Nothing particularly terrible happened yesterday. I had moments of agitation with my daughter. She has this way of crawling under my skin and shaking my calm. Her words often feel accusatory instead of curious. She questions every action I take, down to how I’ve oiled a pan. She constantly tells her 20mo brother to stop doing things not even mildly dangerous and warns “be careful” ad nauseum. She tells her 10yo brother that he’s dumb for doing or thinking something and whines over and over to leave her alone.
And I want all of it to not hurt so much.
Being critical of her for doing all these things is not going to teach her to stop being critical. Setting a good example hasn’t seemed to help. Ignoring these things and praising the good hasn’t seemed to do much. I want her to care, but I can’t make her care. I want her to be kind, but I can’t force her to do it. So, I’m just at a loss. Which leads me to yesterday.
Nothing terrible happened. It was a regular day. With regular interactions. And I navigated through the best I could.
Then last night Chris asked me, “What was a way you overcame something today?” And I thought back to all the things that happened and I couldn’t think of one productive way I overcame anything. I mean, there was nothing *wrong* with anything I did, but also nothing felt particularly right. I got through it and how I did it was unremarkable.
This morning as the gloom and hormones of the day tried to take hold, I decided I wanted to have a more fulfilling answer if Chris asked again. Hell, even if he *didn’t* ask again! So instead of focusing on my standstill with my daughter or all the things that didn’t get done this week, I just started doing stuff.
I cleaned both bathrooms and washed towels and stripped the beds and brought all the linens downstairs to be washed. I drank four glasses of water and made an amazing late breakfast and cleaned all the dishes from the day. I played ball with L and fed all the animals and cleaned off the dragon’s cage, which always collects all the stuff.
Today I overcame the gloom by replacing my destructive thoughts with constructive action.