Use a mindset check-in to turn weaknesses into strengths for a healthy attitude.
I wrote a mile-long to-do list, mentally mapped out my day, and pulled down the Legos to keep the kids happy. Then I started my real work.
I slipped my dish gloves on and dove elbow-deep into grease and suds. “Mom, I’m hungry,” interrupted me. I rolled my eyes and peeled off the gloves to plop a bowl of cereal on the table.
I finished the dishes and moved on to fold laundry. “Mom, I spilled my milk!” I frowned at the pile of clothes gathering wrinkles and stomped away to clean up the mess.
The kids were finally happy playing, and I was knocking out my chores. I started prepping dinner and heard one more chirping voice, “Mom, I need to go potty.”
“Why didn’t you tell me that before I was covered in raw chicken?” I snapped. Then I complained to myself. “They’ve been interrupting me All. Day. Long. I can’t get anything done!”
As I was helping my daughter use the potty, I realized my priorities were backwards. I was focused on what I needed to do, when I should have been paying attention to what my kids needed.
Kids need more practice on their motor skills.
Kids need to eat and poop.
Kids need moms.
I’ve known these things all along. But I was still negative about them. I still acted like a jerk about having to be a mom. It was time to fix my mindset and switch my attitude around.
My Ideal Attitude
In a calm moment, I decided to brainstorm. I wrote a vision of the attitude I wanted, the mindset that would keep me and my kids happy:
I am a mom.
My family is my priority. Not my house. Not my dinner. My family. My kids, my marriage, and my own needs come before my to-do list.
My kids’ needs don’t interrupt my most important work. My kids are my most important work. Housework interrupts parenting, not the other way around.
I will have hard days and I’ll be tired, but I will focus on the positive. If the baby only slept for 10 minutes, that was 10 extra minutes I had. Not 20 minutes less than I should have had.
There will be things I need to do that I don’t enjoy, but I will do them with love.
Parenting isn’t easy, but it’s amazing.
Moments of Weakness
I want this attitude with all my heart. But I’m weak. My negative mindset takes over with the slightest breeze, the smallest conflict.
Life never goes according to my plans. Every little bump in the road begs to drag me down into negativity. Instead, I need to use it as an opportunity to grow. When I start to fall, I turn my weaknesses into strengths:
- Do I see my kids as an interruption or a bother?
- They are people with real needs. I love them more than I love my chores.
- Am I focusing on how difficult everything is?
- I need to shift my focus to do small things with great love.
- Is my focus primarily on myself and what I want?
- My kids have real feelings. I need to take them into consideration.
- Am I replaying negative events in my head or piling up all the bad things?
- I should try to move on. To calm down to focus on the positive.
- Am I snippy and sensitive about normal things, treating them like they’re the end of the world?
- I need a quick break to put things in perspective. This too shall pass.
- Do I remind my kids for the first time like it’s the 100th time?
- Kids are always learning, and they need guidance. Be patient.
- Am I comparing myself to others?
- Look away from them. I can only see a tiny slice of their life. What I have is amazing!
- Do I expect my family to read my mind?
- Say what I need and want. Ask for help.
- Am I focusing on things that are out of my control?
- Find something I can change, and do it.
These weaknesses feed into my unhealthy, negative mindset. But we can let go of our weaknesses and replace them with strengths. We give ourselves a boost toward reaching our ideal attitude. We move one step closer to our goal.
I need to reset my attitude a thousand times a day- at every little bump, every deviation from my grand plan. Print out the mindset check-in and reset your attitude with me.
Moments of Strength
Today I had a long list of chores again. In the morning, I decided they weren’t going to be my priority. Instead they were going to be my bonus goals, secondary to my main agenda: being a good mom.
My kids were playing together, so I stepped out to wash dishes, until my son asked for yogurt. I almost rolled my eyes, but I took a deep breath instead. I reminded myself he’s only two years old. He can’t get his own yogurt. He needs me. And I love him more than I love having an empty sink. So I scooped out some yogurt and met his eyes and smiled when I handed it to him.
He smiled back at me, shouted “Woo hoo hoo!” in the adorable way he does, and dug in. I almost missed this moment. Without a mindset check-in, I would have.
Even though my to-do list took me all day and still wasn’t finished, it didn’t matter.
What mattered was us.
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