Mindfulness Made Me Aware of My Negativity

aware of negativity

Awareness can be awesome and totally suck at the same time. The worst is when you see a version of yourself that is less than flattering. Before meditation, I would not even know I was acting a certain way, but now mindfulness made me aware of negativity.

By reducing our screen time, I have become hyper sensitive to how bitter I can be.  Unplugging should have the opposite effect but it doesn’t. Yes, I am grateful for the time I have with the kids but I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of togetherness.

Me Time Is Necessary

What I need is to stop and take a mental break. Although they get their devices in the afternoon, most mornings I am breaking up fights or listening to whining. It is draining and makes me a mean mom. The exact opposite of what I wanted.

It took me years to get to a place where I was able to be positive. Now, I can foresee when I’m getting down on myself or play the victim martyr card. This allows me to stop the feelings before they spiral out of control, getting sucked into that trap again.

Luckily, I have ways to cope when my energy has shifted and I need to cleanse myself of this bad juju. When the kids were younger, my husband and I had a plan for me to take a couple hours each week to recharge on my own. With it being summer break, no more naps  and reducing screen time, I feel like I’m going to crack. The amount of  disciplinary talks I’ve had with the kids in the last four weeks is double than the school year.

Being Intentional With Self Care

It’s funny how I am able to bounce back quickly from years of personal growth. They have helped me to be more patient instead of always yelling. To take a a couple breaths and assess a situation before reacting. I can now flip the switch from negative self talk to positive when I see it happening.

Things around the house were starting to get a little too comfortable and we all needed a change. Sure, the short term whining and complaining of not having screen time can suck. This is a learning process we are all going thought and while we adjust, it’s all for the best.

I never anticipated needing to be more intentional about getting me time now that the kids are off their screens. It’s more necessary than ever because I don’t want to be the mom who is snippy all the time. I want to focus on all the good times we are having instead of sulking about going somewhere.

Return To Gratitude

Lately, this has been my attitude. My daughter suggested we go to the Ohio History connection the other day after an early morning swim meet. (Swim meets are typically 4-5 hours) All I wanted to do was recoup and relax. She was insistent about going but I had come up with this story in my head that everyone was going to be crabby. As I was coming up with every excuse in the book, I stopped when I noticed what was happening. I began to see the bright side of these moments and then got excited about sharing this experience with them.

But in that moment and some that followed, I was only focusing on the negative. Even while we were there, my husband texted me to see how it was and all I could muster was “It’s not crowded” He was like, “Is there anything positive?” The light flipped on making me realize what a Debbie downer I was being. From then on, I forwarded pictures of the kids and told him all the things they were excited about seeing.

The same thing happened when my son wanted to go to the pool. I wanted a day of rest but he insisted that we go. Instead of being excited, I reluctantly got everyone ready, practically dragging them (and myself) out of the house. Mentally, I am having a more difficult time adjusting to our new schedule than I thought.

Awareness of Negativity

Ever since we went on vacation and I had to deal with my youngest’s meltdown, I have felt like crap. Being aware of my emotions has allowed me to focus on the good so we can continue having a great summer.

I am going to need to leave the house without feeling guilty for taking a much needed break. If I don’t I will become bitter, whining and bitchy. The key is staying in a place where it is easy to get back to positive thinking when the negative thoughts flood in.

For this summer to be a success I must get my thinking straight. It is entirely possible to go inward facing my demon to recognize when I’m moody so I can make changes instantly.

 

VIEW ALL ARTICLES

Put your oxygen mask on first.

Self care is essential for all parents to make it through the day.

So I’ve created a guide just for you: 7 Steps To Saying Yes to Yourself.

Get Yours Here!

How To Experience Life Unplugged

experience life unpluggedIt’s universal to blame an outside influence for our bad habits. The last couple days I have been on my phone, scrolling, and playing games because of the rain (obviously). We haven’t visited the library because it’s coming down in buckets and is much cozier inside.

I become very hypocritical in my ways when the weather and my mood get like this. My phone attaches itself like an appendage as I sneakily hide my internet usage. It’s hard to stay off but the guilt kicks in when I blatantly tell the kids to theirs off.

Unplugging To Experience Life

In a couple weeks, my daughter heads to overnight camp for the first time. What I love most is she will be device free for six days, bonding with other kids and learning about herself. There is no way to get sucked into FOMO because she will be out in nature experiencing life.

In preparation for her week off, I want to be more intentional about my phone usage. I’ve been better about keeping it plugged in but it calls me. The kids’ devices are hidden in my room until they get access to them in the afternoon. I did this with my social media challenge back in February but somehow the darkness sucked me right back.

