I hope this finds you at a point in the day where your nervous system is relaxed and you are in a good space. Today, I want to share a little bit about my weekend which highlights the challenges and small wins of raising a family while trying to prioritize our own emotional well-being.
Last weekend, my family of six was gearing up for a much-anticipated scout trip. The mental load of daily life had reached a peak, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and on the verge of wanting to cancel the entire weekend adventure. The chaos was amplified when my kids returned from school, and the bickering started.
I felt like a bottled up soda can and all I really wanted to do was scream, shout and cancel the whole thing. But instead I dug deep and took a minute too pause to think about how I wanted to show up for my kid. Then in the most cool and calm voice I could muster, I shared how I was feeling and how their behavior was exacerbating my feelings.
I explained that I was feeling overwhelmed (this isn’t an uncommon feeling for parents these days) and I really just want to cancel the whole weekend. Yet I explained that deep down I knew once we got there we would all have a wonderful time and that the weekend was important to them.
It was a moment of vulnerability, a moment of being real with my child about the challenges I was facing. I would love to say that as soon as I shared my heartfelt sentiments everything magically got better, but I don’t know how your house operates, but that wasn’t exactly how it went. But it did open a door.
I stepped away. The behavior improved for a little while but pretty quickly they were back to bickering and poking.
At another point a bit later while I was making dinner I again shared how I was feeling. I explained that I felt overwhelmed and that what I really wanted to do was walk out the door and check myself into a hotel for the weekend, which would inevitable cancel the scouting trip.
Again things slightly improved, but impulse control can sometime be an issue in our house so the rumblings started again. Thankfully dinner was ready and we were able to change the trajectory in sharing a meal and getting some much needed nourishment.
Once everyone finished dinner the mood lightened and we were able to get out the door, armed with everything we needed for the weekend ahead.
Looking back, I realize that admitting vulnerability and expressing my struggles didn't instantly erase the challenges. However, it set the stage for a more compassionate and understanding environment. By modeling how to navigate difficult emotions with grace and humility, I inadvertently provided my children with a valuable lesson in emotional intelligence.
Parenting is a journey, and it's okay to acknowledge when the road feels tough. In those moments of overwhelm, remember that small acts of connection, like sharing a meal, can have a profound impact on the emotional well-being of your family.
So here's to embracing the challenges, fostering connection, and nurturing emotional wellness in our families. Even in the midst of chaos, may we find moments of joy and connection that light up our parenting journey.
Wishing you a week filled with emotional wellness, connection and the courage to navigate the beautiful journey of family life while creating memories together.
Pssstttt…..if you have gotten to a place in your parenting journey where you are trying to scream less, I just want you to know, I see you. It’s tough and the emotions that are rolled into parenting are not light and easy, but the work you are doing to show up differently, matters. Keep it up!