So, I'm working on doing less in 2014.
I'm not just an underachiever, though I wouldn't
blame you for thinking that. I'm just going with the "less is more"
theory. Less stressing, more enjoying. Less scheduled activities,
more spontaneous fun family time. Less crappy food, more feeling
better. You get the picture.
One behavior I want to do less of is making
negative comments about myself. I worry that my daughter picks up
on those comments and I don't want the negative voice migrating
from my head into hers.
In the whopping two days that I've been working on
this, I've come to a few different realizations.
First, I am not that kind to myself.
Second, when I am kind to myself, it feels both
weird and good. (Funny how deciding that I will not feel stupid
over setting up wireless printing can be liberating.)
Third, self-deprecation is not always a bad thing,
but it's a mighty fine line to walk.
I absolutely do not want to take myself too
seriously. I like to laugh, including at myself. When I was looking
at a website for a blog conference, I saw that one of the speakers
was listed as a self-deprecating humorist. It seemed to me as if
the self-deprecation was to be considered one of her best
Perhaps it is. It's great when people invite others
to join in laughing at their foibles. God knows that parenting
gives us a lot of chances to laugh at our mistakes and
shortcomings. And those who think they have it all figured out are
like fingernails on a blackboard.
But when does self-deprecating talk cross the line
and become negative self-talk that tears you down?
I don't have an answer to that question. I just
know that it's a line that I'm not great at walking, especially in
front of my most impressionable tween.
She doesn't need to hear her mother calling herself
stupid or not very bright, even if what I did does fall into that
category. My girl is smart enough to figure that out all by
herself. In fact, in a matter of weeks, I'm sure she'll think that
even my most intelligent decisions are both wrong and embarrassing.
Why should I allow my criticism of myself her get there faster,
I'm going to work harder on laughing at myself
without beating myself up. And hopefully add in a comment like,
"I'll do better next time," or "At least I had fun trying" or
simply "Oops" followed by a good laugh.
It's always good to laugh at yourself but it's good
to be kind to and forgiving of yourself, too.
Although she’d like to be taller and have more time to dive into good books, Shannan is awfully happy with her life in the western suburbs, where she moved after a decade of living on the north side of the city. She blogs about parenting a tween at Tween Us on ChicagoNow and at Families in the Loop.
See more of Shannan 's stories here.
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