How to Parent When You Are Sad

how to parent when you are sad

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The particulars of my story

Truth. Today I woke up with the desire to do nothing….

There was no conceivable reason for it. We celebrated a great Solstice [our first] yesterday. It did feel very biochemical, my sadness. I also had no desire to try and shake it. One of my promises to myself yesterday was to focus on myself. I have been parenting solo for seven years. I have been really run down for at least the last three and I keep putting my well being later.

Yesterday, upon reflection, I decided that for the next three months I am going to focus on myself. This means asking myself what do I want to do, in this particular moment. Will this decision, this action nourish me? And if the answer is no, then I won’t do it.

Well this morning I woke up with desire to do nothing…. my LO was cajoling me out of bed.

I got up, made breakfast.

I decide to do some yoga, he played. Had to have some tough convos with my sister [which didn’t help the mood.} Then a friend called. We talked briefly. She reminded me

you are on vacation. you can do anything you want. you can sleep.

This was a revelation to me. As a solo parent I never really think I can do anything I want. I always need to make some arrangement for my kid and I have to go and pick him up, so the time I do have is measured, and I feel the pressure to make it count. However, the truth is, he is old enough to fend for himself while I take some me time. More truthfully

it won’t hurt him. in fact it will benefit him. Not only will he have a happier mama, but he will have some creative time for himself. So much needed in this busy, crazy world. A world where we feel pressured to send our kids back to school amongst a global pandemic – because we feel the world must go on – what if we need to pause, to ask “is this really working for me?”

What does “me” time | self care look like?

Sometimes it is hard to know know. I didn’t know what to do. I did know that the state of my house was bugging me. So I decided to grab a podcast. I decided on More Myself – Brene Brown’s interview of Alicia Keys.

In the interview they talk about how women often feel like they need to be “good girls” – and how they change a little bit to be more what other people want, and in the process how they lose a little bit of themselves. In Alicia’s case she just stopped recognizing herself.

It made me think about how what my homeschooling kiddo needs is a mama who is happy, a mama who is creative, a mama who is learning. While unschooling – he can do him – and I can do me. I get to strive and my very striving my very own learning is the best model he could ever need.

Like today he cleaned up after breakfast as that is a morning chore that I think should be central to every child’s up bringing.

All the things I think my kiddo needs we can do together while I also spend time taking care of me. Learning and being creative. Of course at some point entrepreneurship will be a part of that.

How to raise a man

So at the end of the 18 years that our culture has graced me with I will have a child who:

  • Knows how to learn or teach himself anything
  • Who is an entrepreneur – because he has run his own business
  • Knows how to listen: to music, people, his heart, poetry
  • Is kind and empathetic
  • Can grow and cook his own food
  • Values relationships above all else; including his relationships with nature

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