Covid-19 · Fostering · Parenting

Be kind to yourself

Have you ever wondered why some days or weeks just seem to be loaded with things that get you down? Why do things seem to pile up on certain days?

I had a couple of those days…

A comic from Nathan Pyle Strange Planet

I got up in the morning and started rushing to get ready for work. I was juggling the days schedule in my mind, trying to keep straight which kid had things to do that day, what the supper plan was, and if there was any paperwork I needed to submit that day. As I started my breakfast I was feeling overwhelmed by the busyness of life but reminded myself that I am blessed and that life is good.

I cracked an egg into the frying pan and grabbed the Costco sized seasoning salt, flipped the lid and gave it a shake… only to dump a half a cup of seasoning salt onto my egg in the frying pan! I had opened the pour side instead of the sprinkle side! “What an idiot you are!” the thoughts in my head started. I turned the stove off, scraped the mess into the garbage, rinsed the frying pan and started over. I reminded myself that attitude is a choice and it was a minor setback. The rest of the day was busy but went reasonably well in spite of the string of little things that tried to restart the negative thinking!

The next morning I was up getting ready for work and decided to have eggs again. I pulled two eggs out of the egg tray in the fridge and as I turned towards the stove one popped out of my hand and hit the floor with a glorious splat! “What else is going to go wrong today!” I thought, as I cleaned up the mess. Then I reminded myself that attitude is a choice and enjoyed my breakfast. (I opened the seasoning salt carefully!)

This week I did well, I caught myself before letting a negative attitude sideswipe my week! I have not always been successful at choosing the positive. I often choose to feed the negative thoughts instead of the positives.

Nathan Pyle, Strange Planet

One of the things I have found helpful is to think what I would say to my best friend if she just did the same thing. There would be some laughter and supportive words and we would smile and move on. Why do we so often give ourselves a completely different narrative? Do you treat yourself like a friend or an enemy?

As Foster Parents we want to teach the children of the Other Mother to be kind to themselves. “I’ll never be good at that!”, “I always forget stuff.” These are phrases that we all need to remove from our language. Anytime you are using absolutes like “always” and “never” it’s a good sign you aren’t being kind to yourself. We all need to learn how to be kind to ourselves. Don’t let the negative thoughts run wild in your head!

I think it is Dr. Caroline Leaf who talks about not letting the ANTs march in and ruin things. Automatic Negative Thoughts can take us all down. But we don’t have to let them.

Be kind to yourself.

I hope you have someone in your life who can tell you that you are loved and that no one expects you to be perfect! We will continue to do that for the children of the Other Mother. I hope they hear the message and learn to be kind to themselves. Life is too long to be your own worst enemy!

In the midst of the mess


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