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Lynda Loveland: Ms. Fix-It is going down!

Posted January 9, 2013

Lynda Loveland

I think mom should stand for “My Oh My.” I have so many things to fix!

Now I don’t mean physically fixing things. My husband does a fantastic job of that. I mean fixing everyone’s problems. I have a tendency, when I see someone with a problem, to try and help them fix it or just fix it myself.

I realized I’m working on at least six different issues right now and not a dang one of them is my own! I just don’t like seeing people sad, mad, upset, hurt, unhealthy and the list goes on from there.

In the process of “fixing,” I end up carrying much of the other person’s stress on my own shoulders. From growing up on the farm, I can easily throw a 50 pound bag of feed over my shoulder and carry it with no problem. But stress … it weighs far more.

It’s not like I don’t have any issues that need solving. Working on those would fill my days. I just put them on the back burner and let them simmer. Smart huh. Just call me “The Problem Pack Mule”.

How the heck do you let that stuff go?

Lynda is the mom of three and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays. Click here for her Facebook page.

8 Comments

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  • neillcurrin Jan 10, 4:47 p.m.

    When I was in my late 20's I had an older gentleman I used to talk to when I had challenging issues at hand either with my business and/or personal life. I remember wanting his experience or wisdom to answer my woes. sometime he had advice but the greatest thing he ever did for and me becoming the most I could be was found in this statement/question. He would look me in the eye and say, "So what are you going to do about it." At first I resented that answer, but today I look to heaven and thank him, for I know the greatest answers to solutions lie within in me, not others.

  • moonwalk Jan 10, 1:10 p.m.

    I just think to myself it is not my issue, I have enough of my own to deal with. I just say I know you will figure it out and find the right solution for you.

  • babbleon Jan 10, 11:01 a.m.

    Sympathize, then ask if they are looking for solutions. You can do that without being cold. I find 'That sucks, do you want to think about things to change it, or just want support to deal with how bad you feel?' works for me.

    If they say they want help, step back and take a breath. Think about whether:
    1) What efforts are effective (really provide help)
    2) The other person can fix it themselves
    3) The other person will be BETTER OFF in the long run if they fix it themselves
    4) There are other people you can enlist to help

    For example, a friend of mine is looking at divorce (she refused to put up with abuse), with two kids under 5. So far, I've been mostly moral support - she has the practical divorce issues in hand. But I now keep her issues in mind - scheduling play dates around the (supervised) visitation, finally letting go of a couple of things from my son's infancy, giving her a seller's ticket to the next big consignment show.

  • LAXMom12 Jan 10, 9:35 a.m.

    Visualize the things you carry as a wheelbarrel There is only so much you can carry (well, you grew up on a farm). You don't let others put things in your wheelbarrel that belong in theirs.

  • suki Jan 10, 8:50 a.m.

    I am so 'there' with you, Linda. Everyone confides in/complains to me and I can feel myself trying to figure out a solution for them. I have enough of my own life issues without dealing with theirs but haven't found a way to step back without coming across as cold and non-caring. I'll keep watching here to see if someone has a real solution.

  • Mom2two Jan 10, 7:52 a.m.

    Stand in front of the mirror and practice: "No." "I'm sorry, I just can't." "Thank you for thinking of me, but my plate is full." etc. When we try to do too much (even if it is playing therapist), we keep other people from a chance to serve (in the case of volunteering) or from finding their own way to solve problems.

  • snowl Jan 10, 7:34 a.m.

    Be proactive, not reactive. Preventing fires is easier than putting them out. It's one day at a time. Most problems work themselves out over time. Life is too short. Don't worry, be happy. LOL, have a relaxing day!

  • grammajm Jan 9, 9:29 p.m.

    The process of growing and learning to solve problems is what makes us who we are. If we always have help, we don't challenge ourselves to reach deep down and come up with a solution ourselves. Be there for advice or comfort, if asked, but don't take charge unless the struggle is getting to be overwhelming for them. I remember the saying "Let go and let God". Sometimes we make things too complicated and overthink the situation. I am also faced with many situations I would like to try to "fix", but the person involved has to want your help or you will just get frustrated trying to help them.