Costumes ready, candy in a bowl by the door, chili brewing and pumpkin carved in time for a family dinner before the festivities? Or maybe your neighborhood did a block party dinner and went trick or treating together.
I want these to be my Halloween memories, but I must say in all honesty, it was usually a chaotic afternoon, with last minute costume adjustments, or creation, carving the pumpkin -which started as a tradition- but became a harried hassle as we played beat the clock before it got dark!
Time management was not my strong suit and it took a toll on my kids. I was the idea queen, spontaneous and fun, but sometimes this was not the best way to be – especially when there were deadlines! (and one of your kids love languages included: organization, schedules and predictability!)
Looking back and reminiscing I struggle with negative self talk. Ugly, Smelly Head trash!
I have a black belt in beating myself up for being lousy with time management and underestimating how long a project would take. I now realize if I had been honest and up front about it, rather than trying (and failing ) to be different or hide the fact that I miscalculated time or was behind… again! If I just admitted things almost always took longer than the time I budgeted and that spontaneity, while fun, was also chaotic at times – it may have brought more sanity to me- and my kids. (certainly, less soul bruises from beating myself up for not being more organized, on top of things or better with time management.)
Now my kids are grown and I wonder what it would have been like if I had just said…”yep, mom sucks at time management- if I say I will be done in an hour- lets plan on two!” OR What if I had done the work of padding the time and actually getting better at scheduling!
Facing up to the reality of my shortcomings and working on making allowances for them, rather than pretending they don’t exist or trying to hide them… would have been kinder and gentler to everyone involved… my kids, my hubbie and me.
While not doing so is a bit like trying to cover up the huge pimple on my face that always shows up for the big occasion. No amount of concealer works!
Looking back, I wish had the courage and wisdom not to hide or scramble and just admit my shortcomings. My first instinct is to explain why I was delayed, why being late or harried or chaotic wasn’t really my fault, why I didn’t really blow it again on purpose- the time just got away… All that did was negate their feelings. They just wanted to be heard, acknowledged- told it’s okay to be frustrated, mad, disappointed.
They wanted to be validated. (Hugging and candy help here too! ) A lesson I wish I learned years ago. Scrambling is exhausting, hiding isolates us and beating yourself up wounds us heart and soul… this triple threat takes its toll on family relationships! Owning our crap and working from a place of honesty: brings freedom and give us the opportunity to ask forgiveness, seek help and make changes…
This is something I am working on as I am older, wiser, wrinklier and trying to be more gentle with myself. I can tell you that while it is hard… it is refreshing and restful when I push through the fear and just name my foibles, failures and shortcomings. It also helps our family relationships grow stronger and healthier.
What about you? Do you scramble when you are caught in your shortcomings? or disappoint your kids? What would it look like to be honest and begin to embrace change?
gotta run… the pumpkin seeds are burning…!!