Listening Time with Steph Parker
Like many parents I often feel the amount of stuff to do around the house is endless. Cooking, cleaning, washing, tidying, and laundry makes me feel exhausted just thinking about it!
My partner helps out when he's around, but because I'm the one at home most I do more than half of the work.
I was complaining to my listening partner that I just didn't feel enough support and that I felt like I was “on my own” a lot of the time, in cleaning and in being a parent.
Why Releasing My Feelings Helped Clear Mental Space
My listening partner asked me how would it be if I only ever did anything in the house that I actually ‘wanted' to do.
Wow! Just the very thought of this brought on a huge sense of relief, relaxation, happiness and a sense of freedom.
Afterwards I thought that if I only did what I wanted then i'd be able to stop trying to get my partner and daughter to do what they didn't want to do. This subject had also been causing me some stress and tension.
I left the listening time session with a new feeling of freedom. I thought that by not feeling I ‘had' to do everything myself, maybe I could make room for more support in my life.
I visualised sitting with my feet up surrounded by dirty dishes.
Now I Started Getting More Done
What I expected was to start doing less, but what amazed me was that I actually ‘wanted' to do MORE!
I started cleaning stuff that hadn't been cleaned for ages because I just seemed to have no energy to do it.
While my daughter was at a neighbour's house, I got to work moving furniture and cleaning underneath. It had been bothering me for weeks. Again I found myself really wanting to tackle it.
Then, without me asking, my partner came in and got to work as well. He just followed suit!
My Mood Shifted Everyone's Mood
What was really unexpected was when my daughter came back later. Even though she didn't know I'd been cleaning, she started giving her own desk a huge declutter.
I was amazed. She hadn't done anything like that without me asking her to for ages.
I learnt two things from this experience: One is that when I take something that's been bothering me to listening time and really go to work on it, when I release feelings and open myself to new ideas that my listener may share, the issue really does shift.
Two, this shift evidently clears space for my family to show up and do things differently as well.
It was such a relief to give up the nagging and cajoling and it really is lovely to have a clean and tidy house, at least for today.
Tomorrow I may just decide to put my feet up…
Here's another way to get your children's help with chores
New to Listening Time? Get the details on this powerful tool for parents, and learn how to bring more calm to your parenting. Listen Launch Post: What is a Listening Partnership and Why Do I Need One?
Meet The Instructor
Stephanie Parker is a former Instructor in the UK.
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