I never realized how extremely powerful my self-talk is until this past weekend. I was super cranky all weekend and was feeling bad for my family. They shouldn’t have to deal with cranky mommy and cranky wife. That isn’t fair to them. In my defense, I hadn’t slept well since August. It was now September 16th. I have to start sleeping better. I also can’t make excuses for myself. That doesn’t fix anything.

Sundays are not my favorite day. I tend to wake up and realize the enormous list of stuff that needs to get done for the week. It begins with dragging my children to opening day at Hebrew school. Thankfully Lillie has a good friend in her class, so she wasn’t giving me as hard a time as Max and Ella today. Ella just looked so bummed that I was making her go and Max looked like I was torturing him. I was feeling like a really bad mom for making them go. My mom made me go so why was I being “mean” too? Why did I think I needed to make my children go? This was not a good way to start out my Sunday. These were also not good things to be communicating to myself. How about saying, “How wonderful that my kids get to be raised in the same synagogue that Seth and I were raised in!” Isn’t that a better way to talk to myself? As we sat there in Temple as a family, I did feel the good feelings of the fact that this is what I dreamed of. A Jewish family sitting here together listening to our fabulous Rabbi. My kids would thank me one day. I will keep telling myself that. I keep telling Max that this is his last year and he can do it. I will give him a pep talk through this year and hope that he can find some enjoyment. He will get to learn his prayers for his Bar Mitzvah, and he will learn about Israel and Jewish History and his teacher even mentioned doing a hot topics section. Wish me luck! I hope every Sunday morning doesn’t go like this one. This one knocked me down.

We get home from Religious School and I look around my house. The dishes are piled in the sink, there is laundry everywhere and I realize once again that the kids need me to go buy food for their lunches for the week. I make everyone lunch, do the dishes and the laundry, help Max with his Spanish project (he’s super smart but he doesn’t like being creative like I do) and head to Wegmans. So much for my plan to go to Akron Falls. “I can’t get it all done. I never catch up. I’m so overwhelmed. All I do is work.” This is what I am telling myself all day. I wonder why I am cranky. The number one thing that I tell myself all day is that I can’t keep up. How do I expect to feel if this is what I’m telling myself all day?

I go to Wegmans and my sweet husband comes out to help me bring in the groceries and unpack them all. He is such a sweet and good man. I am thankful every day that I get to be married to him. Of course, we fight. Of course, we get cranky. We can be short with each other. I was failing miserably at being good to him this weekend, but man do I love him. I have to show him, and I have to tell him, and I have to remember that when I am cranky, he is taking it personally. He works so hard to give us all a good life and I was totally crapping all over it. When I tell him not to take my mood personally his answer is always, “But you are my person.”

I hang over the sink that is full yet again, and I look at Seth and say, “I just can’t keep up with my life. I am not good at this.” He can’t even believe what I am saying. With total disbelief he looks at me and says, “You are a fabulous mother and you ARE keeping up.” Did you hear that? Seth said the magic words. Here I was telling myself every day that I can’t keep up and Seth just said that I AM keeping up. Is he right? We sit down at the table and he starts to tell me what I am doing well. “The kids are getting where they need to be with what they need. The kids are doing great. You are doing a great job. No one is going to write on your tombstone about how you kept up the with laundry. No one is going to care. Worry less about your house and focus more on all of us.”

Do you ever think about what you tell yourself every day? I complain way too much to myself. Why aren’t I giving myself praise? Why am I tearing myself down all day? I make myself feel badly and then we take it out on the ones who love us most.

Seth was in the basement cleaning up a water mess (we had to have a pump fixed) and feeding the cats, and I was wondering why Seth and Ella weren’t coming upstairs. I yell down that Ella needs to go to bed, and I don’t realize that Seth says good night to Ella and leaves the house. He needs to walk and breathe and get away from his cranky wife. He comes back and asks me what is going on in his very troubled way. You see, our friends rocked our world and announced that they are getting divorced. This has totally stressed Seth out. I make it clear to Seth how happy I am with him and apologize like crazy for acting so miserable. Sometimes you just don’t realize how your behavior is affecting your husband and children. I couldn’t have been more upset with myself.

Here I sit finishing my blog for the week and reflecting on the cranky mood I have been in. I do not want this for me or for my family. The thing about me, is that I know when I screw up. I know when I need to do better. I am telling all of you that I need to do better. I am telling all of you that my husband and children deserve a sweet, loving, happy mother. My kids don’t care if I am perfect. They don’t care if the floor is clean. They don’t care if I got anything done that I needed to get accomplished. They care if their mother is happy. Tanner (my puppy) and I just went for a very long walk outside. I got some great exercise. It’s time to give my brain some daily exercise. I am going to train my brain to give myself love and praise all day. I challenge all of you to do the same.

My Self Talk:

Why do I make my kids go to Religious School? / How wonderful that I get to raise my children in the
same synagogue that Seth and I went to as a child.

I can’t keep up! / I’m doing a great job. I can do this. I accomplished so much today. Look at what you did do today.

I’m overwhelmed! / One step at a time, everything gets done. I got this. I can do this.

I can’t do it! / I can do anything. I am a very capable and strong person. I can do this.

I’m only one person! / Ask for help. Use my support system. I don’t have to be everywhere. I don’t have to do everything.

I didn’t do enough! / Your worth is not about what you accomplish. You did enough. Take time to relax. You don’t always have to do things. Just be. Just breathe. Enjoy the day!

I would love to hear what you tell yourself and how you are going to reframe it to something positive. We are all doing great.

Laughing, Loving, Learning,
Rebecca Greene