Mommy A to Z

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M is for… Mindful Mondays (In Their Shoes)

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Mindful Mondays 5-9-16

Welcome to this week’s edition of Mindful Mondays, where we explore ways to be more present in our parenting and in our lives. This week I want to talk about empathy. I tend to be a highly reactive person, flying off the handle when I’m upset. This morning, while rushing my daughter out the door to her school bus, I snapped at her for not putting on her jacket. Looking hurt, she asked me, “Mommy, when I’m in second grade, are you going to be this crazy?” 

Of course, that kind of sass is not acceptable, but she does make a point. Because when I stopped to see what she had been doing, she had been looking at the lunch calendar to see if she was buying or bringing home lunch that day. Which is what she does every morning… except this morning, I had been rushing her along because I was running late. When I thought about the situation from her perspective, it did seem a bit crazy. It’s a reminder that sometimes I need to slow down before reacting, and consider the situation from my kids’ perspective. Just because I’m in charge doesn’t mean I’m always seeing clearly — especially if I’m only looking through my eyes, and not seeing the whole picture.

And so, the challenge this week is, before reacting to a situation, try to step into the other person’s shoes and see the situation from their viewpoint. Is there something you didn’t consider? Did they understand what you expected of them? Are you being influenced by your own mood or situation? Consider how your anger will affect others, and if the punishment really suits the crime.

I’ll probably never master the art of empathy during the morning rush. But this morning did serve as a reminder to try to step into someone else’s shoes when I can, and see a situation from their point of view before losing my temper.

No matter how much of a rush I’m in, there’s always time to breathe.

MM 5-9-16 vertical

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11 Comments

  1. I can so relate to this!! I fly off the handle at my kids and usually it is when I am late. I always feel so bad about it later.. it is something I am always working on. Nice to know I am not the only one :)

  2. Ughhhh I need to get better at this!!! I find myself reacting before thinking way too often these days. It’s not until later, when I get a moment to sit down that I realized I didn’t even think of the other persons situation.

  3. I had the same experience with my oldest daughter this morning. Sometimes we forget how small they are and how easily their feelings get hurt aside from thinking of our own, and that in their world, its just time. They are so innocent and pure of heart that worrying about being late or doing things a certain way isn’t in their mindset. As adults we have to learn to just take a moment to breathe and look at things from a child’s’ point of view.

  4. This is great advice. I’m currently trying hard to slow down with my kids and not always be in such a rush. Some weeks are better than others.

  5. Thank you for reminding me. Sometimes I find myself frustrated with my son and then I realize it’s my own fault and I just need to sloooow down and assess.

  6. What a great reminder…the heat of the moment really can cloud my view of the situation and limit the amount of angles I’m looking at…who am I kidding…in the heat of the moment, I’m looking at it from only one angle…my own. This post really hits home. Indeed something to be mindful of…

  7. I do have to work on perhaps looking at things from my son’s perspective, maybe to see what he is possibly thinking.

  8. Oh yes! We’ve all been there. I think I’m worst at putting myself in my kids’ shoes I am much better at doing that with other adults.

  9. It’s so easy to forget our kids don’t perceive the world (or us) the way we do. I’ve done this enough times to have to encourage my daughter to speak up if Mommy is outright missing the mark, lol.

  10. Yes, I find it is so hard to be mindful in moments like that. I am going to do my best this week to stay present in the moment and do as you say, “be mindful.”

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