Hey Stepmom, What Are You Thinking?

23 02 2011

Research has found that thoughts precede emotions. So when we allow our thoughts to spiral out of control, it’s the thoughts that make us feel bad!!! How wild is that? And it’s good news, too, because that means if we practice monitoring our thoughts, we have a say about whether or not we’ll spiral into those negative zones. I often use little one- to three-word mantras to fill up my mind so the negative thoughts can not come in. And usually I can avoid the spin into dark thinking.

If I start furiously cleaning the house thinking, “No one helps me! This isn’t my mess! Why don’t they pick up after themselves?!!!” The more I think those thoughts the angrier I become. But if I stop the thoughts before I get mad, I can calmly assess the situation. I might gracefully pick up after my family being thankful that I have such a messy but rich life. Or I can let everyone know that it’s time to pick up the house together so I don’t feel like the house maid.

Some mantras I have used to derail my negative thoughts are: Pineapple (because it’s ridiculous and makes me laugh.) God bless you. I’m open to love. All is well.

This is not easy to do, by the way. I view this as a spiritual practice.

So, Dear Stepmother, what are you thinking? And how is it affecting your life?

 


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6 responses

23 02 2011
La Madrastra

Matter of fact, I’m thinking 2 things:

1. I’m thankful like a turkey the day after thanksgiving that the bio-mom in my world is such an agreeable co-parent. It could have been a 4-star sh!tshow, but instead she’s been a dream to work with. And…

2. It’s really great to see another happy step-mom that blogs regularly. I haven’t been looking long, but thus far it’s been difficult finding the chronicles of well adjusted stepfamilies. So cheers!

23 02 2011
Adrienne May

I like this idea. I often let myself stew too and then spiral out of control. I have found that a lot of times I need help to prevent the spiral. I will often reach out to someone (usually my fiancee) and say, hey, this is how i am thinking right now and he helps me to think of other things… and now i am getting better at it myself.

24 02 2011
Peggy Nolan

Amen Jacque! If only more people would realize that THOUGHTS become THINGS we’d all be a bit more mindful!

24 02 2011
Carrie

At times like this, I try to ask myself, “What are you really angry about?” If you dig down deep enough, it’s often not what you thought it was. Seems to put my ducks in a row.

28 02 2011
Angela

I hadn’t thought of it this way, but it is exactly what I do! I start out defeated cleaning up toys and dirty clothes, fixing dinner, helping w/homework and doing the dishes, as the last dish is placed in the dishwasher, I’m a seething pile of venom just waiting for someone to cross my path so I can unleash.

I’m in love w/a number of quotes or affirmations why shouldn’t I use them to improve my mood! What an excellent idea! In fact I think I’ll print off a number of them, frame them in small picture frames and place them in areas I frequent! Would be nice to see a “Love you! Love, me” note by the sink, hanging in the laundry room, on the cleaning closet door, etc!

16 03 2011
teenparentcafe

Angela – if you love quotes that help you feel better, check out some by Erma Bombeck. There are several that make me laugh and relax about the daily grind stuff that can come with parenthood.

I also like the perspective she offers here. Makes one think…
“IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the “good” living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather rambling about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculped like a rose before it melted
in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more
while watching life.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment, realising that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s” and more “I’m sorry’s”

. . . but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute . . .
look at it and really see it . . . and never give it back.”
— Erma Bombeck

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