Today was a shit day

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There.
I said it.

So it’s a hair pulling day. Every moment of the day, one of my children at any given moment happens to need something. And when do they want it? NOW of course.

It was a rough morning trying to get out of the house on time with sibling arguments, baby crying, kitchen absolute mess and everyone having meltdowns (that includes me).

And so it happened that this set up the rest of my day to be absolute – well…. shit.

I got talking to a mum briefly in the afternoon, who with the best intentions, offered these words of advice “just be thankful your children are healthy”.

Really?

Because I’ve had a hard day with my kids, does this imply that I’m ungrateful in any way?

Actually, all it means is that I’ve had a bad day.  Quite simple really.

All it means is that motherhood (and life in general) can be challenging.

All it means is that some days are highs and other days are lows.

That’s it.

Doesn’t make me any less grateful because I can openly admit that today was rough.

The best words of comfort I’ve had when I’ve experienced these days are when my fellow mum friends say things like, “oh I totally get it. I have days like this.  I know how you feel”.

That’s it. I already feel so much better. I’m not the only mum that loses her cool with her kids on a bad day. Phew.

Words are so important. One word or one unthoughtful comment can really last a lifetime in a person’s heart.

Similarly, one awesome comment can be a lasting memory in a person’s life and one they always recall during tough times.

When I decided to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) with my third baby, one obstetrician told me in these exact words “you failed twice.  What makes you think you won’t fail again?”

I know these are his exact words because:

  1.  He said them directly to me
  2.  I was gobsmacked that a professional would use terminology like “failure” when referring to birth
  3.  It is not something you can easily “un-hear”

Do you know what I did with those words he said to me?

I gave them right back to him (in the allegorical sense).

They weren’t my thoughts or feelings about myself. I didn’t own them. I didn’t believe them. So for the rest of my pregnancy, I focused on a positive journey to birth and I’m happy to say that I did have a successful VBAC (to which I was absolutely elated about) and I would love the aforementioned obstetrician to eat his words.

I still remember what he said to me, where I was sitting, how I responded and how it made me feel. And worst of all, I wonder how many women he has said such disempowering words to on their birth journey.

Choose your words wisely. They can affect people for a day, a week, a month or even a lifetime.

In the practice of yoga we talk about our thoughts, words and actions being aligned and in synch. When our thoughts are honest and pure, our speech will follow in the same manner…. which leads to actions with the same values.

This union is yoga.

May our thoughts, words and actions of our own lives bring happiness and freedom to all people, including OURSELVES.

The way we view ourselves can often be reflected in how we treat others.

So although my day was not the best of days – well, down right, terrible – After a brief encounter with a mum, I am reminded of the importance of how we speak to one another, how we think about ourselves and others and how this is reflected in our actions.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu 

One of my favourite Sanskrit chants.

May all beings everywhere be happy and free….

And may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way, to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

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