Fencing: a metaphor for positive self-talk and parenting

“I’m a bad mom (dad). I can’t do anything right. My kid(s) would be better off without me.”

What’s wrong with me? Good moms (dads) don’t think these terrible thoughts.

Do you struggle with overcoming negative thoughts? 

Are you plagued by feelings of guilt, self-doubt, and/or self-loathing?

Do you feel nervous and/or anxious sometimes or always? (And why wouldn’t you? It’s exhausting coping with unwanted thoughts 24/7.)

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, don’t discourage. Stay-in-Bed Mom Blog (SIBMB) wants you to know you’re not alone. Join me for an ongoing positive self-talk series. We’ll be discussing cognitive distortions through the lens of parenthood.

Your feelings/emotions (happy, sad, angry, etc.) are based on your thoughts. But sometimes your thoughts are just plain wrong. Your brain can lie to you. And if you suffer with a mental illness, it may be harder to let go of the unwanted thoughts so many of us have every day.

SIBMB will show you how to…

1. Parry. Defend yourself against the negative thought. Recognize it for what it is, a cognitive distortion, and “push” the offending blade (AKA “the thought”) aside.

2. Lounge. Attack the the distorted or “broken” thought by replacing it with positive self-talk.

👩🏻 A happy parent = a happy baby 👶🏻 But you can’t be a happy parent if you don’t have a happy brain.

Allow me to use fencing as an extended metaphor for triumphing over negative thoughts and – more generally – the challenges of parenting. Fencing, like parenting, is a full mind-body workout. If you enjoy challenging yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, then fencing (and parenting) is the sport for you.

Sometimes you set up the perfect attack and executive beautifully, but your opponent (e.g. “the negative thought”) “gets the touch“. The unwanted thought grazes you, brushes up against you. If you think that same thought (or a similar one) enough, a deep groove will form in your brain, e.g. “the first cut is the deepest”.

Similar to your opponent in fencing, each cognitive distortion teaches you to face and deal with negative thoughts just like it, and a positive self-talk exercise will add skills to your proverbial toolbox/bedroom nightstand stash. It’s your attitude that’ll determine how much you win. And win you will.

Suit up. You’re a fencer. Pick up your weapon and wail. Parry off those negative thoughts with strength and speed!

Be happy about the matches that go your way, but don’t discourage over the ones that don’t. Line up en garde for the next point. Because parenting (and life) is hard and there’ll be more negative thoughts to come.

Fencing encourages you to strengthen your strong side and not dwell on your weak side. Figure out your strengths (as a parent and person) and stay there and stay in bed awhile.

photo of a woman holding an ipad
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

A Final Thought – From the Pillow

You’re a fencer.

So “parry-riposte”. Attack (answer) that negative and unwanted thought messing with your head. SIBMB is cheering for you.

Pret? Ready?

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