I have spent the better part of three years baby-proofing my small home. I do daily rounds to see if there are any potential dangerous loopholes around my ironclad system. Light sockets, check. Choke hazards, check. Valuables secured, check.
I like to allow my children to play in most areas of our home as they choose. This keeps them entertained and gives me a chance to catch up on cooking, cleaning and (occasionally) text conversations with my family and friends.
Yesterday was a day like any other. I was working in the kitchen. My girls were playing in the house. I did my usual ‘quick check’ to make sure neither had gotten into anything that might bring them bodily harm. This time, however, was a little different.
I peaked around the corner to see that my youngest had removed her diaper and subsequently spread the contents of said diaper all over herself and any visible surface in her reach. She looked up at me with her toothy grin and moved her hand to her mouth as she was preparing to taste the ‘goods’.
Let’s stop right here for a second. I assume all of the parents out there have had this type of moment (at least I hope, it makes me feel better to think I am not alone in this crazy a*s experience called parenting). You know, the one you look around and check to see if anyone is filming your reaction to the situation. The one where you say aloud (or in your head) “Is this actually my life?”. Parenting is just crazy sometimes, crazier than I would have ever imagined.
Ok. Back to the story. So, instead of totally freaking out, I snapped into mommy-nurse mode and cleaned up that sh*t and my baby like it was my job (because it is). I scrubbed and dried every surface I could see on both my baby and my hallway. Thirty minutes later we were all going about our normal business.
You might be asking yourself at this point- “Ok Mary, what does your sh*t story have to do with health?” Well, I have been working really hard, especially over the past five weeks to notice my response to challenging situations. I am consistently engaging in an effort to be more aware of the present moment and my response to each moment. I notice how I feel and what I think in traffic jams. I allow my emotions about husband’s tendency to leave dirty tissues around the house to soak in before I address it with him. I take a deep breath or twenty when my children spread every toy they own across the house after I have just cleaned them up. This awareness has allowed me to then make a more conscious intentional choices about how I respond. Let me just tell you, it’s been awesome. I feel more relaxed and, well, happy. Now, that’s pretty darn great.
I have had a tendency in the past to place the responsibility of my emotions on other people or situations. I know, however, in doing so, I give away my power.* I forget that I am in charge of this wonderful thing called life. There is a lot of responsibility with this power but also a lot of freedom. That, my friends, is truly a beautiful thing.
So how about you? Do you notice your responses to challenging situations? What happens when you take a moment to become aware of your emotions and thought patterns? What if you took several deep breaths before taking any action?
As always, I would love to hear from you, message me here and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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*Thank you, wilderness therapy for teaching me me to take responsibility and ownership over my emotions and to never give away my ‘power’.