The Purejoy Parenting Blog
We often hear “be in the moment” and yet our cultural conditioning is focused on planning for the future. No wonder we get confused when meeting our little people.
Even though we understand the importance of staying in the moment, our busy minds are constantly projecting into the future.
And yet, during these times when we haven’t a clue what the future holds it is compelling to turn towards the precious moments we have with our children.
Playing in the sand, smelling the flowers, talking with strangers…all seem to be more important as we face the truth that we’ve never had a clue as to what is to come.
Trying to plan, futurize, control or prepare our children for the future we imagined is quickly fading.
So, how do you parent during these times knowing that the skill sets you learned to be in the world may not support them in the new story we are entering.
Look deeply inside your beating heart beyond right and wrong.
Take the time to remember why you decided to be a parent.
It is a time to ask yourself, “what am I for ?” instead of fighting what you are against.
If there isn’t a cultural or political voice telling you what is right or wrong can you stand up and claim what you are “for” as a parent?
Are you willing to let go of your conditioned template of how to parent, trusting your deeper knowing in the moment?
What feelings come up when you imagine this?
If fear arises can you wrap it in the arms of kindness?
Unconditional kindness for your beautiful being, not for your behavior.
You are as precious as your child and deserve to be seen, heard and understood as much as they do.
Let’s step into this exquisite moment together.
The definition I align with for emotional safety is: “In psychology, emotional safety refers to an emotional state achieved in attachment relationships wherein each individual is open and vulnerable.”
In my parenting, I made a commitment to put my eggs in the basket of emotional well-being and support for my daughter to emotionally mature. What this required was I had to “grow” myself up and take responsibility for being the adult in our relationship. It was challenging at times because I’d come to the conclusion, as a child, that being open and vulnerable were dangerous.
It became clear I couldn’t be open and vulnerable until I was willing to set healthy personal boundaries. I’d convinced myself it was OK to bind and limit my daughter so I didn’t have to set a personal boundary to take care of myself.
I was putting all my energy into controlling her behavior instead of turning inside to offer kindness to the stories and feelings arising.
Every time I chose to bind and limit her it was because I wasn’t willing to open to the vulnerable feelings that were evoked when she acted in ways that were uncomfortable.
I was demanding she be open and vulnerable and yet I wasn’t willing to meet her there. It was easier to blame her and position as a victim to her behavior than to turn toward my vulnerability with kindness.
I created the SafeSeat process to support having a safe emotional place to open to the vulnerable part in me instead of acting out with my daughter.
As I did, I began to see her behavior through a different lens. When she acted out I was the emotional threat. YIKES.
Slowly, I took steps to set my healthy personal boundaries, growing myself up so I could show up in an emotionally safe way.
You can too.
Listen to podcast Ep. 27 “Creating Emotional Safety in Your Home”
When does caring for yourself cross the line into self-indulgence?
You might be surprised by the answer to this question from the Purejoy view.
Most of us were trained to take care of our caregivers’ emotional needs by acting in ways that didn’t trigger discomfort in them. In our culture “good” behavior is the gold standard so we learned to repress our emotional needs in service to the cultural norm.
How this can play out in your parenting is you may feel more comfortable taking care of your child’s needs instead of recognizing and attending to yours. After all, especially in attachment parenting we learn to take care of our child’s needs on demand.
This was the perfect set-up for me because I had learned taking care of others needs was the way to purchase the love I so desperately needed.
In a relationship, sacrificing my needs was normal and was my sneaky way to make sure others didn’t withdraw love.
As a single mom, when I had a need that I couldn’t put down I’d finally express it as a demand on my daughter and she would lash out with a strong NO. Immediately, it became all about ME and I’d collapse into my “pity party” about how my needs didn’t matter.
Actually, this was an act of self-indulgence. I refused to attend to my needs and therefore made sure she looked like the “disrespectful” child. The truth was is I was the one disrespecting my needs.
When I learned to make my needs “as” important as everyone in the family things finally began to change.
Listen to the Parenting Paused Podcast 26 “My Needs are as Important as Yours” to hear more on this topic
Listen to podcast Ep. 26 “My Needs Are as Important as Yours”
Ever wake up feeling fine and the minute you walk into your child’s room, and they are in a bad mood you get stressed?
You caught the “feelings” hot potato. YIKES.
I’m sure you’ve heard about attunement and how vital this is to healthy attachment, yes?
Of course, in your connection you will attune to your child’s feeling state.
The tricky part is when it activates a feeling that as a child you learned was dangerous.
Let’s say your child is feeling disappointed and you “catch” it. Immediately you’ll be transported to an earlier time when you felt disappointed.
A memory cloud passes in front of the present moment reality awakening early stories and conclusions you made as a child.
Instead of being present with your child’s disappointment you try to fix the situation in hopes it will take care of your discomfort.
It never works though, for your child is not the cause of your discomfort therefore can’t fix it.
They have triggered your discomfort and yet it lives inside you. Turning towards yourself with loving kindness will give you the opportunity to offer the same to your child.
Listen to podcast Ep. 24 “Passing the Feelings “Hot Potato (Click Here)”
“This morning as I was listening to one of my favorite teachers, Adyashanti, I was deeply touched by his insights into awakening. Listening I was inspired to look at my parenting through this lens. Today, his talk was about how agendas stand in the way of reality. Boy, did this hit home.
My agenda of being a “good” mother often takes over in my parenting. I leave the present moment and a HUGE cloud covers “who I truly am.” The conditioned stories around what a“good” mother looks like take over. How she acts. How her children act and on and on it goes. Every morning I wake up and put on my “good” mother costume and everything that comes out of my mouth is from a script I’ve memorized instead of showing up to the intimate moment with my daughter.
