I seem to just have the predisposition to feel and react negatively, but I don't want to be a cynical and insensitive mama. I feel like my responses and reactions to my husband and son are just so often either a "meh" or "grrrr". I used to be very optimistic and loving and affectionate and all that. Now I feel like I just want to be left alone and not bothered by all the stuff other people want. I am not ruling out depression, but not copping to it either. I think my son's unwillingness to be left in the care of others, and my husband's busy work schedule just leave me with no time for routine exercise or personal space/time until everyone is asleep but me.
I really want to be one of those chipper, upbeat, and open to anything type of gals who can avoid taking normal 5 year old behavior personally or feeling antagonized by it. I know it boils down to being mindful of my thoughts and emotions before reacting, as well as reframing situations. I think I'm just too tired and impatient to stop and think before the grouchy me reacts. I feel like I'm modeling impatience, immaturity, manipulation and selfishness more often than optimism, cooperation, helpfulness, grace, patience and unconditional love.
Any ideas how I can reset or detox myself? I eat a pretty healthy, mostly organic, wheat-free diet.
It sounds like you already know what you need to do to feel better-- make more time for yourself!! (And maybe talk to your dr about depression too?) I too need time alone (whether I'm exercising, making art, or just soaking up silence) otherwise I find myself feeling grouchy and impatient. I give a lot to my family and if I don't fill my own cup, then I find I end up feeling resentful.
I'm not sure what your budget is like, but if you can swing some childcare, I would totally go for it. Do you think your son would be more comfortable having someone come to your house while you're there-- like a mother's helper? At least you could slip into your bedroom and take a bath, or read, or do yoga, or just stare at the ceiling....
I think we mamas need to learn to prioritize time for ourselves (I'm the first to admit I'm terrible at it!!) Not only are the ripple effects good for all, I think it sets a good example for our kids when we value our health and wellbeing enough to make it a priority. Maybe start small-- like carving out half an hour per day to "detox" and figure out what feels best to do in that time-- meditation, a brisk walk, a glass of wine and a magazine....
Hmm...I think I'll make that my own goal this week :)
I am also hoping to figure out some quick fixes to help me slip out of the ick and into the positive in the moment I notice the ick. Often i become aware of my witchiness, but Feel so stuck in that mode that i feel powerless to change. Doesn't anyone know some magic word or spell?
If you believe your attitude is being affected by lack of exercise, many gyms offer babysitting during your workout. I know pretty much all YMCA's offer it. Your child's unwillingness needs to be corrected - what happens when he starts school? I've done this with both of my kids - drop him off and immediately walk away. The longer you stay the worse the separation anxiety is for the kid it seems.
In my experience and opinion, I don't think it has much to do specifically with exercise, though that could certainly be part of it. Do you feel like you love yourself? Would you love the person you are being right now? I ask because the more we love ourselves, the more space we open for us to love others. I feel like maybe some of your stuff is from a feeling of overwhelm and feeling left alone (you mentioned the husband's busy work schedule). Have you chatted with your husband and son about your attitude? I talk to my kids (4 and 8) about my attitude when I mess up - that models that we aren't perfect, but we can make good when we screw up. :)
Best of luck to you! I see this post is a few months old. Is this still an issue for you? I'd love an update!
First, my children are mostly fine with being left in the care of trusted, familiar people. The YMCA child watch was my son's first foray into the unknown world of childcare. I got about 10 minutes into a yoga class before they came to get me. He was beyond hurt and sad that I'd left him in a room of strange adults and kids. I did make an effort to talk about it first, go early, play awhile to get him warmed up to the place, and even arranged to meet a friend who also left her son in the same class at the same time. I thought one familiar playmate would help. Nope. DS to this day refuses to go into a class or activity where I must leave the room. He's almost 5 now. We are homeschooling. Mostly he is incredibly independent, but this one type of scenario is just not okay with him yet. I am willing to honor that. I think I will try to get a membership come November (once our swimming season is over). I need more alone/exercise time. Now that DD is a bit older, I feel they may both be at ease with childcare while I take a quick class.
Excellent of you to bring up the self-love aspect. I realize I have been burying myself in guilt, shame, and loathing for various reasons (many of which started when I entered my relationship with DH). DH and I are scheduled for our first couples counseling session, which I hope will help some aspects of my issues. A lot of work needs to be done for me to heal my psyche, and that is SO hard when in constant presence of my kids. I've been trying to use nap time to do some soul searching and processing. I am hopeful this will help. By bedtime, my brain is no longer fueled for such self work. I am now trying to be supportive of myself and not get deeper into shame/guilt/loathing for what I allowed my relationship to do to to me (and my past, as well). Trying now to move forward and gain tools to build myself up from where I am without too much dwelling down memory lane.
I applaud your ability to see through my post into the deeper realm, as it seems to be quite accurate. I thank you for your time, consideration, and compassion.
No problem! I understand it can be incredibly difficult when you feel like you can't do anything without a kid being there! Just a thought, have you tried alternating mommy time with this friend with a child the same as yours? I'm thinking in the home would be best.
In my line of work I deal with this kind of stuff all the time. Glad to chat about it with you! Can I suggest something out though? Unless you and DH have a ton of past issues to work through, working with a coach may be better. The difference is counseling goes into the past to heal, and coaching looks from this point forward. It can be much more effective in terms of creating plans to move forward as a couple and will likely get you more results, faster than counseling. Just wanted to point that out. There are a lot of coaches who specialize in couples coaching - just google it.
Best of luck to you both. Kudos to you guys for calling it out and getting some support through the rough patch!