Lately, I have felt void of any real thought and deep down it’s because I’ve been scrolling my feed way too much. The creative juices have gotten stuck and I have no one to blame but myself.

My social media habit is a topic I talk about a lot because I am currently working on changing my thoughts surrounding it. The way I model my behavior directly correlates to how my children use electronics in their daily lives.

Avoiding Social Media From The Start

I always joke around with my mom cause she is not on Facebook.  How amazing that she gets to hear news from people first hand seeing their emotions. She is on Instagram but for the sheer reason to see pictures of her grandchildren, never posting anything of her own. My mom has great relationships with people. She isn’t bogged down by social media or worrying about what is happening on her phone.

While we stayed in a bed and breakfast this past weekend, my daughter made a point of reaching out to people she didn’t know. She made it a point to ask me the owner’s name. Each morning after breakfast, she complimented his meals making sure to address him by name. In a very genuine manner, she thanked him for our lovely stay at their home. No one had to instruct on this, she did it from the kindness of her heart.

As a mom of a pre-teen, these are the types of interactions I encourage more of so she can really connect with people. When the pressure to be on her phone more comes up, I hope she remembers how important real life relationships are.

It’s easy to hide behind a screen voicing your opinion. People can really feel your emotions when you are seeing, listening and looking them straight in the eye. While we do live in a digital age, it’s a necessary to unplug  so you don’t miss your life happening right now in front of your face.

 

VIEW ALL ARTICLES

Put your oxygen mask on first.

Self care is essential for all parents to make it through the day.

So I’ve created a guide just for you: 7 Steps To Saying Yes to Yourself.

Get Yours Here!

How Avoiding Cleaning Brings My Children Together

avoiding cleaning

The best part about reducing screen time this summer has been keeping the house clean even with the kids home all day. I know, you are probably shaking your head thinking I’m full of crap but it’s true. There is one thing they want bad enough,so they do it. But they do a great job of avoiding cleaning at all costs.

Yes, the kids make messes all day long but in order to get their devices later, they must clean up said mess. The one caveat is that one child cannot get on their electronics until everyone is finished. This ensures huge amounts of team work by encouraging others to finish so they can all get rewards.

Avoiding Chores At All Cost Encourages Imagination

Like most they don’t want to clean, but they know their chores must be tackled before the devices come out. One or two kids will be milling around, concocting a game in order to avoid picking up their stuff.  When I see this happening, I can’t help but giggle. Little do they know that I would rather have them engage in creative play than clean. When I hear them get sidetracked, I feel as if my chuckles will help them figure out my master plan.

Until they are settled into their game, I keep up pretenses by lays toys I find on the kitchen table for the owners to claim. They know if they don’t put these away, they will find their way into the trash.

The goal here is two fold:

  1. I giving them a responsibility to clean up their messes before they get a reward
  2. By having them doing chores first, their imaginations are running wild.

Yesterday, I had sorted all the laundry into their individual piles. This is their least favorite thing to do but it is a must before doing anything fun. As I was straightening, I would walk by my room and the piles were still there; for several hours.

Avoiding Cleaning Brings My Children Together

The house was so quiet, that I ventured upstairs quietly as to not disturb them. At the top of the stairs, I heard all four kids quietly playing in my daughter’s room with their Beanie Boos. I dare not enter for fear that they would stop their game. Instead I smiled, knowingly, and walked away.

While the kids have played together fairly well, this summer they have gotten more chances to interact with one another. They aren’t focused on their video games as much. When they do get on their devices, they might be physically sitting next to each other, but they aren’t present.

The more I take away their devices, the messes around the house get much bigger. While the mess itself makes me a little antsy, I know they are actually using their brains. I have seen them transform into more empathetic humans as they become aware of their surroundings.

Whenever they are engaged in electronic game play, they become so focused on what is happening on the screen. Someone could be bleeding right next to them and they would never know. They still get into “zombie mode” as soon as they power up their devices but the majority of the day they are interacting with real life humans.

Sure, the chores might not get done in the manner that I want but it doesn’t matter as long as it gets done before they pull out their devices. More importantly they work together as a team and can distract one another from the boring task at hand to go play something more fun. They are learning that there is a world beyond their screens providing them with memories to last a lifetime.

 

VIEW ALL ARTICLES

Put your oxygen mask on first.

Self care is essential for all parents to make it through the day.

So I’ve created a guide just for you: 7 Steps To Saying Yes to Yourself.

Get Yours Here!