In the perfect pre-parent world you lived in, would you want your children to hear gossiping, name calling and unsavoury things every single day? I’m mainly talking to myself. As a wake up call. Because hell no would I want my children to hear negative conversations only grown ups should have ears for and yet here I find myself in the dilemma of doing that exact thing.
Meet the accountability department of my blog. Nothing has shocked me more lately than having a trained professional tell me my 4 year old was blocking out his surrounds because I had made it too difficult to cope with. Holy crap this is scary to admit. Yeah I do it. I did it as just before she warned me. The constant offloading of emotions while in earshot of my kids. If I stand back and view our home as a third person, like my own guardian angel, and I feel deeply sad that I would irresponsibly take the moments of innocence away from the boys.
Not to be confused with merely a self-punishing article, I need to refocus to put a strategy out there for myself and for others who may be making this mistake, possibly unknowingly.
Why? Children are not equipped to process such intricate (and extreme) waves of emotion, particularly due to circumstances that are not dire. Not that they should never hear or experience other ranges of emotions, but this level of exposure can rob them of their childish innocence they should be able to indulge in. Death in the family, news of terminal illness and such are circumstances where expressing those emotions would be suited. But regular bouts of going from nought to 100 about bitchy gossipy nonsense sets a tone for the way they will approach scenarios.
I put this to myself, and to you.
Pick your timing. Simple. Bitch and moan outside of “kiddy hours”.
Mind dump in the old journal. Each time something becomes overwhelming and you want to pick up the phone while your kids are around, scribble it down. Review at a kid free time. Is it still worth the effort of speaking about it?
Remember THOUGHTS ARE NOT FEELINGS. You might think you are anxious, maybe about a new career move or a new social setting. But you actually feel anxious, and feelings naturally come and go. The more you deem it a permanent thought and give it negative traction, the longer it will stick around and fester. Let the negative feeling arrive and depart by understanding the link to the situation that created it. Nothing can change what physically happened so before you let that negative train of thought begin and speak it out loud…well…you know what Elsa sings…
Take it back to basics. Are your basic needs being met? Are you blabbing on because you are tired? I am a tired talker and I also catastrophize situations when I am tired. This creates the need to distract myself and zone out.
Do you need a nice space to sit in? To read a book completely irrelevant to your unhelpful thoughts.
Maybe smell a nice smell, if you are into essential oils.
Or like me, you need to decrease coffee/caffeine intake and just slow down a bit instead of pushing yourself to unreasonable limits.
The pay off for correcting these habits now is that your children are less likely to be anxious, over-exaggerating, emotionally unstable adults.
I was unsure whether to post this as it can be controversial but as mentioned, I need to publicly hold myself accountable.
Note: change takes time. I have slipped up on many occassions since I began writing this but I’m committed to sticking to it for the betterment of my life and for my boys.