There were a couple of times when I would be working on the floor as a nurse and twice I had a patient remark “Do you like your job?” I’d look up hunched from my pile of papers with the latest unkind remark from my boss still ringing in my ear with the most furrowed of expressions saying “Yes, of course why do you ask?”
Nothing in my body language, eye contact or obviously my words showed this person the joy that truly was my job.
I really loved being a nurse. The rush of doing something quickly and efficiently…seeing people feel better because of something I did or even in the really hard times of someone approaching death I got to minister to the patient and family in an amazing way.
But then it happens. It becomes a routine. Even though it was a job I felt called to do and did well there were days where it became a routine.
"Where your focus goes, there is where your energy goes." - Olivia Jenkins
Routines are not bad and many amazing things can be built into your routines to make amazing changes in your life! However there is a risk when things stop being focused on they have a tendency to cause you to lose the fire for doing it well. Whether if it is your job as a nurse or your vocation as a mother.
Have you ever done this as a mom…get overwhelmed with your kids…or am I the only one?
In my case it’s usually many things are happening at once and then the walls start closing in on my brain! One kid here, one screaming there, water ( or pee) on the floor there and then voila mom is in a tizzy. What is it that makes that situation and every other parenting moment different. It is my focus. Granted it’s not JUST the fact that usually things are going wrong, it’s the fact that my focus is being divided and divided again until cross eyed isn’t just an entertainment thing it’s a catastrophic event.
The Best Two Punch Strategy that will help restore sanity with your kids (and no it’s not wine):
- Observe: Hands down when the shit is hitting the fan. If I’m lucky enough to think…I pause and observe. Become a spectator on my own life! Shawn spencer anyone? (I don’t have the eye brow down but I try to stay observant)
I start to notice what’s going on. Why is my kid screaming… Lack of attention? True injury? Start to notice the little things because it helps me grasp of how best to handle when all is going down in flames.
2. Listen. Ready for some wisdom not from me.
"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." - Epictetus
There are times (I won’t give a number!) that I want to lay down the law and have mom’s law just be followed. No more Q & A time, but it’s usually in those moments I should instead just listen. Listening is far from passive and it gives far more depth to the true root of a little kids problem. I love the list here from on how to best communicate with my kids. Eye level, reading their expressions…all of these will give you clues. By the end (when I’ve actually actively listened)…I feel like we’ve all shifted focus to handle the situation.
So hands down these techniques have saved a crushing moment from crushing me! I’d love to hear what’s your favorite technique when the your day is spiraling out of control.
Ok now you can grab that glass of wine, you survived and the kids are in bed! :) (Hopefully they'll stay there!)