From One Parent to Another…
How are you holding up in the midst of this unprecedented time? Me… well, my life has felt a bit like a circus this last week. And not a well managed, organized, fun-having circus. It’s been more like a chaotic, emotionally imbalanced, exciting, yet terrifying week. My patience has been pushed to the brink, my ability to think clearly and rationally has been in a continuous state of question, and there are some moments where I think “when is this going to end?”
All of these moments help me to see that with my wildness, I am most certain that millions upon millions of other parents are in this with me (right?) yes, I have no doubt. When I see a video on Instagram where parent sees their kid, then holds up a sign in front of them that looks like they are camouflaged into the couch, I first giggle, but second feel a sense of comradery with my fellow parents in the weeds.
So I thought I would write, and say to you “the struggle is real.” The struggle is a thing for nearly all parents. We, as parents, are also first humans, doing our best with what is in front of us. And secondly, this struggle isn’t even a silly challenging one for so many parents, it is a legitimate-heart wrenching-not our best selves-thing at this time and under these stressful conditions. So I say to each of you, let’s create a sense of compassion, support, understanding and love for one another.
We are not alone, we are in no place to judge or criticize or even advise each other. Instead we can guide, support, understand, and reach out. It is when we eliminate shame and judgement, and replace it with guidance and compassion that fellow parents can be moved.
So in these times of struggle, please know that it is normal for one to become irritable and anxious, and we can reach out and ask for help. My bit of guidance from one parent to the next but also as a therapist and child abuse advocate – take a moment for yourself. Dare to stop in a frustrating moment, take yourself for a walk around the block and/or call a neighbor/friend and simply say SOS. If you’re unable to leave the house for a few minutes, ensure your child(ren) are in a safe place, go into another room and hop on a meditation app even for a 1 minute meditation, to help find a sense of peace within. Another thing that works for me in our home is when I need moments of calm, I turn on a band called “Brooklyn Duo”. It’s an acoustic couple who play pop songs that my kids love, and I love. It’s calming, healthy and good for all of us. And my last piece of guidance: not every parent is going to parent the way we “think” they ought to. However, every child deserves a safe nurturing and healthy environment. Sometimes this is not a reality for kids, and this is truly disheartening to me. AND… In order for me to sleep at night, I have to remember that I CAN be the change. I CAN show every single child I come in contact with love and compassion, greet them with a smile, validate how stressful things are for them, let them know that life can be hard, and that I believe we all have choices in life to do good by the world. Kids tend to look at me with a sense of wonder when I talk to them like this. It brightens my day, and lights a spark in their eyes, so I just pass it along to each child whenever I possibly can. So… join me, be the change, light the spark and lets together be LOUDER THAN SILENCE.
From one parent to another, it’s only a season…there will be a time, in the near future, when our kids are the parents. When they don’t need us the same. And we will look back on this season and appreciate that we didn’t have an umbrella in the middle of this storm and we still made it out.
Well-Being Resources For Parents
Articles for Resilience
- Three Ways to Boost Your Resilience as a Parent: Take these steps to feel less overwhelmed.
- Why Parents Need a Little Self-Compassion: Here are three practices to bring a little mindfulness and calm to your busy day.
- Emotion Coaching: One of the Most Important Parenting Practices in the History of the Universe: Here are ways to help kids navigate challenging emotions now and in the future.
- How to Survive Your Toddler’s Epic Tantrum: Rest assured, you can learn not to lose it during your child’s tantrums (and to prevent meltdowns in the future).
- How to Decipher the Emotions Behind Your Child’s Behaviors: Being open to your child’s thoughts and feelings can help with the trickiest parenting struggles.
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