Letting go of baggage:
I wake up in the morning to do self leadership, but I’ve been really scattered about exactly what that is and what to do in that time.
Before looking at books or things like that I want to define my own metric and set my own intentions. Basically I want to be mindful about what I’m going to do with my life that day. I know I may get off track later, but I do want to know, at least in the beginning what I will be doing.
One thing I noticed is that I am greatly aided by habits, if I always wash dishes, it becomes easy to do that, so I am making the habit of having self leadership time in the morning without even knowing what to do with it.
My daughter gets up at about 6 AM and tries to talk to me, I felt bad asking her not to, but 1. I need my own time, 2. she is loud, 3. I will not be nice to her if I’m talking to her before I really wake up and have coffee, because I’m not the sweetest person in the world. So I may as well let go of feeling bad for not wanting to talk to her in the morning and let her draw or do something she enjoys that is something else. I hate talking to anyone during the early morning, not just her. And my well being matters as much as hers, so I should stop feeling bad about it… it’s hard though. I feel like each chance to connect I don’t take I may regret later, yet I thus far have never regretted not talking to people from 6-7AM.
At my core is a little girl who was lonely, didn’t have anyone to talk to most of the day, grew into the silence, and eventually became so used to silence everything else is annoying.
I can’t really be present with myself when others are telling me what they think and feel, it’s not that I never care or want to hear, but it takes me away from being able to really check in with myself and figure out what I really want from life, eventually I get angry without knowing why. Because I’m not getting/giving myself what I need to thrive, which includes a little peace and calm in everyday.
I feel guilty for hating that my kids wake up early, it sure does make getting to school, or being on time for anywhere easier, I can feel that they will have an easy time leaving for work in the distant future, yet it means the struggle for personal time starts literally at dawn.
My kids don’t like me to have a potty break, a water break, they want me to serve food and drinks and bring towels and then run off to play without eating myself, they want me to play with them, look at their drawing, load their video game, say good job, ask about their “secrets”, look at their tiny scratch, they want me to be a constant spectator in their lives, and I get sucked into it so badly that I forget to be a spectator, coach or player in my own life. It’s a huge weak point for me, because I do love them and they are a priority, but both of them would grind me into the dust each day if I didn’t fight for my water break, potty break, meal breaks, cleaning breaks ext.
They have this desire to be seen and loved, and I want to see them and love them, but the amount of time they want and what I have to give them is a huge conflict. I’m still looking for a solution for that. Right now my daughter just brought me a rainbow picture to look at and said please look at this… a “good mom” would have perhaps like to, but I balled my fists up to not be rude, because I was questioned over and over at 6:20 about breakfast, I served breakfast at 6:58, and got interrupted again and again and again to brush hair, answer questions ext and I hate it. I don’t care about the rainbow picture, I can’t remember any times I enjoyed looking at my daughter’s pictures and I’m getting so close to saying that to her. Which makes me feel guilty. But it doesn’t help me shift into a mode where I like to be interrupted and look at her drawings. I like to see her in the process of drawing, I like to know she is doing well, but I just want to be left alone.
I’m noticing I have some anger and deep bitterness, it’s perhaps not pretty on paper (or in person) yet writing it makes me feel better.
The difference between the life I want and the life I have is the anger and burnout inside of my heart.
I am responsible for my life, I am the adult, but I’m only human, my boundary setting skills are low, my conflict resolution skills are low, my EQ is low, those lagging skills make it an uphill boundary to get enough time for myself.
If my kids had conflict resolution I wouldn’t need to be involved with trying to help with that and melt downs, EQ would speed up issues with family conflict so it didn’t waste an hour or half hour to talk things through and apologize, boundaries would give me the time to get my responsibilities done and not feel bad about putting them off because my life was too chaotic.
At the heart of my problem is that I have a special needs child and I always pencil her in for a regular needs time slot, I at some level don’t want to believe she is high needs, I know at some level that I, as I am, am pretty unhappy and uncapable of dealing with a special needs child. It scares me. It scares me to know that I am short tempered and independent and I somehow am supposed to step into a role that patient and nurturing people would be good at. It puts me in the position of either trying to be someone I’m not, or being uncomfortable with my workload.
