How to Foster a Positive Narrative
Life is all about creating a narrative. As a blogger, I tell stories. Mostly, I go from an angle of humor. Other times, I dig deep and try to find meaning. But, occasionally the story I tell is not the narrative I live. Being in the moment can be very different that the idealized notion of life. Especially when it comes to parenting.
A Tale of Two Days
Yesterday was one of those days.
The morning started with demands of food from the tiny tyrant. “I’m hungry.” Infamous words that would set the tone for the day. I made food for my two-year old who ravenously consumed the concoction I whipped up for him, and proceeded to demand I be attached to him. Velcro toddler status achieved. An hour later, I finally had a moment to cook for myself. The second I was about to eat, he demanded eggs of his own. I complied because a hungry toddler is not good for anyone’s health. Two bites into my food, the eggs hit the dust. The literal dust on the floor. Now I have an unfinished cold breakfast and I haven’t even had coffee yet. Ugh.
All he wanted to do for the day was to be in the sweltering heat. Texas in the summer is no bueno.
Nap was a no go…countless books, songs and even an attempt to squeeze into the tiny bed with him did little more than rile him up even more and left me sore from the contortion-level status.
And that was only the beginning. He threw lunch and dinner as well. He yelled at Mama all day. When my husband came home, he noticed it too. There was a tornado wreaking havoc on our house. It was like someone had wound up one of those toy cars, but did the same thing to a toddler.
I “ordered” a tall glass of wine and help putting the wild man cub to bed. I had to recover.
Yesterday was one of those days.
My son woke up vibrant and ready to start the day. He was so eager for everything. After a bit of fuel, he showed me untold affection in the form of snuggles that I am forever grateful for. I recognize these moments are fleeting and I must cherish every second for the blessing it truly is. During breakfast, my little man wanted to be just like mommy. Heart melted. He may have not been as hungry as he thought and made a mistake when he tossed the eggs overboard. We made it into a learning experience in which he helped to clean up the eggs. We even made a new cleaning up song.
Afterward, we went outside and he reveled in his imagination. He sped through the imaginary raceway, explored the great jungles and even found some wild animals (the dogs). I sipped my coffee wondering how the simple pleasures of the outdoors made him so elated.
Later at lunch, he became restless and toppled his pasta. I realized that my need to adult, in the form of cleaning, was not giving him the attention that he was so desperately was seeking. We cleaned together again. He was more proficient the second time!
At nap time, we went on more adventures through his favorite books. He turned the pages and answered questions about the story. When did he learn to do that? Brilliant.
We snuggled again, this time he kept placing kisses on me any time he thought I was falling asleep, giggling at his cleverness. When my eyes opened, he started belly laughing and said, “Mama, I am so happy.” His laughs turned to my own until we had a tickle party. Nap time could wait.
As Daddy got home, little man was so eager to see him that he sped around the house with joy. He expended every last bit of energy and became a bit listless at dinner. After dinner, he was excited to get ready for bed because he had such an exciting day! He brushed his teeth and read a few stories to daddy. He even crawled in bed and immediately went to sleep by 7!!!! Wow, mommy and daddy were so proud of him for going straight to bed without crying or sneaking out. What a big boy.
Time for extra snuggles with the hubs and to reflect on a great day. I had to rejoice!
Which Day Was Real?
Well, the actual narrative may have been somewhere in between, with the first being the predominant in the moment. But, after reflecting, I choose the second. The second makes me happy and hopeful. Our reality is what we make it. Life is never perfect. Toddlers will make mistakes. Adults will make mistakes, but we are the ones that have the responsibility to show our children what we want them to be through our actions. Modeling positivity is crucial. My friend made a comment today that they are always watching, and they truly are.
What can you do to change your own narrative?
Every day has struggles and triumphs. And you are not always going to see the positive in every situation, because living it is tough. But we all have the ability to change the narrative. Whether it is to turn your attitude around, or to later reflect on it with new eyes, we can decide what the narrative should be. This extends to any challenge in life. Perception is just that, it is how we perceive something, but our reality can be what we make it.
I challenge everyone to change the narrative for one experience today. Whether it is at work or home, try to use a positive lens to find the good. You never know, it may be hiding in there somewhere.
Spread the positivity by sharing your new narrative below.
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Dance Parties always help to lighten the mood.
Listening to audiobooks also is a fun way to keep your adult sanity and be present. I adore audible.
Have others do the adulting so you can focus on what really matters.
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