I often take strength from my children. What I mean is, they inspire me to do the hard things in life. (hard for me anyway)
I’m not a morning person. I have got used to getting up early when I need too. For example, for work, poorly kids, early flights etc but I don’t like it. When I’m tired and I don’t want to get up, I think of my two kids, who get up every morning to go to school. They have no choice. They get up and they go and I often think – if I expect it of my kids then I should do it too.
In the past, if I was anxious about something. A difficult meeting at work or going someplace new. I most definitely would have drunk to blot out my feelings of anxiety. However, kids can’t hide behind alcohol, they have to face the hard thing and get on with it.
I often tell my eldest that the only way to get over the fear of doing something is to actually do the thing you’re afraid of. This usually results in eye rolls or <humph> of some description. However, I explain that each time you do something, it will get easier. You will learn something new to help you next time. Whether that is preparing more, getting plenty of rest, talking it through with someone or just the simple repetition of it will make it easier to a degree.
I never learned this when I was growing up. I always ran from the things I was worried, scared or nervous about. From the age of 14/15 I just drank over it. Period.
I remember when I was around 15 years old, we had a work experience week at school. Part of that week we had to organise getting some work experience somewhere. I applied to a hotel in the city and got an interview. When the morning of the interview came, I was so scared. I didn’t know what to expect, where to go or what to do. I hadn’t prepared anything.
What did I do? I went to my Mums sherry bottle and drank some before going. Why? I have no clue. Looking back at it now, I’m ashamed, I was so young. Why was that my go-to support? I was 15. I’m also a little sad that my 15-year-old self didn’t just talk to my parents? Maybe I did but I cannot remember.
Now that I have given up alcohol, I am learning alongside my children how to navigate difficult situations. I take strength from my children when I see them doing a difficult thing. I make a point of talking to them when I foresee a difficult point in their lives.
Not so long ago, my eldest had to perform the drums in front of an audience. I knew he was nervous and probably wanted to get out of it. I made space for him and we talked about it. He practised and prepared as much as possible. We talked about how being nervous was a normal reaction, but the only way to help his nerves long term, was to give this a go and I would be proud of him no matter what.
I talked to him after the performance to see whether it was as bad as he thought it was going to be. He was absolutely beaming. Obviously so proud of himself. He realised, practising as much as he did made him less nervous. He said, even though he knows he will be nervous he would definitely perform again! What a result!
I am always inspired by my children and the above story is just one example of why I should continue to push myself to do my difficult things. It all boils down to:-
If my kids can learn to do it then so can I.