Week 1: Parenting Guilt and Counting Small Successes

Well week one is a mix of emotions. This is the first time I have publicly stated I want something more, chosen not to feel shame about it and trying to figure out now how to own it. I have felt behind this week already. Am I doing enough? I didn’t see a bump in my money that I earned?

Stop it.

One thing I have heard over and over and am really starting to appreciate is success from failure. A comedian that auditioned thousands of times before hearing his first yes. Disneyland with half of its rides broken on opening day. I am listening to Michael Phelps ‘Beneath the Surface’ book right now and the hours in the pool and sacrifice he put in that you don’t see on the Olympic stand. I feel like those are the victories that should be celebrated. The ones that happen when the world is not looking. In the words of Brene Brown, the struggle.

So I have to remember that even though I am 1 week into my five year goal it is good to question where am I at and what I can do differently. But not expect to be there already.

As for small successes I have lost a little over 6 pounds this week. I did not count the number of times I wanted to eat when I was bored but maybe I should have. Because there are still those times. That is what you get when you are an auditor. Sometimes I feel like if I didn’t have to be an auditor I would automatically lose the weight. Sometimes I feel like if I learned what I needed to in the real weight loss struggle I would learn what I needed to make it in starting my own business. Well I guess we are starting with weight.

I also feel like I should validate my weight loss to the doubters. But I will explain it later. Let’s just say it is the same methods I taught my dad when he needed to lose 30 pounds for his back surgery and he was successful.

A good day

A good day

Then in a round about way a small success this week was to recognize my parent guilt. Guilt is my feeling after I tell myself a thought. The latest parent guilt thoughts have included:

  • My kids shouldn’t have to watch me be on the computer all day.

  • I feel bad leaving them with the babysitter.

  • I shouldn’t have snapped at my daughter interrupting me during a meeting.

  • I know I could help my son more if I had more time.

  • I am too tired for all of this.

  • I hope my kids are getting what they need from me. I feel stretched so thin.

  • Are my kids going to suffer with such a big goal?

To be honest parenting guilt reached it’s high point a couple months ago. I basically work a full time job from home plus 2 part time jobs. I would like to transition to a full time photographer, but that takes time. Time that I am desperately in short supply of. The second job was to help me fund the photo business and get there a bit faster. But now due to circumstances beyond my control the second job is required to pay bills.

I feel bad for my kids that I let the money and our situation get this bad.

Or did I. I was listening to a talk earlier today where the woman commented that we are all doing the best we can with what we have at any given moment. I didn’t know any better then but I do now.

And one thing that I am continually learning is to back off on my guilt. Yes, there is debt in this house. Yes I have not made smart money decisions over the past ten years. That is the fact of my existence today and making myself feel bad about it does not help drive me forward.

Another lesson I have learned over the past few years is to always ask ‘what can I do’? Over the past years I have been waiting for those that I thought were supposed to help me to help. I was not asking ‘what can I do’. I was not making the choice as if I am in charge of my destination but instead waiting on others.

The reason I bring this up is that I know very well now our thoughts and feelings drive action. I can stare at the number in our bank account and want to eat a bowl of ice cream. Or I can look at it daily and ask ‘what can I do’.

Another thing I am remembering about guilt is to always look at the truth of it. For instance the last statement asking if my kids are going to suffer. I could consider that true and not go for this goal. I could continue to work 2 jobs until my health gives way and we possibly lose everything. Or I can ask what I can do. I can continue to eat well so I have the energy. I can continue to exercise so I feel more relaxed. I can continue to look for ways to create and invite money into my life instead of spend it.

I am fairly new at this money thing so I expect there to be a few ups and downs. But I have seen enough to know that when I put something out into the universe and put the work behind it… it usually happens.

Improvements I plan to make for the week.

I am going to continue with my usual intermittent fasting. I love it.

I really need to prep myself ahead of time that I don’t eat unless I have planned it. There have been 2 split second decisions this past week… and in all honesty I could have chosen something better.

Commit to my plan. My big struggle here will be keeping the mono under wraps. I was unable to do this last week because I felt like mono was coming on again. Or to be honest maybe it was sugar withdrawals.

Pay attention to money. i have started a few ‘positive’ money activities and it is fun to check on them and see where they are at. I need to do the same with the debt. I truly believe you manifest what you concentrate on. Instead of being afraid to pay bills, putting it off or not wanting to look at the bank account- I need to. I need to manifest that instead of no money by spending or other stupid mistakes. I have in mind how I am going to do this and I will let you know next week.

To wrap things up I think I need to continue to remind myself that it is okay where I am at. There are things over the past ten years that have led up to this point. That have helped me pivot. Such as catching on to my parenting guilt trip I was giving myself so quickly and adjust. I also think I need to stick to my plan. I have things on my plan that frankly I am afraid of. I have failed in some aspect before or it is putting myself out there. I need to commit. Just hopefully I can keep that mono at bay.

Anyway, to anyone who may be reading this. How are you? Is there a big dream that you are scared to put out there? If so, I would love to hear about it. I feel we could use a few more dreamers.

Catch you next week, Gina