Notice your reaction
Hi everyone and Happy Spring,
It is a beautiful day outside. I love the sunshine, the buds on the trees and the smells and sounds of spring. Ah it is great to be alive.
I was reading a blog yesterday “6 tips for being a CEO and not ruining your kids life I hope” and could really empathize with Penelope who is a busy working mom/CEO and is trying to balance it all while keeping her children nurtured and safe. In the treadmill of life it can truly be a challenge. What I noticed most about the blog were the reactions from others to what she did. There were those that totally sympathized and empathized with her dilemma and those that judged and condemned her for her actions and decisions.
What I have noticed most for myself and my clients is that the clue for true personal growth comes from our reaction to other people’s behavior. When you watch or read something that makes you antsy or you judge it as wrong, maybe you need to ask yourself “Why am I reacting to this so strongly?” Why do I feel that I am better than they are in how they are coping? Let the situation be a mirror for you and what is going on in your life.
Some of the comments on the blog pointed at how hard it is for people to take care of themselves while taking care of a multitude of work demands. How did you react to the blog and to the comments. Notice your reaction as it can be a great clue as to what is really going on for you. You may be developing an awareness that you want to change how you do things in your life because the sacrifices to yourself, your children and your career are too great when you do things the way you do. You know you want to change but do not know what to do. Developing awareness of a desire to change is the first step in making the change.
There were those who were judgmental about what she did and sounded angry at her behavior. Notice the reaction. What I have noticed with clients (and myself) is that when we judge others behavior, there is often a place where we are resentful (and sometimes jealous) of others as we know we are not living our own life fully.
Throughout my career I have always worked outside the home. I had this in various degrees of intensity. I worked full time, more than full time, part time and casual employment at various stages while my children were growing up. It was a balancing act of monumental proportions. My priority (as it is with most moms) is to be a good mom, have healthy relationships with my kids, help them grow into be healthy responsible adults and hopefully not screw them up along the way. I always wanted to be there for my kids but I also wanted a career.
I stayed at home full time for a while when my third child was born. What I noticed during this time is that I got way too involved in my kids lives (thus not letting them live their own), I judged others for not being there for their kids and I was unhappy. When I started to look at my reactions to others and I opened up to what was really going on with me, I realized that I was resentful of other women for being able to make the choice of having both career and family. I noticed that women who took on the challenge of both career and family were very interesting women. I also noticed that women who made the choice to be at home full time with no outside aspirations of a career were also amazing women. I would judge myself as bad for wanting a career because I made a choice to be a mom. What I noticed however is that I was better for my kids when I was able to cultivate and enjoy my goals and aspirations in my career. So what I did when my daughter was 18 months old, I became a co-owner of a children’s clothing store. Talk about going from the frying pan into the fire. I went from home full time to never at home. Another lesson in life.
Fast forward to today, my children are 28, 27 and 19 and they are all great people. I was not a perfect mom, I made mistakes, I sometimes ignored their pleas for attention and we ate a fair amount of fast food. You know what, regardless of all of it, they are amazing young people who I am proud and honored to have in my life.
Every person needs to make the choice that is best for them and their situation. If we judge others for their decisions, maybe we are really judging ourselves (remember the mirror) or not telling ourselves the truth about what we really want. Life is too short to live in regret of not living our lives, or judging others for living theirs.
Have a great weekend and will blog with you soon.