Things Aren’t Turning Out Like You Thought - Mother Zen & Gillian Reid
Gillian Reid & Mother Zen provides integrative psychotherapy combining mindfulness, holistic nutrition and talk therapy. We help women who have experienced maternal mental health challenges have healthy motherhood journeys so they can deeply connect with their babies and rise to their full mother potential.
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Things Aren’t Turning Out Like You Thought

child in overalls sitting cross legged in the grass and smelling white flowers

Things Aren’t Turning Out Like You Thought

This is a very strange time right now. None of us expected to be dealing with a global pandemic that has in a matter of days shut down schools, closed businesses and made us all really worried if we would run out of toilet paper!

Okay, in all seriousness, the level of challenge this is causing people seems to depend on how deeply they are affected by it. Some of the moms I’ve spoken to are very afraid because they have immune-compromised children or parents, or they are losing income by the day. Other moms have said that it’s all good because their spouse is working from home so they have more support and more family time.

Whatever the case is for you….this is not exactly how you envisioned this time of you motherhood.

And if you’re a mama who is prone to anxiety, this means even more to worry about.

 

You thought you had all the bases covered.

 

You planned for EVERYTHING. You thought of every possible worst case scenario. They kept you up at night while you tried to plan for them.

But you didn’t plan for this one.

So now it’s a whole new set of things you have to think and worry about.

Life is not as simple when you are dealing with anxiety. Which is why I am writing this. To tell you that I see you and to tell you that you are not alone. Other mothers are also feeling this way.

Not just the “normal” stress and anxiety that is to be expected from this situation, but for you it’s so much more.

 

We can’t seem to let it go

 

One of the reasons for this is because it’s really hard for humans to deal with things when they don’t turn out the way we hoped for.

What we imagined in our mind things would be like and what’s happening in reality are two different things.

And our mind just can’t seem to catch up with or let go of the way we want things.

So we try to fight to gain control. We try to think of all of the things we can do to make the situation feel better.

But it’s in that fight for control — the thinking and trying all of the things to make reality the

same as what’s in your mind — that is making it even harder for you. This is another reason some people are struggling more than others.

 

So here’s a radical idea:

 

What if instead of fighting for things to be different than how they are, what if we just surrendered? What if we just gave up and gave in to the unknown? What if we allowed our mind to go to this reality, instead of trying to force reality to be where our mind is?

Does that make sense?

One way we can do this is by just noticing how we are thinking and feeling without trying to push those feelings away. Just being present for them. Allowing the thoughts and feelings to be there. Giving them some breathing space.

When we do that, we slow down the process. We give our mind a chance to catch up to how things are, and maybe even see some positivity in what’s real right now. We start to feel some freedom and relief because we don’t have to fight so hard (fighting is exhausting).

So can you do me a favour? (and really it’s a favour for yourself)…

Can you give it a try? See if you can notice your scary feelings about what’s happening right now – see if you can notice your frustration about the things that aren’t going to happen – and see if you can just let those feelings be there. Without anything being wrong with them.

Without anything having to be different. Things are super hard right now. They’re even harder if you are struggling with anxiety.

Let’s all just slow down for a minute to give our thoughts and emotions some space.

Give ourselves some mental space.

Some breathing room.

This will help us take care of ourselves better so we can take care of each other.

And we all need some extra care right now.

Gillian