Reset, Rewind, Replace, Reframe!
I listened to my book club episode first and found myself so upset by how loud I sounded and that there was a bird who had a lot to say. The other episodes are all recorded inside and sound much more professional. I started ripping myself apart. By the end of the episode I was moved and was crying by the things my friends said about my book. Thank you to my fabulous friends who hopefully will read this.
I was talking to my friend Kristin about the Podcast we did together. She reminded me that during Covid we were avoiding going in each other’s homes. She said that is why we met outside and got together to do my Podcast in my backyard. I’m so glad that she reminded me of this. She said she listened to it and was moved and enjoyed it and was also brought to tears. That is a wonderful sign!
Time for me to rewind and reframe my first book club podcast. We did it outside for a reason. My loud laughter is who I am. I need to be authentic and be the real me. The bird had a lot to say. It was actually cute. Maybe the bird was joining into our conversation? I ended the Podcast crying so it was obviously moving and meaningful. “Cut yourself some slack. Find things to like about the Podcast and don’t rip it apart. It was only your first one.”
I’m really becoming more and more aware of my thoughts. The tape in my head needs to be positive. This is an important goal for me, and I am teaching my children how to talk to themselves. I am so nice to everyone else. “Find good things to say to yourself,” is what we all need to be doing. When I say something negative, I am becoming aware of this quicker and quicker. Once I become aware of it, I can reset myself, rewind, replace with a better thought that I have reframed to be something positive. Do we always need to be positive? No! However, I choose to look through rose colored glasses as much as I can. Every day is a blessing. I truly believe that.
I look at the laundry all over my bedroom and grumble to myself. “Stop!” I did it again. I went to a negative place, but I stopped myself quickly and pressed rewind. Lillie is asleep, and Max and Ella are on their classes. You can relax and fold laundry and listen to your Podcasts. This is going to be great. I actually do find folding laundry relaxing. I can choose to look at it as a dreaded task, or I can find a way to enjoy it. Watching a show or listening to a Podcast always makes it more enjoyable for me. It is all how we choose to look at things.
I completely panic that I gave myself a bad review and freak out and call Seth. He can’t fix it unless I come to work at 11:30 when he is free. You see, I pushed one star at a time. I didn’t know you are supposed to hit the fifth star to give a five star review. Oops! Let’s hope that I didn’t give myself a bad review! I woke up Lillie freaking out and the relaxing day vanishes! If you choose to give me a review, please push on the fifth star. Seth said that he thought this was common sense. He doesn’t realize that the Podcast world is new to most people including his wife. Seth’s awesome Podcast is Sharkprenuer with Kevin Harrington from Shark Tank. Go check out the Podcast master.
My children want breakfast and I stand in the kitchen thinking about how much time I spend feeding these kiddos of mine. Three meals leads to a lot of time in the kitchen! “Stop!” I’m doing it again. I’m thinking negatively about something that I get to do. I get to stay home with my children. I get to stand in the kitchen and feed them. Where else would I rather be? I rewind and reframe it to the fact that I am blessed to be able to stand here making both cold and hot breakfasts for them. Do I think that you need to appreciate cleaning, doing laundry, doing dishes, and cooking all the time? Of course I don’t. I also know that I can dread it all and complain or I can find a better way to look at it.
Ella asks me to come read something while Max asks me to fix the printer. “Don’t go to a negative place. You can help them with all of this.” I read Ella’s ELA paragraph and correct some of her grammar. I fix the printer for Max and I move on to getting Lillie moving on her schoolwork. I am managing it all, I am able to be home and help them. I am putting my teacher hat on. I am staying in a positive state. I’m going to stay calm and I’m going to plow through this with Lillie. Mama’s, we can do this! Some days go smoother than other days. Some days I feel like I can’t have a thought without one of them interrupting me. Today it was going pretty smoothly, and I was going to enjoy that.
I tell Lillie that we are going to finish her schoolwork and go buy her hip hop sneakers for tonight. She has a fit and I go to that place. Why can’t she just be easy and say okay? “Lillie, Ella and Kaylee are going out to dinner tonight before dance. Would you like to go with them?” She of course screams yes, and I tell her that she is allowed to go if she goes with me to go get the sneakers. She agrees and we move on with our lives. Lillie certainly has a mind of her own. She pushes me and makes me really dig deep to find my calm secure parenting self. Do I want to scream at her sometimes? Yes. Do I want to take things away from her? Yes, definitely! As you see, I have to find out what works with her and it doesn’t stay the same. She always keeps it interesting. Today the dinner motivation worked. Today I figured it out. I will give myself a pat on the back and move on. I didn’t yell, I didn’t get angry, I may have done it right today. That doesn’t mean I won’t yell at her later, but I will continue to try to stay calm, firm and warm.
