sign up today and connect with screamfree

November 11, 2009

One, Small. Change

Image: Flickr/maako ikeda

Image: Flickr/maako ikeda

So, I’m one of those people who can easily go all day long and ingest one cup of coffee in the morning, one diet coke at lunch, and one glass of wine at night. I know, I know, it’s horrible. In fact, if the house is especially quiet at night, you can hear my kidneys crying softly to themselves.

So, in an effort to be healthier and set a better example for my kids (who, regrettably are following my footsteps) I am trying to drink more water. I know it sounds like an easy thing to do. And for those of you out there who always carry a water bottle around with you and “just can’t get enough” of the liquid nectar of the gods – shut up. Don’t judge me. I wish I could be like you – all perky and…hydrated. But alas, I struggle. Mightily.

I’ve tried flavored pouches and I’ve tried the stupid looking milk jug size sippi cup. I’ve bought every single type of trendy water container known to mankind with the hopes that it would inspire me to guzzle the stuff. But they don’t. The truth of the matter is that I get intimidated by the sheer amount that I’m supposed to drink. Conventional wisdom says 2 liters a day. A TWO LITER BOTTLE FILLED WITH WATER??? IN ONE DAY???? You might as well ask me to drink the contents of my bath tub. Here’s a straw Jenny. Go ahead. You can do it.

It struck me the other day that many parents feel this same way about changing their way of dealing with stress. They’ve been yellers for so long – or conflict avoiders – or overeaters – you name it – that they feel overwhelmed by the prospect of change. I get that. I really do.

I actually made some progress this week with my new habit. I decided to but the 2 liter image out of my mind completely and focus on one small cup instead. I chose a nice little tumbler (a longhorn one of course) and filled it about halfway when I first woke from bed. Drinking that little glass of water was a breeze. Then I filled it halfway again. Every time I switched activites – from the computer to a meeting, or on my way to carpool – I drank my little glass of water. Before I knew it, I had met my quota and it was only mid afternoon. I was more thirsty that day than I can ever remember.

I know I’ve got a long way to go in this department, but at least it doesn’t feel impossible now that I’m trying it one small change at a time.

6 thoughts on “One, Small. Change

  1. Our kidneys would have a lot in common! I confess: if it’s not Coke, there’s a decent likelihood that I’m not drinkin’ it.

    I love the concept of SF and that you’ve been able to kick the water hate habit.

    I’d love to review SF on my blog, just shoot me an email if you’d be interested. (amy AT makesmomhappy DOT com)

  2. Okay – found your blog through the SF site…doing my first teleconference in January…(way excited) – but I think the best part hands down has been finding your blog. I LOVE you…not in a scary, stalker kind of way….more of a kindred spirit (you-speaka-mah-language) kind of way. Be not alarmed! 🙂 Sarah

  3. Jenny, I love this analogy and can relate on BOTH fronts. I, too, am a water-loather. (Particularly odd for a swimmer, wouldn’t you say?) And I, too, find changing my ways on any of a number of fronts more difficult than I’d like to admit.

    When I married my husband, a healthy guy with a good hydration habit, I started following his drinking habit: he keeps a (for him, LARGE) cup of water filled in the pantry. Whenever he passes by, he takes a drink. EYE however, think the water tastes stale when I do this, so EYE fill my glass, chug it, then carry on. Yep…I’m an all-or-nothing hydrator.

    On the patience front, the changes have been difficult, too. Breaking the pattern set before me is a challenge, and while I realize I have to work at it, still the struggle wins out more often than I’d like. Such was the case at the end of a 26-hour train ride completing a long vacation with my daughters yesterday. On the way home, we discussed my eruption, the kids’ activities leading up to it, and my options.

    I wanted to promise that it would never happen again, but I held back. I mean, what if I fail? I can’t make a promise then break it, right? But if I just LEAVE it as is, I’m setting myself up for another parenting failure…maybe far in the future, maybe sooner than that…either way I’m leaving the door open.

    SO I jumped. I filled my glass and I chugged. I promised it wouldn’t happen again.

    HOW will I keep this promise? We talked about that, too. I have to be mindful of my options. I always have options. I snap when I can’t see them as readily as the horned beast mommy rears her ugly head.

    So here’s to a glass half full and sipped, or downed on the fly – whatever works.

  4. That is so great Jenny. Water is so important. I love your analogy too and when I was first introduced to SF Parenting I thought to myself I will do this one step at a time and I have to say, I now hardly yell at all.

    Another tip about the water thing, because I struggled with this too. I love my water super cold so I have several refillable water bottles in the fridge so when I am thirsty I grab one of those and I usually drink more of those than I ever think I will. Also, I try to drink at least a half a glass of water anytime I want a soda, and then allow myself the soda, that has worked well too.

    good luck and keep up the great work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *