Life in general and parenting specifically can be hard. There’s a lot of negativity out there – both inside my own head and outside. I’ve picked up a lot of bad habits along the way. If I just float along on autopilot, I tend to revert to those habits. I yell, I blame, I become controlling.
I’ve found that I have to be deliberate, intentional about changing what I think about if I want to handle things differently. One of the ways I’ve found helpful recently is starting the morning with encouraging thoughts. I’ve got them on a sheet of paper and I add to it as I find thoughts that inspire me. Some of them are Bible verses: “Love is patient, love is kind.” Some are reminders that what I’m doing as a parent is more important than I know. One’s a note to name things I’m thankful for. Then there are declarations that I WILL find the humor in my day or I WILL have a good attitude. Often I even speak my list out loud.
I try to do it every day because negative thoughts and old patterns tend to creep up on me and get me bogged down. I obviously still fail quite often, but the practice of starting the day deliberately setting my mind keeps me focused on the positive and helps me to remember that each new day is a fresh opportunity for growth.