I'll give you a few small examples of mine. (My bigger examples I save for my therapist/husband/close friends) Most recently I found I was getting frustrated with the seemingly endless "routine" in the house. Every day in the last 3 months that I've been parenting alone (as my dh was in a new job 6 days a week, 9am-7pm) I was the one to pull back the curtains in every room, turn off the fairy lights that serve as a nightlight in our bedroom, open the windows for fresh air, clean up the previous days dishes etc. I had got to the stage where I was going around muttering aloud "here we go again" because the days just seemed to come on each other quicker and quicker. It felt like no time had passed since I last turned off those fairy lights and I felt my life was slipping by without me doing anything of note. (I do realise I've just had a baby, and THAT is my "thing of note" but I mean something concrete that to the outside observer would warrant some notice) All I was doing was making meals, cleaning up meals, breastfeeding, changing nappies. I was mainly at home taking it easy so I could recover physically from the birth but I felt so trapped mentally. Like I was wasting my brain just being home mothering these three children. When I'd been doing the muttering and grumbling for a couple of weeks I happened upon a book by Jennifer L. Scott called "At Home with Madame Chic" and she talks about seeing the joy in your morning routine. I had already read Stadlen "What mothers do especially when it looks like nothing" book, well, skimmed it because it is too cerebral for my baby-brained state, full of statistics and very few real-life examples. Jennifer's book made me re-frame my actions every morning and now I mentally thank the lights for giving us light all night. Corny maybe, but it works for me. I pull back the curtains on my (newly decluttered) windowsills and enjoy the few seconds that I glimpse the outside world before I go to the next window. I now pause to smell the morning air coming through the kitchen window while I'm filling the kettle, and it feels like I'm setting myself up for a more positive day ahead.
Ditto unloading the dishwasher. I can load it as I go along, a few dishes here, a cup there, after each meal. But give me a fully-loaded clean dishwasher and a counterful of dirty dishes waiting to be put into it and I'll run a mile. It just depresses me and I'll put it off, using clean dishes out of the dishwasher until there are two loads on the counter waiting to be washed... a vicious cycle. So what I now try to do is remember, 30 years ago a mother in Ireland wouldn't have had a dishwasher at all. I am bloody lucky there is a machine there ready to wash my dishes for me and save me 1/2 hour standing at the sink. So if I can appreciate that, and unload a dishwasher when it is clean, before the build-up on the counter happens, the kitchen stays neat. I'm still working on this, but at least I know what I have to do.
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