Welcome to Oona’s sanity corner…
Here are a few thoughts to help you bring sanity into this crazy time.
Especially if you’re overwhelmed by the demands of children, schooling from home, work as well, and would like to bring some perspective into this.
Watch the video or scroll down to read more…
So in the last lock down, I was talking with a mum who was saying her son wouldn’t get dressed for nursery in the morning. He pushed her away. He ran off. He was hitting her, and she didn’t know what to do because she had to work.
The reason she felt unhappy was this: because she couldn’t please him. She couldn’t make him happy. This situation just couldn’t be changed.
And I said to her, ‘Did you know, you don’t have to please him? It’s actually not your job to make him happy.’
As I said that, I could see a kind of paradigm shift happening in front of my eyes. It was as if her whole system was being reorganised because this had been such a fundamental belief for her.
And she was also a bit incredulous at the same time. Understandably.
So I went on and I said, ‘Yes, it is your job, of course, to meet his needs, to love him, to nurture him. But it’s not your job to please him all the time.’
‘His needs at that time, in the morning when he’s getting dressed, going to nursery, are maybe just to express that he doesn’t want to go, and that’s fine.
‘He can express that, and you can still nurture him and love him and support him. But you don’t need to please him.’
Same with you, reading this. You don’t actually need to please anyone. You may want to care for people and do loving actions for them, but it’s not your job to please.
There’s a part of every one of us that wants to please others, and it’s a really important part of us. It’s probably played an important role in keeping us safe, by pleasing others, when we were children. I have a really strong pleaser in me who wants to please others too, and keep them happy and not step out of line or do anything that might send a frisson through the room or through the family, for example.
And this part of us that wants to please, can come up in different ways. Also at work, as came up later this lovely client’s mentoring journey:
I asked her how she was. And she confessed she was feeling exhausted because not only was she looking after her son and working through the day, but because the university where she worked had had to rejig everything because of the lockdown situation. They were massively behind and she was doing all sorts of overtime right into the evening.
And I said, ‘Do you have to do this? Do you need it financially?’
And she said, ‘No, no, no, but we’re really behind! So I feel I should do it.’
And we realised that we were back in that same situation, again, of feeling she needed to please because she’d always done that.
She was a good employee, really reliable and well respected. And in that moment, she realised she could reclaim her power again and say no to overtime. As she said, they were never going to catch up anyway – it was an impossible situation.
So why am I saying all this? Well, in this situation where we are at the moment, many of us are running to catch up on the demands of school and work and children, and at the same time, we’re not getting the support that we normally do – the classes that we normally attend, or the socialising, or the other things that support us in our lives.
So my question to you here today is, who are you pleasing that you maybe don’t need to please right now?
Or how are you, by pleasing someone, actually sacrificing your own needs and the needs of your children?
I’m thinking in particular of the demands of schooling from home. Teachers are doing an amazing job right now. It’s not an easy situation they’re in to support you to continue your child’s education at home. And I know that no teacher would want you to be doing worksheets and video calls with your child all day long, especially with the younger ones, right?
This is my invitation to recognise your ability and your power to make wise choices. First, recognise that part of you that wants to please teachers, school and bosses, and then realise that you have options.
You can say no. You may not need to literally say no to them, but you can not do certain things, if it safeguards the health and sanity of your family.
I was talking with another client the other day about this. She then decided to stop with the worksheets at lunchtime and let the children play in the afternoon. And she had a completely different kind of day with them.
They were just so grateful. Children need time to integrate their learning, as well. In order for the learning to be profound and substantial they need to integrate it through play.
But if you’ve found that the demands of schooling from home have taken their toll on your relationship with your child, and you’d like a reset, I recommend my meditation, Reset Your Relationship with Your Child. It will help open up the channels of communication and love between you.
You’ll feel the difference in yourself and you’ll see the difference in your child.
Solve the Struggle with Your Kids
The 6 Wise Parenting Powers
Download my no cost guide to raising a secure and happy family.