Wednesday, January 27, 2010

52 Week Wednesday

Today’s affirmation is Breathe Deeply – something I need to do a lot of, all the time.

This one is for the women in my life - my friends, the stay-at-home moms, the working moms, my family:

Breathe Deeply for Lowering Expectations

Breathe Deeply for giving ourselves a break

Breathe Deeply for stopping the negative track in our heads

Every time I walk in my living room, I see a blender I was given for Christmas. All of the other presents have been moved out and put in their correct (thrown in a closet) places. My blender sits, unopened, in the corner of the room.

EVERY time I walk by that blender, this is what goes through my head:

“I am so disorganized for not opening up that blender and putting it away (or using it to make a healthy, delicious smoothie for my kids). I am so lazy that I can’t even be motivated enough to move the effing blender out of the room. The rest of my house is also a mess so eventually, there will be a pile of all kinds of stuff in this room. First comes the blender, then some unused kid toy, party favors (don’t we all love those), unending papers from school, half eaten lunch in the lunch box, unread magazines & catalogs, etc. until this mound reaches the ceiling. Then, I’ll be featured on Oprah for becoming a hoarder. A sad hoarder who just couldn’t get off her a$$ and move her blender.”

So, of course this sounds crazy (but you all know I’m crazy by now, right?!), but this is a negative self-talk track I play in my head about various things day after day after unrealistic day. I can never get everything done, so what is to be done?

My first suggestion is to Lower Our Perfectionist Wacked Expectations. Let things go – say “oh well!”. Lowering expectations means less beating ourselves up when we don’t meet unrealistic goals.

Next, give ourselves a break and focus on what positive things we did do that day. What a great job I did playing Memory game with my kids! What a great job I did cleaning up poop (kid & dog) today! What a great job I did breathing deeply while taking a yoga class for MYSELF.

Third, stop the negative track in our heads (easier said than done). Talk to a friend, or read a blog (like mine, not Martha Stewart’s) about real moms living real lives. They will help you feel not alone and focus on what you are doing great.

Wanted to leave you with this excerpt from Salon’s The Mommy Mystique by Amy Reiter:

The "new momism" is an extremely romantic and demanding myth of the perfect mother in which the standards for success are so high that no woman can achieve them. People then say, "Well, what about June Cleaver? What about the '50s, isn't this the same?" And if it was the same, that would be bad enough. Who wants to go back to 1956? But it's actually worse. I mean, June Cleaver was not expected to drill the Beaver with algebra flashcards when he was 6 months old. June Cleaver was not expected to drive 10 hours round trip to a soccer match. June Cleaver wasn't expected to home-school and, by the way, look sexy the whole time doing it. So even June Cleaver couldn't meet these standards today, which are absolutely through the roof. So it's actually different from the '50s: It's more intense.

I mean, seriously, if you are gonna go buy cookies to bring to a school function instead of making them from scratch, are people going to complain? I actually did have someone complain about that once. I have no words for this.

Ohm. Breathe. Deeply.

“There must be a positive and negative in everything in the universe in order to complete a circuit or circle, without which there would be no activity, no motion” – John McDonald

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