I arrived home from almost two weeks in paradise. I took my kids to my boyfriend’s home in Baja over spring break. This vacation was a big deal for him and me because our kids were meeting for the first time. We had 7 (yes, SEVEN) kids under one roof.
The Old Story I was Telling Myself
When we arrived, we quickly got into the truck to head to the grocery store. Have you ever tried to shop for nine people for almost two weeks? Well, I can tell you first hand it isn’t easy! After two hours in the grocery store, we piled back into the truck and started to review the ‘rules’ while we are all together
- Kids do all the dishes when mom cooks
- Show love and kindness to one another at all times
- No wining, pouting or feeling sorry for yourself
- HAVE FUN!
Simple rules, rules, however, I have not been used to seeing in action. See over the last 5+ years I have been told I should feel guilty for my career choice which in turn turned into: you’re ruining the kids, you’re not a good mom, and you choose your work over the family. The constant repetition of these phrases had me telling myself the following story:
“Katie, you must always give the kids everything because you’re never home. You should feel guilty for needing your own time, and if you don’t spend all your time when you’re home with the kids, then you are a bad mom.”
The stories I was telling myself resulted in the following actions I allowed from my kids: whining, pouting, feeling sorry for themselves, getting what they want when they want and if they didn’t each of them would cry, kick and scream. They also demanded my time (all of it). I can’t blame my kids; I allowed it because I didn’t feel worthy of love, respect, and kindness because the story I was telling myself was just that; I didn’t deserve it.
Back to these ‘rules’, they are simple, but they scared the sh*t out of me. How were my kids going to live up to those rules when they are conditioned to treat me the opposite way? To my surprise, there was only one big meltdown and a few needy whinny reactions. Why might you be asking yourself? Well, my boyfriend sees my worth and now so do I.
Fast forward to our return home.
We landed in Toronto to find out we were in mandatory quarantine. Fourteen days in a house with three kids that although showed me respect in Mexico (I had help reinforcing it) may not show me as much kindness at home. I went into instant panic mode; sweaty palms, topsy turvy stomach, and frozen heavy legs set in as fear washed over me. Some of you reading this may think I overreacted but if you could peer into a day in the life of ‘mom Katie’ you would understand the reaction and probably agree with it.
The first few days were my nightmare come to life. The kids ran wild, didn’t listen, screamed and talked back to me. I even yelled and screamed; yes, I had adult temper tantrums. I made schedules that they complained about at every hour and would cry to get out of everything they didn’t feel like doing. I sent them to their room more times then I can count and hide in my office more times then I’d like to admit.
A New Story with New Actions!
Today– day seven– I hosted a mandatory meditation as a family called Knowing Your Worth. During the meditation, it struck me that I was where I was as a mom and getting the treatment I was receiving from my kids because I didn’t know (or believe) my worth.
My mantra today was “I am worthy of respect, and I act in accordance.”
Once the meditation was over, I sat with my kids and shared my mantra with them. Then I asked them to collectively come up with five ways they can show up as a nice person and then come back and tell me their findings. After about 15 minutes, they came back to sit around me and said to me that they would be kind, loving, caring, responsible, and giving. We talked through what each of these characteristics meant and came to one overarching theme: we must do for others by ourselves. They would do for each other and mom, and in return, mom would do for them before herself. We committed to reviewing our commitment to each other morning and night until it becomes a way of living.
So that’s where I am at: I have realized my worth and I am acting in accordance to my worth.
If you are having trouble gaining traction in life, as a mom or dad, or in business, know you are not alone. The craziness called COVID-19 is our temporary new normal, and our world will go back to the way we knew it, but you can use this this ‘temporary new normal’ to change the stories you tell yourself, take hold of your worth and start acting in accordance.
How do you rewrite your story?
Here are three ways you can rewrite the stories you are telling yourself:
- Decide you are worthy of the life you want
- Make a mantra for yourself “I am worthy of….” and repeat it often
- Act in accordance with the expectations you have set; what you are worthy of and take the actions to have the life you deserve.
For me, I am learning that I am worth respect as a mom and a partner.
If you need to hear it, I will say it: You are worthy too.