I Feeeeeeeeeel Good
When was the last time you had that “I Feel Good” energy? The kind of energy where you crank the music up in your car and pretend you’re James Browns singing, “I feeeeeeeel good.” Have you done any happy dances lately? Do you wake up and feel grateful for your life? Do you take time to literally smell gardenia or roses? Does love well up inside you when you look at your daughter? Are you feeling relaxed and rested? Do you have this “knowing” that everything is going to work out? Do you have the energy to push past your comfort zone and try something new?
Ok, don’t stop reading. What came up for you when you read that first paragraph? Did you feel cynicism, sadness, discouragement, indignation or shame?
Here’s what I know after working with moms for 20 years, most of you don’t feel good and you don’t have energy. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact the more you have that “I feel good” energy the better parent you’re going to be.
Here’s why. It takes a lot of energy to parent your daughter. You are supposed to provide structure, love and protection to your teenage daughter. To do this you need lots of energy. The demands on you can be 24/7.
Moms start out with that “I feel good” energy but this “I feel good” energy gets drained pretty quickly. Here is the problem. Mothers aren’t good at refilling their “I feel good” energy even though your lack of energy impacts you and everyone around you.
Let’s look at how this impacts Jenny. Jenny is a good mom but see how different her life is with “I feel good “energy and when it has been drained.
Jenny with “I feel good” energy
Jenny slept 8 hours last night. She wakes up at 6:30 and even though she is a little groggy she has her morning rituals. She gets one cup of half-calf coffee and sits down in a quiet place in the house. She spends 30 minutes meditating/praying and reading her favorite inspirational book. She takes her dog on a 30 minute run. She gets back and has some time to catch up with her husband before he goes to work. Jenny checks on Sara her 13 year old, but she has overslept. When Jenny tells Sara to get up, Sara starts screaming at Jenny. Jenny calmly says, “We need to leave in 10 minutes. I will be in the car.” Sara says some snarky comments on the way to school but Jenny ignores her.
Driving home from school Jenny decides to take the day off from work. She’s worked hard this past week and has earned comp time. Jenny gets a spontaneous idea to go to lunch with her good friend Shelly. Jenny called, and Shelly was happy to go to lunch. Jenny’s excited to catch up with her friend.
After lunch Jenny was feeling creative and got a great idea for a new design project at work. She wrote her ideas down and was looking forward to starting on it tomorrow. She had an hour before she had to pick up her daughter from school, she decided to use that time getting rid of the clutter in her garage.
Sara, her daughter was in a good mood when she picked her up from school. Jenny told Sara some funny stories about what she found in the garage. Sara started laughing with her mother.
Jenny depleted of good energy
Jenny tossed and turned all night. She was stressed out from the fight that she had with her daughter the night before. Jenny had too many glasses of cabernet before she went to bed and had a hard time getting up. Jenny overslept and woke up just in time to say good bye to her husband. She checked on her daughter Sara who was still sleeping. Jenny yelled at Sara to “Get up now!” Sara started yelling at her mom. Jenny still seething from the night before goes into the whole mother lecture again. Sara slams the door and says, “Fine I won’t go to school.” Jenny yells back, “Good luck getting into a community college.” This goes on for another 10 minutes. Jenny and Sara argue all the way to school and Sara ended up being tardy.
Jenny called her best friend Ann. Jenny spent an hour on the phone replaying everything that was said. Ann listened and then complained to Jenny about how terrible her husband was. Jenny doesn’t have anything good to eat at home so she just grazes all day. She can’t believe she finished the bag of chips. Jenny gets to the office late and spent the day not doing much but catching up on email. Her office is a mess and it took her forever to find one document. She leaves the office and rushes to pick her daughter up from school and ends up leaving her cell phone on her desk.
When she picked up Sara she starts grilling her on how she did on her Biology test. Sara said, I don’t know.” Jenny starts talking to her about how she is lazy and doesn’t apply herself. Sara sneers at her.
Jenny is the same mom. She is a good mom. The only difference between the first and second scenario is the energy. In the second scenario Jenny feels like a bad mom because she is depleted of her good energy. It’s not about being a bad mom. It’s about being an exhausted mom.
It really is an energy problem.
Give yourself (and your family) a gift this week. Ask yourself this question.
What is one thing that I can do this week that will give me back my “I feel good” energy. (This is something you want and not something you think you should do.)
Take a nap, take a walk with your husband, have lunch with a friend, enjoy watching a movie with your family, take an afternoon off. (these are all doable and make a big difference)