Bold New Mom, Case Study 1

One of my favorite things is a clean kitchen. I love to see clean and clear countertops and an empty sink. It feels peaceful to me and I’m more likely to want to cook when I have a tidy space to do it in. I don’t love doing dishes, but I’m generally motivated to stay on top of it because I just love to see the kitchen clean.

A few weeks ago, our dishwasher broke. We called the warranty company and scheduled a repair, however the earliest appointment available was a week away. My first thoughts were things like “Ugh. The kitchen is probably going to be a mess every day until then. I’m going to have to beg everyone to hand-wash, dry and put away, or else I’ll get stuck having to wash for hours by myself; the kitchen might just be a mess. Regardless, this week is going to be a pain.”

It just so happened that I had recently been introduced to a podcast called “Bold New Mom” by Jody Moore. Her messages helped me become more mindful of how my thoughts affect my outcomes. I realized that I could test it out with this situation. Maybe I could change my thoughts about this circumstance, and create a different result. I decided to test it out.

Here’s what my situation was destined to be, given my initial thoughts:

Circumstance: dishwasher is broken

Thought: This is going to be a pain and I’m not going to get the help I want.

Feeling: dread, frustration, no energy

Action: nagging the family, endless work in the kitchen done begrudgingly OR not doing the dishes and having messy kitchen

Result: grumpy mom, family discord, possible gnashing of teeth

I thought through the model above and realized that I could easily find evidence that those thoughts were true. It was inevitable; that’s where I was heading. I didn’t like how that felt. Time to put Jody’s help to the test.

My sister-in-law once told me how she enjoys doing the dishes. For her, it’s relaxing. She likes the warm soapy water on her hands and she uses that time as an opportunity to decompress and just feel good. Maybe I could try on that thought and see if it works for me.

I decided that I was going to enjoy the hot soapy water on my hands (I love baths, so it’s not a stretch), and that I was going to approach this as an experience that I could find pleasure in rather than a task that needed to be done. No rushing. I also found that if I wore my wedge-heel boots, the extra height somehow made it more enjoyable (I’m not very tall). I found pleasure seeing dishes lined up in orderly rows on a clean towel in the corner of the counter to air-dry. I had no desire to complain even once all week! This was cool.

New model:

Circumstance: dishwasher is broken

Thought: Hot soapy water feels nice and I can use this time to relax.

Action: No rushing, dishes got taken care of, neat rows of drying dishes creates order that I like

Result: contentment

I believe this simple change of my thoughts prevented a lot of frustration and potential family conflict. It definitely prevented my kids from having a grumpy mom. I realize it’s a small example of how thoughts influence us, but for me it was powerful. I can see a little better now how my thoughts influence big outcomes as well as little ones.

Thank you, Jody Moore!

2 Replies to “Bold New Mom, Case Study 1”

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