I have created the 6 step Flexible Family Solution as an adaptable process that I can teach to Mums to deal with their unique families and ever changing daily challenges.
There are 6 steps:
1) Step 1 is for the Mum to learn what her needs are
2) Step 2 is to learn what her Family’s needs are
3) Step 3 is to clear the brain noise from the Mum’s head
4) Step 4 is to add a Reality Check
5) Step 5 is a Dash of Knowledge.
6) Step 6 is to learn to Appreciate life as it is
Step 1 – The Mum’s Needs/Values
The reason why it is so important for a Mum to understand herself and what makes her tick, is because that is the only way that she can be sure of maintaining a balance in her life and keeping herself going as well as the family. When we are really tired from a tough time, there is only a short amount of time available to pick ourselves up. So if we know what makes us tick, then we can find something to re-energise ourselves quickly. Also, you can use that knowledge to push yourself to do the things you hate doing or motivate you to do what you would like to do, by linking what you know you love, to doing the tasks. This improves our energy levels, because hating something, makes it a lot harder to achieve! Whereas, if you have linked it to something you love, you’ll be much more up for it. Most importantly, if you know what makes you tick, you’ll know how to balance your needs & the family’s needs, rather than putting the family first all the time (which tends to backfire big-time).
Step 2 – The Family’s Needs
This helps you to understand the difference between what they ‘Need’ for their basic survival versus ‘Want’, which is unnecessary. Plus that being ‘Caring’ is not just doing things for people, but doing things that they would actually like you to do! You’ll be able to negotiate more effectively with your family about those tricky things that you need them to do, as you’ll have learnt how to speak in their ‘language’, rather than your own, which could be entirely foreign to them. Plus you’ll learn how to tackle those Worry and To Do Lists.
Step 3 – Clear Out The Brain Noise
Brain noise is all the fear, guilt, worry, shame, blame which fills up our brains and makes it difficult to think straight. You learn how to tackle those very dangerous ‘Should’s about what life should be like and we should be like and break those fantasies that make us miserable. We also look at tackling the beginnings of depression or feeling down (although for anyone in the depths of full blown PND, more assistance would be required).
Step 4 – Reality Check
It’s important to learn to compare yourself and your family fairly with others, rather than thinking that you are worse or better. Our home circumstances might not be what society considers as ‘ideal’, but we can make them work for us, rather than punish ourselves for the way that it is.
Step 5 – Knowledge
Finishing off is a dash of knowledge because a little bit of knowledge is always important to give you some ideas for tackling the challenges and because you now understand your family & yourself, you can be much clearer on which options work for you.
Step 6 – Appreciate Life
It’s old fashioned, but counting our blessings has been proved to be great for our health and our day to day well being. Learning to appreciate life as it is, adds tremendous relief and enjoyment to our lives.
We put all 6 steps in a bowl and mix in with a simple decision making process, and you have a reliable, achievable and sustainable way of tackling the daily challenges that Mums face and making those complicated decisions that we often feel so overwhelmed by.