The post holidays blahs…. You know what I’m talking about? The feeling when you run out of Christmas baking to snack on (or your husband tosses it without your consent), you head back to work, or if you are on maternity leave like me, it’s back into routine, and the guilt from already falling short on New Year’s resolutions.
This year, I am going to be more organized in my home. This was one of my New Year’s resolutions… Funny though, on a nice day, or anything that could possibly resemble something close to it, I would rather be (and am) outside. I know I am NOT a great housekeeper, nor would I like to spend my time doing it… Unless I am procrastinating on another “to do”, then my house is so clean… I also know that I do not want my tombstone to read “Kept a fantastically clean house”… So then why do I keep beating myself up about not having a perfect home? Why am I continually comparing myself to others and looking at where I think I fall short?
You see, I am a therapist by trade, so I can throw the theories at this situation all day and night… Family of origin stuff (my mom didn’t spend her days obsessing about her home, rather we would be having fun on play dates or outside), CBT Twisted Thinking, perfectionism, temperament, etc. But it sure is not helping me to be at peace with my home. To me, rationalizing something in my head, and moving it into feeling in my heart are big steps. And so far willing myself to not compare myself with others has not seemed to have work.
I have been reading Brene Brown’s new book “Rising Strong” (http://brenebrown.com/books/). I just love how she writes, and aspire to one day share my own thoughts and beliefs with the world as she does. So I did my SFD (“shitty first draft” – read the book and you will get it), and it turns out I believe that all the other moms of babies and toddlers, and women in the world for that matter, have it more together than I do because you can’t see the dust bunnies or toys when you walk into their door (and boy do I feel normal when I walk into a fellow mother’s home that looks lived in). Now, I get how irrational that is, because I believe I am a good mom, wife and person on most days (clean house or not). I also realized that on days where I am taking care of myself, able to spend a moment or two working on my dreams, and be a present mom, I am truly able to hold my home and self with compassion, and to feel in my heart that part about the tombstone and laugh.
As I am sitting on the couch, nursing a baby, watching Paw Patrol with a toddler who also just dumped out the toy box, is wiping his nose on his sleeve, has jam in his hair, and is drinking my cold coffee, it all comes together for a brief moment. I am setting myself up to fail and for misery. When I feel good, I do good. When I love myself, I love others. When I cut myself some slack, I am a much more patient parent.
So how can I shift my feelings and energy around housework? HIRE A HOUSECLEANER! Don’t worry… That’s one of the first things on my list when I get rich and famous… Or even just a little bit richer! Until then, I am moving away from the chore of housework and all the heaviness, sense of inadequacy and other crappy feelings around it, to nurturing our home. Nurturing to me is love filled actions to care for someone or something for it to grow. Remember that when I feel good I do good and live in self compassion.
Five self compassion questions to guide my days in 2016:
1. What is one thing I can do today to nurture myself?
2. What is one thing I can do today to nurture my children?
3. What is one thing I can do today to nurture my relationship with my partner?
4. What is one thing I can do today to nurture my business and dreams?
5. What is one thing I can do today to nurture my home?
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