It’s more work on a daily basis and I don’t enjoy it, I became burnt out a long time ago, guilting myself that my kids childhood passing doesn’t help the burnout at all. Knowing it will be over someday gives me hope that I will have wellbeing again, someday, but it doesn’t really let me know how to thrive now.
I know some people thrive, and possibly some people with kids thrive, but I’ve never done it. So six years into having kids, it’s a depressing span to be failing.
The whole time I didn’t give myself the time I need to be well.
I don’t want to wait for my kids to grow up to be well again, to enjoy life again, to be clear about who I am and what I like to do again. I don’t want to, but I don’t know if I will fight hard enough to establish boundaries to crawl out of the burnout ditch I’m in.
I don’t know if I can, I don’t know if I will, but I want to.
I don’t like who I am as a parent, I’ve become bitter, I’m rushing myself to help, so much so that the help is resentful and no one likes to live with a resentful person.
It’s not who I used to be, not who I want to be, but I’m not sure of a path forward.
Perhaps when I get angry I shouldn’t “try to be more patient”, but rather take a break from doing things I hate and resent (but may need to get done at some point) and actually do something with my life I enjoy at all?
Perhaps my anger is there to remind me I’m dying each day and I should enjoy life TODAY, at least a little bit?
I guess I have a tendency to let myself become mentally a martyr mom, I do less than other moms already, so I think “I’m not doing enough for them,” and people in my life are quick to join in and think of things I’m not doing enough of, enough cleaning the whole family’s mess, enough supporting the whole family’s emotions (which I hate), enough spending time with my kids because they are still acting up and my dad thinks it’s because they don’t get enough attention… but if I stop for a minute and think I can’t do this much without being burnt out, so I shouldn’t add more, I shouldn’t buy into what other people would like to burden me with… that makes more sense. It makes sense that I would need to do less, take a break, make an attempt at healing from the burnout now instead of in 16 years… after being bitter for my children’s whole childhood.
I need to slow down a bit, I need to fight for time alone, I need that time alone, I need to make new habits.
In essence I need to consider myself equal to the kids, so it’s not them eating and me washing their dishes and drying them and setting up their next toys without eating myself. That needs to stop or I’m never going to not be bitter and I won’t even stay well enough to do that anyways.
Also I need to prioritize by energy not just time. Right now the limiting resource is energy.
I need to shift from sprint pace to marathon pace.
In “The Last Green Valley” there is a time when the horse wagon driver has to whip his two horses to avoid being caught in a tank battle, I’ve been treating myself like that for too long.
I’ve been bearing the burden of being responsible for my kids alone for too long, now that my daughter is in a school a few hours I clean and take care of my son and I am still busy and I can see that I had too much to do before.
Some kids need one on one attention, if you have one and have another kid, wow, it’s kind of brutal, but no one may notice because normal kids can be handled in groups of two or four or whatever. But my reality is I have a child who would do better one on one and a second child and it’s going to be a little FUBAR even on a good day.
So I need to prioritize what I want to get done, know that it will take a lot of effort to appear as if we are normal, when we really are not, and forgive myself that every one in my life makes comments about my being an “underperformer” compared to before.
I notice that I’ve been off loading a lot of emotional baggage and also strategizing how I can be a different person in the way I set boundaries, I think that is probably something that will come up a lot during self leadership.
Focusing on what I want:
“How do you defeat terrorism? Don’t be terrorized.”
The kids in a way terrorize me, or I let myself be terrorized by them. Also cleaning and meal planning, it feels like they are ahead and I’m behind and getting further and further behind.
Today we decluttered the office, I watered most of the plants, I think I will alternate between the front and the back watering rather than try to do it all each day, I think that may be alright.
This is a super mundane post, but I’m going to post it anyways because something about that makes me more accountable.