When Life Throws You Curveballs

5394666705_c1bf3d64c5_mI don’t know about you but I have had quite the Monday: problems with television, phone and email service. At least the television doesn’t affect my work, but the other two definitely do. At this point it appears that all problems are solved, but a fair amount of my workday has been unexpectedly devoted to getting these services fixed. Fortunately, I was not dealing with a young child as well, only my husband, who is quite challenged when it comes to electronic technology.

Throughout the afternoon I had to say to myself, “It is what it is.”

I had to take deep breaths and keep listening to the tech support people giving me more instructions. I had to go back to live online chat three times before I got a phone number to call for one service.

More deep, cleansing breaths.

I learned some years ago that yelling at tech support people gets them to hang up. It’s pretty counter productive, and I don’t blame them.

I confess that I did snarl at my husband when I realized how much time was going by. I could have asked politely for him to take over on the phone, but I did not.

I had to recalculate what I would accomplish today. (This is why you are seeing the blog on Tuesday, instead of Monday.)

Back to the snarling part. The fact is that life is full of these reminders that we are not in control. Parents are reminded of this big time as you and your children have different needs, internal clocks, and so forth. Or children develop needs (like strep throat) that you cannot schedule for.

For most people it is easier to keep your cool with strangers (like the people on the tech support line who are trained to be very kind). But with family most of us slip up. My husband did step up after I snarled, and maybe he experienced some mastery that he would have missed if I had solved all the problems. But I imagine that he would rather I hadn’t snarled.

Children are less able to take our point of view and say, “Mom’s having a bad day. That’s why she snarled.”

So, be compassionate with yourself when life feels out of control. Try to reschedule or reframe. Try not to blame. Take those deep breaths.

Even if your child should have remembered his math book, or the permission slip, he is less likely to learn from the experience if you go off.

Good luck and be kind to yourself. You are not in control, and it’s OK.


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Photo:  John H. Kim/Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

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