I didn't mean to do it. The string was sticking out of the cuff on my pants and I pulled it. How was I suppose to know that a much larger length of string came out when I pulled it.
At first I didn't think much of it, but as I went through the day I noticed my cuff sagging and eventually dragging on the floor. What a bother.
As I was thinking about my minor misfortune, I thought about how our lives as parents are like that. Just when we are making progress a small set back occurs that just seems to make things worse and can cause our lives to unravel.
There are likely key things that can happen that can cause this effect. Little things that seem to trigger bigger things later during the day. Lack of sleep, lack of exercise, an argument with our partner, our kid not doing what we ask. By themselves, these things don't seem like a big deal but their impact on our day or life is magnified by the setback.
It helps to see the setback for what it is------- a setback. A pain in the butt? Sure. But not the end of the world, not the end of our relationship with our partner, or our kid becoming a delinquent or all the other crazy places our mind can go.
Two things: First, it helps to literally talk yourself through these situations to remind yourself that it is only a setback. You have encountered these before and got through them. You will do that again in the current situations.
Secondly, put the supports in place to prevent the setback in the future if possible. Go take a nap if needed. Talk with your partner about how to talk about conflict differently between the two of you. Decide what you really need to enforce with your kid.
Doing these small things can help avoid the unnecessary "unraveling" in our lives.
Oh, by the way, anyone got some needle and thread?