But it doesn’t have to be. And that’s the hope I want to offer as we all adapt to our new normal. The good news is that the old debate between the working mom and stay at home mom has officially been squashed. Because regardless of the camp in which you reside, we’ve all been given the new title – TEACHER. And let’s be honest, the title mom alone was already a full-time position that could easily be filled by at least 5 human beings – housekeeper, chef, chauffer, launder and counselor.
I don’t know about yall, but it’s been a lot. For many reasons. First, I’m super type-A and I love trying to control the outcome. (Ok, maybe I’m recovering-A because I did just use the word “trying”.) I set high expectations. I also work well in structured schedules. And I am a social butterfly.
For anyone that’s been a quarantined homeschooler for a week now knows that all of the above just got thrown out the window! Those expectations I set for life just laughed right in my face, turned around and ran away. I decided if I was going to adapt to my new normal, I better find that zen-go-with-the-flow-yoga-girl I so idolize.
Well …. let’s just say I’m still in hot pursuit of that girl because she’s nowhere to be found (shocker, right?). Plan B: let’s get down to some coping mechanisms instead …. what do we do when we can’t do anything?
Coping with expectations is master’s level work when it comes to emotional intelligence. When we can bridge the gap between what we want to happen versus the reality of what’s really going on, we’re well on our way to emotional freedom.
It can be hard though because feelings of disappointment stink. BUT what we all fail to realize is that there is NOTHING wrong with this feeling. Where we take a wrong turn is when we don’t allow ourselves to feel these feelings. The big secret is, once we feel them, they no longer have control over us!
Once our feelings no longer control us, we can take intentional action to change the feeling. One of my go-to methods for healing an expectation is called Retrain Your Brain. You literally flip your perspective from seeing a disappointment to seeing a gift.
This is what I did when I became a full-time employee working from home, full-time teacher with NO prior experience and full-time stay at home mom to a very energetic yet fabulously cute 9 year-old boy.
Yes, if I look at it on paper, all lined up and in print, it invokes much deserved anxiety. Yet, do I want to sit in that anxiety? Or do I want to move on to a better feeling? I chose to vote for the latter option. So I put the old Retrain Your Brain methodology to work. I asked myself, since I can’t do anything to change my current situation, what can I learn from it? I started focusing on all that I am gaining instead.
I get to be the stay at home I’d always dreamed of being and didn’t have the opportunity to do; I get to spend more time with my son on his school during the day instead of rushed, forced homework at night (with tantrums and tears) after getting home from work and before taking him to baseball; I get to take daily walks in the neighborhood where my son tells me all about what goes on in his head (truly a gift from a very active, on the go, kinda guy); I get to do fun, special projects with my son every single day (and not just on the weekends); I get to spend time with my older gentleman, a 13 year-old chocolate lab and crazy kitties; I finally got the cat that’s shown up at our door to let me pet her – we now have adopted her too!
I can tell by now you’ve got the drift of how this works. Now you try it. After all, we never teach our kiddo something we haven’t first proven to ourselves to work. Embrace how focusing on what you can control feels so much better than fighting what you can’t change. See how much more energy it gives you. What extra things did you accomplish with this energy?
Ask your kiddo about a disappointment. Have them tell you what they wished had happened and how they feel. Tell them it’s perfectly ok to feel that way. Ask them if they had to do it over, what could they have done differently. If nothing, way to go you did your best! If yes, then guess what? You learned something new. Either way it’s a win- win! When we teach our kids that disappointments are wins too, they train their brain to learn from disappointments instead of becoming defined by them.
Now let’s go teach our kiddos! We ARE their greatest role model. Let’s unite in this moment moms and agree to use this current situation to show our kids how great we can handle the unexpected. You are investing in their successful emotional future and after all, we mamas are the original teachers!
I want to support you marvelous mamas during this challenging time. Join my community for daily tips & tricks https://www.facebook.com/MichelleColeBeBraveBeYou/ and email me for free coaching support Michelle@BeBraveBeYou.org - You GOT this!
- The Mom’s Coach
For more information, check out my blogs: Feel Your Way to Freedom, From Setbacks to Setups,
Learn the Power of EQ