It was a rainy Tuesday in August and the three of us were grumpy. Living in a post-Covid world with kids has enabled me to explore new levels of emotions.

I just wanted bedtime to be immediately. Instead, it was 1:34pm and no one was resting. That means no break for me either, and when the ages of the kids in our home are 5 and 2.5 years old, skipping rest time sucks.

The music was on faintly in the background of our day, so I turned it up. I collected all the throw pillows in the house and tossed them onto the floor. The boys looked kinda concerned and also equally excited. I faked my desire to have fun, and I just started hopping to the beat of the music from one pillow to the next. It actually caused my mood to shift from grumpy to not so grumpy.

We had a spontaneous dance party and our feet were everywhere. The more I moved the clearer my mind became. Pretty soon the floor became hot lava (of course!) and then the family room transformed into a headquarters of some kind. I wasn’t calling the shots, I just kept moving and playing with the space I was in. It was my discovered way to get out of the space in my tired-out mom mind.

The boys pretended to sleep in their headquarters and they let me know my sleeping spot was on the stairs. Sitting up. Oh. Okay.

I sat on the wood steps and chose to meditate and be thankful while deep breathing. Three counts in and five counts out. It was so relaxing. This is the stuff I learned while doing Dr. Caroline Leaf‘s Switch app. I just never thought I’d be calming my nerves while pretending to be in a secret headquarters. But, I also never thought we’d have “quarantined for four months” in our recent past. Just go with it. All of it.

Stress and emotions look all kinds of weird when parenting. Sprinkle into that the awkward reality of a global pandemic and we have a mega mental clutter fest. But, on this day I chose to move.

We all felt kinder and happier there after. Until no one wanted to eat any of their veggies for dinner…mmmkkk, breathe…

Then move.

Hunting and Gathering


You know the adage from when you were a kid…

Sticks and stones may break my bones,

But names will never break me.

Totally not true. First, I understand where Alexander Kinglake, the originator of the little ditty, was coming from. It’s healthy for kids to know they do not need to take on the labels given to them by other kids. That saying is basically a great anti-bullying campaign from 1862.

Honestly, words do break us. How we talk to ourselves can definitely move us or keep us stuck. Words have strength.

It’s only taken me about two decades of my adult life to come to this awareness. Like the kind of awareness that causes me to change the words I choose. Specifically my inner dialogue. Half the stuff I say to myself I’d never say to others. I am practicing changing this behavior, as I spend my days nurturing people.

For example, I really don’t like most domestic responsibility that comes with owning a home or raising kids. I do like owning a home and I do like raising kids, therefore the responsibilities aren’t going away. The way I talk about those responsibilities can go away.

Recently I started flipping my mindset about the things I do on the regular. The change in my attitude and behavior was pretty much immediate.

Here’s a few of my mental flips:

I have to clean my house. → I’m giving my house some love.

I need to run errands. → I’m hunting and gathering.

I’m doing laundry. → I’m cleaning clothes.

Going grocery shopping. → Going to gather food to share.

The above list is hyper focused on the Mundane Life Chores. I noticed how being aware of the time it takes me to do certain MLCs changes my vibe towards the chore.

I had fun timing myself doing things like:

Emptying the dishwasher: 10 min (felt like 30 min)

Cleaning three bathrooms: 25 min (felt like 45)

Folding laundry: 10 min (felt like eternity)

Oh, and my husband is a stellar partner who does his own laundry. He also empties the dishwasher, takes out the trash and will grocery shop on request. So, I’m not over here solo hustling as a housewife. He was the one who encouraged me to be more honest about the amount of time it actually takes to do little things. He’s a smart dude, and a killer cook.

I’m still working on more inner thought overhauls and usually it’s in in the moment of catching a thought then flipping it.

I choose to change the words and what follows is a heart change; a changed attitude. This is the stuff of life, it’s not going away. So, I’ll just play with the words and be realistic about the time until we all get along.

Today I clicked the belts on my kids’ car seats and backed out of the driveway excitedly saying, “We’re going hunting and gathering!”

We went to Target and Aldi, hunted for goods and gathered them up to bring home. It was an urban adventure in a modern lifestyle. There were no sticks and stones, and my words didn’t break me. Not this time.

What are some ways you change-up the way you think about the daily stuff of life?

Would You Rather?

Would you rather have a sexy body or a beautiful mind?

Would you rather live in a big house with stress and chaos or a small house with peace?

Would you rather be popular and physically ill or healthy and have one good friend?

Would you rather have crows feet around your eyes and laugh lines around your mouth, or would you rather be in debt to beauty trends?

Would you rather have stories that are daring and bold that include failing or stories about safe attempts to be normal?

Would you rather give money and things away and feel deep joy, or would you rather have everything and feel apathy for life?

Would you rather know what it means to miss someone or someplace, or would you rather never have known the person or place that creates a sense of void?

Would you rather have no scars from acne or pregnancy or falling off your bike, or would you rather have no reason to ride, no family to nurture or no reminders of how much you’ve grown?

Would you rather watch a plot twist or experience your own plot twist?

So, let’s go and live the rather instead of wondering what would have been.


Simple Mindshift

By: Teresa B. Duffy

Here’s How I Naturally Think

Shit! I have to clean three toilets and four sinks.

It’s a pain in the ass to sweep these floors.

There’s way too many leaves in my backyard, and we need to take time to do something with all of them.

I’ve lost another sock in the laundry, which is super annoying because I adore socks and there are no giant holes in my washer or dryer.

I have to think of three meals a day to feed my family that aren’t shitty, and that include protein, carbs, healthy grains and fats. Ugh! Let’s eat crackers and humus with a block of cheese. Yes, let’s.

Here’s How I Practice Thinking 

I have three bathrooms and one kitchen sink, and I am able to clean them when and how I want.

I get to sweep wood floors. I like wood floors. Also, I like my pets even though I sweep more because of their hair. Plus, my dog eats the food my toddler drops on the floor and that’s a huge help. It’s like my dog has a chore.

I love watching my little boy play in the leaves as my greyhound sprints around on his imaginary track. Leaves decompose. Good thing for that.

I have socks and shirts and pants to wear. My husband and kid have a decent selection of clothing and in a way it makes me smile to fold a man’s size M shirt than find a toddler size 24M needing folding. We have a washer and drier in our house to wash and dry clothes whenever we want.

I’m getting better at cooking and meal planning. As least I can enjoy a glass of wine as I cook dinner, in the comfort and space of our kitchen. I’m a creative person, so meals can be fun. Bring on the fun meal prep, and wine.

| photo credit MagicTree via Pixabay |