Hindsight is 20/20, right?
Well, Ainsley went from being a perfect angel to an antagonistic nightmare yesterday while poor Syd was dealing with GI issues (I haven’t figured out why but she has had the most rancid gas this week and is very emotionally sensitive).
Nevertheless, Ainsley woke up before 5:30 this morning congested and out of sorts making me hit my palm to forehead while saying, “That’s it! That’s why so was so difficult yesterday!”
I swear that yesterday I was doubting every ounce of my ability of being a good mother while wondering what the heck I was doing wrong! I couldn’t stop wondering how could Ainsley be such an angel for so long and then one day she is irritated by everything her sister does.
Our best moments were when Ainsley was focused on schoolwork, so I had her complete all of her normal school work, her horseback riding lesson, her piano lesson, we dropped off donations, and then I had her read. She read a lot! Eight books. She then she reread four of those books to Greg after he got home from work.
Nevertheless, it was such a difficult day that I cried for a few minutes alone in the bathroom before making dinner. Honestly, the worst feeling I have is the feeling that I am not a good mother, that I am majorly screwing up my girls, or that I cannot protect my girls from danger/harm (these two once-in-a-century storms these past 3 months shook me to the core – Derecho [130 mph straight-line winds] on 30 June 2012 and Hurricane Sandy on 29 October 2012). Nevertheless, my dreaded mama guilt and mama doubt showed their ugly heads yesterday causing me much self-reflection.
Today is a new day with a new perspective. Last night, I decided that after I pick my girls up from school at noon today, we are going to have a campout with our sleeping bags and pillows on our family room floor while eating healthy snacks and watching fun movies. This will allow us all to get some much needed rest and downtime while allowing us to do some reconnecting as both of my girls love to cuddle.
(Anytime I having parenting doubt/issues, I think back to Dr. Lawrence Cohen’s book Playful Parenting as it stresses the importance of reconnecting with children.)
Yesterday was a difficult day, buy today will be better. Ainsley took some turmeric this morning of which always knocks the cold right out of her, so she should be feeling much better very soon. As for Sydney, I will continue keeping a close eye on her while evaluating any potential cause for her GI symptoms. As for me, I’m back on my horse. I accepted that my girls’ every behavior does not hinge on my every move and my every screwup (some behaviors do, but not all ;)) and that even I too get irritable and moody when I do not feel well. Doesn’t everyone? My emotions are definitely impacted by physical symptoms after I’ve been exposed to gluten (I experience horrible depression from day 3 or 4 to about day 7 or 8 after an exposure).
I am not perfect, I don’t expect my girls or husband to be perfect, but I wish I could refine my detective skills a bit more while clearly listening to my intuition.
Intuition is there for a reason, and when I was discussing our day with Greg last night, I said, “Well, I know Sydney has definitely been experiencing GI issues these last couple of days, so maybe that’s why she has been so emotional.” Greg’s response was that we cannot blame every miss behavior on not feeling well, but I began to wonder why do those two always seem to be so connected?
The mind-body connection is powerful one and works both ways. Stress and tension can cause physical symptoms, and physical symptoms can cause irritability, sadness as well as many other emotions. With each day of my life, I am becoming more and more aware of how strong this mind-body connection actually is.
This connection reminds me of the “picture” of the Chinese character for ch’i: a pot of rice cooking and as the rice cooks, steam-energy, or ch’i (the life force), is created and moves the lid up and down. Our energy, our life force, is always in constant movement. It is always going up and down. However, to keep the lid to our rice pot from getting stuck, we must move through life’s ups and downs with grace while nurturing and respecting a strong mind-body-spirt connection and while ensuring good health.
I once read that our main task in life, our task as we move from birth to death, is to learn how to live more peacefully day-by-day while nurturing and acknowledging the mind-body-spirit connection. I believe that this is a great place to start, and I accept that true wisdom takes time and experience.
Yesterday, I just wished that my parenting dilemmas and self-doubt had less of an emotional impact on me and that I listened to and respected my intuition so I could have saved myself from unneeded self-criticism.
Much Love! Priscilla