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Posted in Parenting | 7 comments

On falling off the positivity ‘wagon’

For the last week or so I’ve been working hard on being a  and less using a set of promises (yep that’s my shiny new thing, based on and adapted from the AA card that some members carry) that I make myself every morning. But last Friday I fell off the wagon rather spectacularly. It felt like all my efforts so far had come to nothing because I snapped, fair and square.

The morning started well enough, Little Man woke up just before 6am and I was showered and giving him is milk in plenty of time to get Curly Girl up at 6.45. She dressed quickly (with my help) and we were downstairs starting breakfast by 7.20 – believe me that’s good for us (read this fab post by the lovely Franglaise Mummy for more on long routines).

Then we stalled.

Little Man and I were ready to go by 7.45 (we need to be out the door at 8am). But in the 25 minutes since we’d trooped downstairs Curly Girl had managed to eat just two small squares of toast. To put this into perspective, I’d cut one slice of bread into six squares. She still had to eat the rest of her breakfast and we needed to do shoes, cardigan, coat, brush teeth and get the two of them into the car with all the right school gear. It just wasn’t going to happen.

I don’t know if it’s the panic at being late, my annoyance at her being so slow or Little Man’s absolute refusal to stay still while I changed his nappy and put his coat on that set me off but over the next fifteen minutes my temper rose to boiling point. I snapped. I shouted. At both of them. Little Man’s eyes filled up with tears and and my heart filled with dread. Shouty Mummy was back.

When we arrived at school I sat with Curly Girl and apologised for shouting and explained why I’d gotten so cross. She apologised for being slow and we forgave each other with bear hugs. Little Man didn’t smile at me when I put him back in the car. I’d chipped away at his trust.

I still feel sick to my stomach about losing my cool and while I always knew it would take more than one week’s work to put me back on track it’s a strong reminder that I’m still very much a work in progress. My set of promises is helping but I find it hard to remember in the heat of the moment.

I’m still definitely taking one day at a time.

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  1. Well I’ve been solo parenting for a week and have been the shoutiest of shouty mummies, and now I can’t get out of it. So if you find the solution do let me know x

  2. Thank you so much for this comment Mel. I love all those other sayings and you’re right, OWNING the problem is the biggest step for me. Onwards, onwards. x

  3. You’re right of course but while I know tomorrow is another day I don’t want tomorrow to be yet another shouty day. I need to try and change the way I react to stimulus basically – I’m working on it. And you’re welcome :)

  4. Thanks Iyas, for a wonderfully comprehensive comment – I’ll take a look at that book too.

  5. Thank you lovely, wise words indeed.

  6. There’s more than a few sayings around the tables in A.A. that apply here–Easy does it (but do it). You can start your day over any time you like. JUST for today…. One day at a time, one moment at a time. This too, shall pass. And we are about progress, not perfection.
    Really, the first step is owning the problem and surrendering to a different way of doing things (with the help of others). Maybe that will be a bit of the solution for you–including others in the quest so there’s that support and accountability. Cuz WE can do what ‘I’ can’t do alone.
    Think about that one…or maybe sharing here is a part of ‘letting others help you’?

    I applaud you being willing to put yourself out there and try for different. Change is and will be slow–but it’s worth it. Truly.

  7. Falls off any wagon are rarely anything but spectacular. It’s rare for people to lightly dip out of the wagon. I say that having scoffed 2 croissants and a substantial sausage baguette on this low carb morning of mine before 10am.

    There is an awesome book (if you have any reading time!) called ‘Maximum Willpower’ by Kelly McGonigal, which despite the truly terrible title, I found incredibly useful in understanding the science behind the habits we form and the long road to getting over the unwelcome ones. It doesn’t stop wagon-wrecks in their tracks (as my flour-fuelled morning will attest), but I find it has helped a LOT in actually seeing what’s happening and dramatically reducing the impact and frequency of them. It’s no self-help mumbo-jumbo (which I have VERY little time for), and actually shows, using a lot of experiments and stats, why a lot of that industry does more harm than good (a pet peeve of mine). Really worth a read if you get the chance.


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