I also want to tell you that when the time came to go buy her hip hop sneakers I didn’t want to go. I was tired and I didn’t feel like running errands with Lillie. However, I had already told her that we had to go, and I wanted to follow through. I realize it’s okay to change my mind. I told her she had to go in order to earn dinner out with her friends and I knew that I needed to follow through to teach her a lesson. Parenting is exhausting but if we teach our kids that we mean what we say then it pays off in the long run. They will learn that when we state an expectation that we mean business and they won’t think they can get out of it.
I planned a lot of Girl Scouts on this long weekend. I’m not quite sure why I decided to do both Ella and Lillie’s troops this long weekend. That was poor planning on my part as it was a beautiful weekend, and I had a list of Fall fun that I wanted to do with my family. I was being negative and was complaining to Seth. Sometimes Seth and I can make a situation worse for each other and make each other more cranky and sometimes we say the exact right thing. Today, Seth hit a grand slam and hit it out of the ball park and totally turned the situation around.
As I complained to Seth that we had Girl Scouts today (I was complaining because I had other things I wanted to do), he really did a great job reframing it for me. He started to tell me what a good mother I am. He told me that I was making memories for my girls that would last a lifetime. He told me that Ella in particular really needed to go to Girl Scouts today. Seth said that Ella needs the social connection and that I did the right thing having her continue with Girl Scouts. He couldn’t have done a better job resetting me and reframing the whole thing for me. I started to smile and feel good about having this plan for Ella today. I was so happy to get her out of the house and with her friends. She has been with some of these girls since kindergarten. 11 years old is a hard age and I couldn’t have agreed with my husband more at this very moment. Seth, you did a great job and you said everything right. He also came to the ceremony as Ella bridged from Juniors to Cadettes. She told me she had a great time and she loved doing the ceremony outside on an actual bridge. When you are moving from one level of Girl Scouts to the next you walk over a bridge to reach the new level. Ella stood on one side of the bridge as a Junior Girl Scout and she walked over the bridge to the other side to symbolize becoming a Cadette Girl scout. The last two times she bridged she did it in an auditorium over a pretend bridge. We both agreed that the real bridge outside was much better. Score for mommy and a very happy Girl Scout.
This was a big reframing weekend for me. I did a good job catching myself and having myself rewind and replace to a more positive message. This is something that the more we practice it the more automatic it becomes. I can’t promise that I will ever be perfect at it, but I will continue to work on this as I know how the brain works. The more negative thoughts we have the more we reinforce thinking that way. The more positive thoughts we have the more we will wire ourselves to see things in a positive light.
We got home from the Girl Scouts ceremony and my mind started to drift to memories of taking my little ones to the pumpkin farms. I remember how excited they were to go. My 13 and 11 year old didn’t seem interested at all this year. I started to get really sad and miss my babies. I will admit that I stayed sad for a while, but I managed to get myself out of it.
I started to think about what great people my kids were becoming and how much I loved to talk to them and have conversations. I can still make fun Fall memories with them. I can still have them go apple picking and to farms. They may not be jumping up and down to go but I bet if I plan things that they will have a good time.
It is Tuesday October 13th as I type this. I managed to fit in two Girl Scout meetings, picking out pumpkins and apple picking this past weekend. We didn’t get to a farm yet but that is coming soon. I realize that my kids are getting older. I also realize that I am 44 years old and I still love going to a pumpkin farm with my parents. As much as I loved having babies, I also have loved every stage with them. I don’t think 11 (Ella’s current age) is an easy age. I think middle school is probably the toughest years. I am hopeful that my son loves high school next year. I am excited to take this next adventure with him. I remember how he was when he started middle school and I see how much he has changed as he finishes his last year of middle school. I hope that whether my kids are in elementary school, middle school, high school or college that they will still go to the pumpkin farm with me. We can have fun at any age, and we are never too old to pick an apple or a pumpkin.
My goal for myself and all of you is to learn to wire your brain in a way that makes you enjoy your days to the fullest. I hope that you can find simple pleasures in your days. I hope that you can see every day as a blessing. When you realize that you are thinking negatively, press the reset button. Rewind your thoughts, replace it with a new thought that will reframe it in a positive light. My kids are getting older and that’s a blessing and we can still enjoy Fall fun together.
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R