Shifting the focus from my kids to myself

Growing pains are not just for kids

Who I was when I started Calm Chaos and who I am now are not the same person. I have experienced growing pains. And that is OK. In fact, it’s more than OK. As Maya Angelou so beautifully said, “We do the best we can with what we know, and when we know better, we do better.”

Two years ago I was a mom to two kids, one just a year and the other 2.5. Today, I have three kids: Keener 4.5, Gracie girl just turned 3 and Mack is 4 months. Two years ago I would have said, “I have two young kids.” Now, my oldest will be in Kindergarten next year. I still don’t feel old enough to have children of my own, much less an almost school aged child.

Where I started

When I started this blog two years ago, my focus and headspace was on language. By being intentional about language, we can positively impact our kids and help their behavior improve. While I still think/read/focus on language, there has been a shift. While our expressive language or the words we say aloud remains important, I have also paid attention to the language in my own head. The one I am stuck with/blessed with 24/7. The one there is absolutely no avoiding. My biggest growing pain reflecting on the last two years is realizing that language, my own internal self talk, is everything.

In Jay Shetty’s book, “Think Like a Monk”, he notes the following: “We don’t like to be alone with our thoughts. Our inclination is to avoid silence, to try and fill our heads, to keep moving.” In fact, he goes on to talk about experiments conducted by researchers at UVA and Harvard. Many participants in the series of studies actually chose to zap themselves with an electric shock over being alone with their own thoughts for 15 minutes. While I haven’t elected to shock myself, I can’t say I have been alone with my thoughts for a full 15 minutes.

Where am I now?

Since starting this blog, my focus has changed from my kids to myself. Full transparency: when I started writing, I still had the belief that I could control my kids. Dare I reflect and say that was actually my goal. Now I realize – for a whole host of reasons – that my agenda was off. There is one person that I can control and that is myself. If you’ve read my posts about when I sprayed Keener with a hose or cried in front of my kids, you know I have a hard enough time controlling myself. Why I thought I should work on controlling others when self control is challenging enough is unclear.

In fact, as a recovering control freak, I’m learning about what is actually in my control vs what isn’t. Moreover, I’m learning that it’s more about emotions and getting to know yourself fully. It’s about honoring your feelings and experiencing pain and beauty to its fullest extent. It’s about relationships, connection, compassion and progress over perfection. Most notably, it’s about constantly being mindful about the relationship you have with yourself.

Where am I going?

I don’t know where Calm Chaos is going but I am thankful that I took a chance and started writing. Was it the “perfect” time to start a blog? Is there ever a perfect time for anything? I have missed my self imposed Wednesday deadline on multiple occasions. However, I have been overwhelmed by the feedback. My husband asked me when I started this, “If 10 people read your posts each week, is it worth your time to write?” I can say it has absolutely been worth my time to write over the past two years. The journey has helped me and if it has helped even one person along the way, it’s worth it.

I will continue to be vulnerable with myself, my kids and with you all. To share the highs and lows and everything in between. To grow as a parent, but also as a human. As Matthew McConaughey said on a recent podcast, “Look our ultimate goal is, I think, how can we be the most us in the true long form of communication – life. You know, this movie we’re in, action is called one time – the day we were born. And cut will be called one time. The day we die. Now, what can we do in that take? In this take we’re in?”

Cheers to two years of self discovery, connection, and authenticity. I look forward to diving deeper into topics that help us, and the little ones we are raising, make the most of this take.

4 comments

  1. Jenny — SO lovely. Thank you for being honest and vulnerable — especially when mothers of kids of all ages feel like they are messing up it is so refreshing to read your advice and hints and reminders to forgive ourselves.
    Merry Christmas and here’s to the next two years (and more!).

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