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Musings of a Modern Laois Mammy: Spin it – a mother’s version of spin-doctoring

So, today I’m calling time on berating myself for the different things that aren’t going according to plan in my life, which is pretty much everything.

I’m constantly giving out to myself about jobs that ‘should’ be done or goals that ‘have to’ be met. Today I’ve decided to give myself a break, and I’m asking you to do the same.

We’ve all heard of ‘spin-doctors’, people paid to ‘spin’ negative news into something upbeat and positive. Well, allow me to be your motherhood spin-doctor today.

It’s time to stop criticising ourselves for what we didn’t get done and focus on what you have achieved! Scrap your to-do list and create a ‘Ta-da’ list!

So, I’ve compiled a list of the negative criticism I dump on myself and put a positive spin on them. The list is completely taken from the reality of my life situation on any given day.

Negative criticism: I didn’t get to mop the floor today
Positive Spin: I was so busy playing with my kids that I didn’t get the floor done

Negative criticism: My kids are filthy
Positive Spin: My kids have been engaging in sensory messy play today

Negative criticism: I have so much washing to put away!
Positive Spin: I have done so much washing!

Negative criticism: I have no clean dishes for dinner
Positive Spin: I have fed my family lots today!

Negative criticism: My kids wont eat their dinner
Positive spin: My kids have eaten well today

Negative criticism: My kid keeps wetting himself/herself!
Positive Spin: My kid is enjoying him/herself so much he/she forgets to go to the toilet until the last second

Negative criticism: I have given my kids too much screen time!
Positive Spin: My kids have been laughing and entertained by their favourite programmes

Negative criticism: I’m getting snappy and cranky with my kids because I’m exhausted
Positive Spin: I tire myself out because I do so much for everyone in this family

Negative criticism: I always look such a state
Positive Spin: I’m so concerned about doing what’s best for my family that I sometimes forget about myself

Negative criticism: my house is wrecked with muddy footprints, grass and sand
Positive Spin: my kids have been outside getting loads of fresh air

Negative criticism: all of my kids clothes are destroyed!
Positive Spin: I encourage my kids to find adventure and enjoy themselves!

Negative criticism: I haven’t gotten back to anyone who has called me
Positive Spin: I have good friends who understand that I’m busy with the kids

Negative criticism: I feel like I’m always giving out about my kids
Positive Spin: I have a great network of people around me who I can be honest with

Negative criticism: I take my kids’ toys when they misbehave
Positive Spin: I want my kids to know that they need to earn their toys

Negative criticism: I give out to my kids too much
Positive Spin: I want my kids to be responsible, decent, kind humans.

Negative criticism: My kids bedroom is always messy
Positive Spin: My kids have so many toys to entertain them

Negative criticism: I get cranky with my kids when they lash out at me
Positive Spin: I want my kids to know that when they lash out, there are consequences

Negative criticism: My kids are so unruly at home and behave for everyone else.
Positive Spin: My kids know that no matter what I will love and support them, so they keep all of their big feelings for me

Negative criticism: I don’t hug my kids enough.
Positive Spin: I love my kids so much I literally couldn’t hug them enough

Negative criticism: I wonder if my kids know how much I love them
Positive Spin: My kids couldn’t ever know how much I love them!

So my dear friends, please try this activity tonight. Whatever failure you perceive, spin it and turn it into a positive.

And then, please, and this is the most important part, you must believe it!

No matter how badly you think you are doing, I promise your kids do not see it that way. No matter how much you think you are letting them down, you are building them up.

You continue to show up for your kids every day, even when it is difficult! You continue to love your kids even when they throw the most unloving behaviour your way!

You do everything in your power to make sure your kids are getting what they need: physically, emotionally, spiritually and in every other facet of life. You give your all and that is all you can do.

So just continue being you, you are enough!

So if you are beating yourself up this evening, stop. Stop and Spin!

Thanks for reading, see what else I’m up to on my blog or Facebook page! Give me an auld follow if you can!

SEE ALSO – To catch all of Steph’s columns, click here.

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Steph is a Laois mammy of three small kids. She has started a blog to document her life as a mammy muddling through parenthood and searching for her identity in a world wider than her own four walls. As the pandemic continues she has started a diary to describe daily life as a 'stuck-at-home mom'