The Right Way to Do Anything
If we were micro-managers before kids, we are likely to micro-manage our kids.
Likewise, If we were worriers before, no doubt we worry our way through parenthood.
In the same way, If we are high achievers, we likely have set impossible standards for our parenting skills and endlessly fell short.
I was always busy-busy-busy before kids, and yep, sure enough, I felt busy-busy-busy during much of my parenting.
But to what end do we carry our old patterns forward? Now, my kids are off, living at college or in their own homes. But I long for the times when they were forever at my side. What was my hurry?
Our Default Behaviors
Some of our default behaviors serve us well in parenting; others do not so much. Micromanaging, worrying, over-achieving, and busy-busy-busy are good examples of patterns that don’t serve us or our kids well. Why? Because they come from an internal dialogue of criticism or fear.
When our brains are in a state of being criticized or in a state of fear, it works differently then. It is beyond difficult to be the kind, gentle, gracious parent we long to give our kids.
Parenthood is the ultimate invitation to grow and let go of old habits in order to create a close, connected family. How does one RSVP “yes” to this invitation to grow? How does one decide to change generational patterns that lead to kids feeling over-managed, worried, too focused on achievement, and stressed?
My Thinking on The Right Way to Do Anything
For me, it was therapy and a close community of other moms that gave me insight, perspective, and support during the most challenging years of raising my kids. A group of young moms came together 26 years ago and is still my touchstone today. Together we laughed, cried, and stumbled our way through some of the most challenging years of our lives. At the same moment, we are searching for the right way to do anything in life, especially parenting.
During the depths of COVID isolation, I started creating a place where moms can gather with open hearts, share their struggles, be seen and honored, and learn together. This extraordinary online community, The Moms Group, is almost ready to fling open the flaps on the tent and welcome our first cohort.
Live Fully Alive in Our Moms Group
In The Moms Group, we will practice skills for living “Fully Alive.” We will stop “shoulding” on ourselves and instead, learn to “Live imperfectly with great delight.” Moms will practice skills in responding to big feelings in healthy ways.
We’ll have mentor moms joining me to shower love and support on the moms who pour themselves into their mothering. We are going to laugh and celebrate the “Little Wins.” We’ll talk (with skill). We’ll listen (with skill).
It’s gonna feel good, it’s gonna be meaningful, and it’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna help us all build stronger connections with ourselves, our partners, and our kids.
I keep asking “why me to be the one to start this,” full of imposter syndrome, feeling daunted about starting an entire community for moms. But now and then, a brave voice inside of me says, “Why not me?”
After pouring myself into raising 3 kids, and 3 step kids, teaching parenting classes, and being a therapist, I see that what is missing is enough love, support, and respect for the act of service of mothering.
I believe that when moms feel seen, held, and loved, it is so much easier for them to raise children who feel seen, held, and loved. And children who feel seen, held and loved have a better chance of growing up to do good things and make the world a better place.
I’m an imperfect human and an imperfect mom and stepmom. But somehow, my kids, ages 17-26, and their meaningful others WANT to show up for family time. They want to hang out with each other. After plenty of things going wrong, our family has felt right.
Sharing Our Experience
Over Memorial Day Weekend, a load of them crammed into our RV for a weekend in Colorado Rockies. It was heaven. Fun to be with them, and fun to watch them enjoy each other. Here’s a pic from last weekend:
So I’m pulling together all I’ve learned as a parent educator, family therapist, mom, and stepmom. Also mention, as a human on my journey. I’m linking arms with my team and we are saying, “Let’s do this for the moms.” And “Let’s do this so kids can grow up in a close, connected family.”