So I’ve just started a contract working 2 days a week and then 1 day a week I work for myself. This means that my eldest who is 4 and half has to join his brother at the childminders after school at least 2 days a week until 5.30pm or 6pm.
So last week I went to pick them up and I noticed he was a little upset about a Halloween bag my childminder had kindly got them both for a present. He didn’t want his and he was very upset when I insisted on taking his brother’s one home because he didn’t want him to have one either!
The bags had pictures of bats and spiders on, and I sensed this may be scaring him. As we were walking to the bus in the dark and the rain he got upset and told me he didn’t want the bag at home and I should throw it into a bush. I said no and told him that the bags just had pictures of bats and spiders on just like the pictures he drew of bats at home. He said no they were real and the rats he saw were real and everything was real, real, real!!!
We proceeded to have a ‘profoundish’ conversation about this for 5 minutes before we got into ‘I don’t want to go home, I just want to stand out in the rain!’ which he kept repeating and repeating and repeating! He looked so sad and tired all I felt was love and compassion for him so I kept reassuring him and saying ‘I know, I understand’ and then encouraging him to walk on. I then explained how it wasn’t good to stand out in the rain as we may get cold or worse and our feet would hurt, but he went on and on and on!
I managed to get him onto the bus but he was very distressed and kept saying he didn’t want to go home and he wanted to stay in the rain.’ Then how he wanted to stay on the bus and not go home! I explained we couldn’t sleep on the bus because the bus would have to go to sleep soon and they would tell us to go home. He then said it was too much for him to be going home and repeated he wanted to stay out in the rain! This went on and on at a loud volume with lots of tears. – Most people near us on the bus looked at me with compassion and understanding because it was very clear that he was just really really tired.-Not that I could say that to him!!!
While this was going on I was compassionate and loving to my son and apologised for not being able to drive to take him home (I never passed my test) and carried on comforting him. However I noticed that it was tempting for me to believe thoughts that started to pass through my head like ‘it is too much for him and you shouldn’t have worked for yourself until 5pm – you should have picked him up earlier! – Maybe all this is too much for him – these started to lead to feelings of being a bad mother.’ But then I caught myself because I saw my son was just tired that’s all.- When we are tired we all get caught in spirals of thinking that may be completely irrational to others but seem totally rational to us at the time.
Eventually I got him home and coaxed him inside and gave them both some breadsticks. Then somehow in a split second my son suddenly came out of his bad thinking and upset and was fine again; smiling and co-operative and even got himself ready for bed.
It was if all the upset hadn’t happened. – All because he had a change of thought – went through his mood and came out the other side. – This is something that is natural to all of us not just children.
This experience highlighted to me how easy it is to take someone else’s bad mood and turn it into something about us and how we lead our lives when the two are unrelated. The more we see this, the more resilient we are. What a gift it is to see that we all live in our own separate thought created realities. (Thanks Syd Banks)
If you have enjoyed this and are curious to find out more, we are conducting a free video call on ‘Why Being In Control Isn’t All Its Cracked Up To Be’ next Wednesday 11 November at 8pm UK time. To find out more and book your place click here.
Also if you or anyone you know have recently had a baby and want a chance to let off steam and get support from other mums as well as learn something that will help them deal with life with a baby then join me for our next NapChat on Thursday 12 November at 11.30am (UK time). To find out more click here.