Does your life sometimes seem like a series of repetitive tasks?
Do you load that washing once too often into the machine?
Do you live your life on auto-pilot?
Have you lost some creative spark?
I know when my children lived at home I used to get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of stuff to do.
And of course the only practical way to do a lot of “stuff” is to do it on auto-pilot.
This works for loading the machine, folding the laundry, doing the shopping, cleaning the house….
What happens when you parent on auto-pilot?
Auto-pilot is helpful for household tasks but what happens when you parent on auto-pilot?
Do any of these scenarios seem familiar?
- your son isn’t doing his shoelaces up again and you sigh again
- your daughter has smeared poo again and you shout again
- your husband forgot to put out the trash again and you made that snide comment again
- your son isn’t doing up his shoelaces again so you do it for him again
- your daughter has smeared poo again and you go away and cry again
- your husband forgot to put out the trash and you cut off a bit more again
We all do auto-pilot. They are called habits. We need habits. You need habits.
Habits can kill – beware
A strong statement but let’s look at habits of mind and behaviour…
It’s one thing having a habit about how to do the laundry. That is useful.
But if you have a negative habit, a habitual reaction to the stresses in your life, (and we all do), then it only solidifies over time.
A casual cutting off from connection with your loved one in the early days of your relationship can become hard bitterness two decades later.
A small irritation when things don’t go your way can become inflexibility in all areas as time goes by.
A touch of “it’s not fair” as a child can become a real problem if you take that victim mentality into adulthood.
The good news is we can change these habits of mind
Often times our sense of identity seems solid, “that’s just the way I am”.
We don’ t realise that we are making choices all the time.
Every time we get a negative feeling around our child, or ourselves, or our partner, or anything….we are making a choice. It’s a choice driven by our beliefs about how life is, which we have built up over time in response to life as we have experienced it.
But those beliefs are not set in stone, and they don’t take decades of psycho-therapy to sort out. They are right there, in our heads.
The first step is to listen to what our minds are telling us.
- “it shouldn’t be like this”
- “this is too had”
- “Things will never be OK”
- “I have to be an angel”
- “I’ll never get to rest”
This is huge. HUGE.
When we really get the stories we are telling ourselves about how life is….well, don’t you want a happier ending?
Don’t you want a change in the endless repeats?
Don’t you want freedom and hope over being driven by the same old loops?
Of course you do. And you can.
Why not take a quiet moment and think about what your mind is endlessly spinning…
(Watch out for the odd sock)
That is when it gets really interesting…