of difference. Enjoy these little moments with your children and you will have them to cherish the rest of your life.
I looked on child rearing not only as a work of love & duty but as a profession that was fully as interesting & challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it. -Rose Kennedy