I’m hard on myself. I’m my own worst critic. When a mistake is made by me, no matter how small, my negativity is all over it in a heartbeat. When I can’t accomplish something, my pessimistic, doomsaying spirit reinforces what a failure I am. It’s a horrible way to speak to myself, a caustic and damaging way to see myself. When I realize it’s happening sometimes I can talk myself away from the harsh perspective I have of myself.
I spent the week deep cleaning our house. Atticus and the boys did the heavy lifting, but I took on the scrubbing, sweeping, and mopping during the quiet mornings when the kids were at school and Atticus was still sleeping. I accomplished much in short amounts of time with no interference — no one needing something from me.
Then I paid the price for the physical exertion in the form of extreme pain, chasing it, of course,with a destructive criticism cocktail. How could I think I was going to be able to keep taking care of my family when just doing basic cleaning was debilitating? I might as well just quit. They’d be better off without me and my limitations dragging them down.
My greatest investment of late has been a wonderful pair of perspectacles. They help me see through my damaging perspective. Once I remembered to put on my perspectacles I was able to see how much more I am to my family than just the cook or cleaning lady.
Yesterday a nurse from Sprout’s school called and said he was ill. When I spoke to him he said he was too sick to remain and finish out the day, so we went to the school and picked him up. When we returned home I suggested that he lie on the couch, watch cartoons, drink some juice, just rest and be still. He didn’t seem sick to me, but I know sometimes we don’t look the way we feel. Sprout quickly got bored with resting and wanted to run around and play. All afternoon Atticus and the teens warned Sprout that he was supposed to be resting. By dinner it was obvious that he wasn’t really sick.
I spent the evening in bed, resting and reading, and trying to reduce my pain. Sprout came to me and started telling me about a boy in his class who is very mean. Apparently this boy was making some threats yesterday that scared Sprout enough to make him want to come home. If I wasn’t waiting at home, where would Sprout have felt safe? To whom could he have turned to feel protected?
Mommy is more than clean house and food. Mommy is safety, security, stability. Mommy is boundaries and accountability. Mommy is hugs and kisses and love. Mommy is an empathetic ear during hurtful times, cheerleader during triumphs, coach in learning experiences, sounding board during decision-making.
Mommy is valued.
Having difficulty seeing yourself with gentleness and grace?
Invest in a proper pair of perspectacles.
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