Here’s a quick look at this episode
In this episode we’re talking about:
- The role of a loving, emotionally available parent
- Thinking about life from the perspective of a parent
- Creating emotional distance around stressful or anxiety causing tasks
Hi there! This is episode #6 of the Redefining Bold Podcast. I’m your host Gwen Whitfield from theboldabode.com, where I guide warm-hearted women in their quest for a more organized, cleaner home and a more productive and vibrant life.
Today on the redefining bold podcast, I want to talk about an idea that came to me one morning, while i was, oh never mind. Not important. HA!
It’s this idea of becoming a parent towards yourself. Or parenting yourself.
If you're a parent or maybe you have nieces nephews or someone that you have to take care of… Perhaps, you're a teacher or volunteer with children in some way. So you can kind of get where I'm coming from in terms of what it takes to parent. Children need a lot of guidance especially when they are young. In fact that's probably the most important point in their lives where they learn their values, their habits, how to interact with other people, and generally function in the world.
So what do you do with a child who needs to learn how to do something? You first tell them what they need to do or perhaps you make a list for them. You model it for them; show them how it's done. You perhaps set boundaries, have consequences if they are not following through with what needs to be done. There are a lot of ways to help a child or young person learn how to be responsible, how to take care of their belongings, and how to get things done.
No it's not easy, especially if you have a teenager like I do who does not want to throw trash in the trashcan, but prefers to put the trash on the floor for some reason. I'm not saying that parenting is without its struggles. Obviously there are a lot of struggles. But that’s not the rabbit hole I want to jump down right now.
So to be a good parent you really have to be a good teacher, show lots of love and compassion, set boundaries, and follow through with the things that you say. Now I'm not always the best at this, sometimes I get really tired. But there is this concept of parenting that I think we can apply to ourselves.
There are things in life that we need to do, things in life that we want to do. We want to have a clean home that smells nice, where we can have people over at a moments notice. But sometimes doing what we need to do every day to make that a reality, it's hard. When you've had a long day, perhaps you work outside the home, and you walk through the door, there are so many things to get done.
You've got to take care of the animals if you have them. You've got to make sure the laundry is done. You've got to maybe cook dinner. Maybe you have something to prepare for your kids school tomorrow. You got to get the kids homework done. Not do it yourself obviously. But get them to do it. You’ve got bills to pay, cars to maintain, and a myriad of other things that take time and energy.
It's really easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated and tired. Not to mention if you have any physical limitations, or health issues that you're dealing with to make things even harder in life.
And you get to the point where you just need a break. But you have things that you really do need to do. So what do you do?
Think about it from a parent’s perspective. How do you guide a young person that's in the same situation? Sometimes, you just tell him to do it.
And we can do that for ourselves. We can become our own parent. When thoughts crop up in your head and you tell yourself you really don't feel like doing something, or you don't want to do something, or you're dreading doing something, be that parent that you need.
You can tell yourself to get it done. You can tell yourself that you can do this and help yourself find strategic ways to approach the things that are frustrating you. Find a new way to think about it. Try a different approach. I often try to help my teenage son understand why the trash doesn't need to go in the floor. So talk to yourself about it have a conversation with yourself about the importance of the things that are going on in your life, even the menial things that are just really a chore.
But also, sometimes there are things that don’t need that explanation. They just need to be done. KWIM?
Sometimes, it might even be better to stop worrying about why something needs to be done and create some emotional distance for yourself.
When you can pull back, and distance yourself a little bit, it makes it easier and less emotional when you look at the things you need to do. One simple technique that I use particularly when I'm dealing with some anxiety is to close my eyes and see myself doing that chore, or that task. Then once you're able to do that easily, then pull back even further and see yourself watching yourself doing that thing. It really is amazing how it helps give you perspective and takes away some of the emotional attachment that is causing the struggle or the anxiety.
There are things that we just have to get done. There are things, that by doing them will make our lives better, more enjoyable, more peaceful… even if they are menial things that we just don't want to do.
So the next time you're feeling a little bit of anxiety or distress about your to do list, stop for a moment give yourself some parental love first, and then some parental advice. Take a moment to see yourself completing that to do, and then step back a little further and see yourself watching yourself doing that thing.
So that's a little more than just parenting yourself but it really does help… it's helping me right now just to think about it. There's so many things that I want to do with my family and for my family and create experiences for us, that cost money. Traveling costs money. College costs MONEY.
And that struggle and worry makes me want to go out and just get a job. But I want to do what my heart is telling me to do which is why I'm sitting here recording this podcast episode. In the hopes that my life will mean something, and that I can help someone in some small way. And hopefully out of that come some financial freedom to take care of my kids and help contribute to our financial picture.
And because of my personality when I experience this anxiety and stress I just want to go crawl up in the bed and pull the covers over my head. Which is definitely not the answer. yo.
So using these techniques, being a parent to myself, watching myself watching myself watching myself do something to move my business forward creates a sense of calm and focus and confidence.
That is my hearts desire for you. That you would have peace, and wholeness, and focus, to create the home and the life that you deserve, that you are worthy of.
I hope that this podcast is encouraging and inspiring for you and if it is I hope that you will tell your friends and family about it so that we can create a community of like-minded people who are gathering together and creating their own sense of boldness.
Now i’ll leave you with these wise words from Oprah Winfrey:
I always feel that until you take your last breath, you're always growing.
Thanks so much for listening and I will see you next time on the redefining Bold podcast.
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