It’s very clear that my agendas are serving a refusal to move towards the moment because honestly it is SCARY to drop my agenda and trust my being. It’s easier to read the parenting books and trust the script I’ve been passed down through the generations than to face my fear of being judged and ridiculed for not following the herd.
BREATHE I tell myself. Of course, you are scared and yet it is time to find another way. I hear a faint voice in the shadow calling forth “You can do this” she whispers in my ear. “One step, take one step”
Finding the courage to step out of my self-absorption I glimpse an open space in which curiosity awakens. As the cloud passes I see my daughter as the exquisite being she is. What a relief.
Listen to podcast Ep. 25 “Why Your Parenting Agendas Fail” to hear more (Click Here).
As a child did you play the game of tag?
OMG! It was so much fun. Running around, feeling crazy and powerful, and having so much fun until YIKES!
The tagger is heading toward you!
In an instant, you panic! You throw your hands up and say, “I quit”, or you fall down on the ground and say “I’m sick, I’m sick” or maybe you run off the field or try to change the rules.
What’s happening? Your brain is on FIRE and is giving you the signal that you are in danger.
Thankfully, in the game, there is a safe base. Instead of acting out your fear, you frantically run to the base. When you get there you take a breath, slow everything down, and actually regulate yourself. As you look back out, you can see it’s not dangerous, everyone is having FUN!
BOOM! Now you head back into the game with a new confidence and determination to have fun.
I quickly discovered parenting was like a game of tag. It was exciting and fun. I loved being a mom until I got emotionally tagged! I started acting like a cray-cray mom screaming at my daughter, throwing a fit, or threatening to give up and “quit” the game. My brain was on FIRE!
In my home, I created a SafeSeat that became my safe base. When I was tagged I trained myself to run over to my seat, and sit myself down instead of acting out on my child. I would breathe, slow down, and recognize even though I was having BIG feelings they were not dangerous.
I began to teach myself to regulate and contain those BIG feelings. And eventually, they even became my friends.
Creating your SafeSeat gives you a ‘safe base’ in parenting where you can regulate yourself and show up as the parent you want to be.
Mother’s day is coming to your area soon!
How has it been for you?
Have you ever felt disappointed and let down?
I remember many years of sacrificing and giving to my loved ones. All I wanted was ONE DAY to be celebrated and cherished.
It was a set-up and every year I was determined not to fall for it and yet I did.
The pain was real and no matter how hard I tried I ended up miserable and positioning myself as a victim. I convinced myself nobody got it or cared how much I had given up.
Woah is me! Did I say it was painful?
I would then lash out at my daughter and no matter what she did it was not enough.
If this has happened to you I have a HUGE dose of kindness.
You are beautiful, mama and I see you!
I know how much you give to your babes.
Here is a practice to support you in celebrating YOU on Mother’s Day.
- First, It’s time you turn back in and give yourself the love you are seeking.
Take a moment to honor and love all you have given your family.
- Secondly, separate out from the “fantasy” that they get it how much you have given and will honor you in the way you wish
Take a moment to honor and love the family you have.
- Third, let them know what you would like. Be bold and give them directions around your desires.
Take a moment and know it is not a sign of not loving you if they don’t get it.
You can do this. I did.
You, mama deserve to be seen and heard and the more you do the more you will step into your empowered position of choosing to give your love freely because it feeds you.
When we entered the world as young innocent babes we were dependent on the protection and guidance of our caregivers. Emotional warmth was critical as we expressed our desires and slowly began to interact with our environment.
When our innocent needs awakened a fear in our caregivers and hi-lighted their lack they often turned away when we needed them the most. As they contracted, fear awakened in us and we became paralyzed to reach out and ask for what we needed. Without a safe base to return to we began to contract our BIG desires and became small to create safety internally.
As our children enter the world our hearts are blown open as we witness the precious newborn we are entrusted to care for and nurture. We commit with all our heart to stay open and available to this precious being.
And yet, as the days wear on and we lack sleep and a safe base to express our feelings we begin to withdraw as we learned to do as a child. As we enter the core of our being we find pain and suffering which play out in our parenting. The guilt and shame threaten to overwhelm us driving us to abandon the relationship and instead relying on controlling our child’s behavior in hopes it will end the suffering.
Gently, turning towards the innocent one inside and bathing her in kindness, as the door to our repressed feeling is blown open, is the way back home. As we begin to rest in the knowledge that we will show up for the innocent one inside we will begin to show up for our children in a new way, relating to their pain with open arms and the breath of kindness.
We came into the world helpless and totally dependent on our caregivers to attend to our young needs. Each time we reached out our precious young arms we were met with either a tender loving smile and our vulnerable needs were met or our caregiver turned away claiming we were too demanding and taught us to take care of ourselves before we were ready. When our fragile young hearts felt the denial of our innocent needs we began to turn on ourselves naively seeing our precious desires as wrong or bad. As the toxic shame entered our immature emotional body every time we felt a need arising we began to form a sense of ourselves as somehow “not good enough” for we desperately needed those who we depended on to see us as “more than enough” just for being alive.
Little did we know our parents had been shamed for their unguarded desire and each time we held out our trusting arms we awakened a shame inside them which overtook their unbridled desire to meet us with unconditional love. Now, it is our turn as parents to awaken to our true desire to be seen and to see our child’s desires as vital as the breath we breathe. For as we awaken our raw passionate desire to see a “better” world for our children we can finally STOP shaming ourselves and our children for extending their arms in the name of love. We can learn to open to their limitless dreams extending our hand offering to give what we can and support them to empower themselves to find the rest. Let’s stop the SHAME once and for all.