Actually, I think the better way to look at it is that I can always find a way to be happy. Both are true. Here’s what I mean…
I had great conversations with a few mom friends this week, and I’ve decided no mom (or parent) has the perfect work/parenting situation. It seems like no matter what the scenario (working from home, full time, stay-at-home parent, working part time and home part time…) there is always something that can leave you a bit unsatisfied.
In my situation (as a full time stay-at-home mom), I find myself missing work and the immediate reward I got from working in my professional job. Friends of mine who are working full time say they often feel guilty about missing moments with their kids. And parents working part time have told me it’s often a challenge of feeling you aren’t giving 100% to either. It was really refreshing to find out I’m not the only one that feels I haven’t found the “perfect balance” in order to feel completely fulfilled.
So, I’ve decided to quit chasing the “I could be more happy if I….” myth (that darn voice in my head that sometimes has me convinced I should be doing something other than being a stay-at-home mom). The truth is, if I could always be unhappy, no matter what combination of working/staying-at-home, I guess I also have the opportunity to be happy no matter what. This is my old counselor self coming out a bit, but it’s a matter of what you choose to focus on and what you do about it . *Ps. Here are some awesome CBT tools I love! Instead of chasing the myth of “perfect balance”, I’m gonna try to focus my mind on changing the things I can change, and accepting the things I can’t. In my case, what I can change is what I focus on. If I choose to focus on enjoying what I do have (ie. The awesome opportunity to spend every day seeing my child learn and grow), then I much more happy each day. I am also working on letting go of what I don’t have in my life right now (ie. a thriving/growing career), and accepting that as the situation I am choosing (and reminding myself of the reasons I chose it). That brings me so much more peace. My situation hasn’t changed, but my mindset has. It makes all the difference.
Just because I love CBT so much, I wanted to share this visual diagram with you, that is something that helps me a lot when I am frustrated with something in life.
Do you use this sort of mindfulness to enjoy your life more? I’d love to hear from you.
(Click on the image to see it in full screen).