When I was a single mom with a full time job, two very athletically involved kids, and lots of homework from my evening college courses, I did a lot of running around dropping kids off and picking kids up and attending games. At the time, it didn’t feel overwhelming. Granted, I was much younger then and had more energy to spare, but still. I never focused on how much I had to do.
I never really thought much of it. It was part of my daily life. It was my duty as a mom. But then someone pointed out just how much time I actually did spend driving kids around and driving myself to work and to school and all other chore-type things. “Oh my gosh! How do you do it? Basketball AND soccer? and you’re going to school too? And you work during the day?!” Well, yes. And then I heard it more and more from well-intentioned friends and coworkers. I heard it so much that I started to believe it. I *was* doing a lot. How was I not tired? How did I still have the energy to go to school? Why was I not home resting? Why was I driving all the time? My whole perspective changed. I started focusing on the negative aspect of everything and felt annoyed and overwhelmed all the time. It was awful.
I spent years in that mindset. I still have my moments of omgwhyamIstilldrivingkidsaroundit’s8o’clockatnight. I still complain. I still feel overwhelmed. But I don’t focus on it as much.
It’s very different to say “Only three more weeks of school left and then I can sleep in again!” than “Oh my gosh, there’s still three more weeks of school left and I have two parties to plan and these kids are annoying AF and there’s so much paperwork to still complete.” Our mindset affects our attitude and our approach to situations.
And trust, I know I can be the last to take my advice. My colleagues know all to well I’m the first to complain when something else is thrown our way and my kids know just how badly I react to last minute plans. I explode a little bit and bitch a lot, and then I get a hold of myself and try as best as I can to roll with it because a bad attitude won’t change a bad situation.
Seriously. If a neurotic, obsessive, narcissistic worrywart like myself can see the silver lining, you, my friends, are golden.