Standing at the bottom of our staircase, I see three different pairs of kid socks strewn across the steps covering lost LEGO pieces and small minifigs.
I ask myself silently, “Why can’t they ever clean up after themselves?”
The dryer beeps. Yet another load of clean laundry waits for me to fold it.
Sigh, “I need to get that folded so the boys have clothes for tomorrow or we’ll be scrambling in the morning, again.”
My phone dings. It’s an email from a student who needs my help with something. “That’s important, I have to get to my computer soon.”
But, it’s dinner time. If I wait too long to make it, we all end up hangry (angry because we’re hungry) so that must come first.
Ugh! There’s so much to do!!
The overwhelm starts taking over my mind.
“Why is there always so much to do and not enough time?”
“All I do is work, work, work and I don’t get any time to just hang out with the kids.”
“I’m such a failure. Other Moms can get everything done, why can’t I?”
I can feel myself being pulled down by the negativity. I know that if I keep this up, I’ll end up snapping at my family and end up crying…again.
Negativity does that to people.
I stand there at the bottom of my steps.
I take a deep breath.
“Okay Amanda, you’re overwhelmed right now, you know that this isn’t all true. It’s time to shake it off and just keep swimming. You have a great family and you’re a great mom. Your kids love you and even if your steps are covered in socks, you’re not failing. Now, go make dinner.”
I head upstairs to the kitchen.
When the Negativity Takes Over
There was a time in my life when messy stairs would send me over the edge and transform me into a Hulk Mom who yelled at everyone.
All those thoughts that swirled in my head after I saw the stairs are what made me angry, not the mess.
The “My kids are such slobs”, “I’m a bad parent”, “I’m the only one who does anything around here!” thoughts made me angry. Nope, wasn’t the steps, it was my own negative thoughts.
During this time of my life, it felt like I was wearing negativity glasses. Everything I saw seemed bad. I could take the best news ever and find a way to taint it with negativity.
It was quite the skill.
Because of the negativity, I was angry. I was sad. I was miserable.
I wasn’t parenting well and I wasn’t being the mom my kids deserve. And that made me mad too.
I couldn’t figure out why it was so difficult for me to get happy. What was wrong with me?
I’ve always known the steps to get out of negative thought patterns. I even taught them to my clients when I worked as a therapist. But when I was in a Mom Funk, those steps were hard to do.
Shaking off negativity and rephrasing seemed next to impossible when I couldn’t see the good things in my life.
Getting Stuck in the Negatives
Then I saw this TED Talk called “Getting Stuck in the Negatives” and I had a mind-blowing Ah-HA! moment. This one video changed my life. It broke open my heavy blankets of negativity and taught me how to heal.
In the video, Allison Ledgerwood, a Social Psychologist, explains how it’s part of human nature to get stuck in the negatives and how difficult it is to pull ourselves out.
It’s fascinating, scientifically based, and beautifully explained for those of us who don’t understand the scientific jargon.
It’s less than 10 minutes and worth the watch. So stop scrolling and watch it, trust me, it’s life-changing.
After watching this video I remembered that:
- Our negative thoughts control our mood and interactions with others.
- A daily practice of gratitude can help combat the negativity.
So, the day after watching this video, I created my Gratitude Journal and began to chisel my way out of my Mom Funk.
Download my free journal here — Free Daily Gratitude Journal
You can also find plenty of gratitude journals on Amazon.
Having a practice in daily gratitude, plus being able to recognize my downward turns towards negativity has helped me stay out of the Funk.
I still have negative thoughts, we all do because it’s part of our human nature, but it’s easier for me to shake it off and keep going.
This one video and a daily practice of gratitude were the first steps to living a happier life with less negativity.
I’ll get frustrated when the stairs on covered in socks and LEGO, but I no longer get pulled into a cycle of bad thoughts and negativity because of it.
It is possible to shake off the negativity of the Mom Funk and become a happy mom.
More Posts to Help You Shake Off the Negativity
- How to Survive a Bad Day When You’re Feeling Funky
- Overwhelmed Mom and the Mom Funk
- Why Every Mom Should Keep a Gratitude Journal
If you struggle with negativity, finding time for yourself, and finding quality time with your kids, check out my free series, Banish the Mom Funk 7 Day Challenge. In just a week, you can start living a more joyful life for you and your kids.
Gratitude journals are great! So glad you are using one and its working for ya
Thank you so much for sharing this, Amanda. It really struck a chord. Everything lately has seemed negative and it certainly does seem to take a lot more effort to shift to the positive. I love the idea of a daily gratitude journal or list and I’m looking forward to starting one of my own!
I enjoyed over read your blog post. Thanks for sharing…
I am definitely a mom that seems to be in a mom funk more often than not and it is not a fun place. I also deal with severe anxiety so I seem to constantly angry at everything and always unhappy with the way I handle situations. It is something that comes in waves though I do see bright days sometimes. I’m so glad to have found your sight as I’m hoping there are more bright days in my future.
Don’t beat yourself up, everyone. As the TED speaker said, our brains are wired for negativity. To take that further, our ancient ancestors had to really be tuned in to all the threats around them, so the part of our brain (mostly the amygdala) responsible for monitoring threats became very well developed- after all, threats back then were real- tigers, famine, etc.A mean look from your boss isn’t life threatening, but our brain perceives it as such. They say negative thoughts stick like velcro; positive thoughts stick like teflon! Our prefrontal cortex needs to slow down our amygdala by frequently bombarding it with positive messages. Also, lovingkindness meditation is also said to help. Good luck, everyone, and have a great day!:-)
Thank you for this. Very helpful. What would you suggest when kids do this? I have a 7 and 9 yr old that do this as well. “I’m ugly, I don’t have any friends, I hate myself, you don’t love me, you love my sister more then me, I’m fat, etc.” and the list goes on.