The holiday season is now in full swing.
The decorations, the shopping, the family gatherings, and celebrations. It’s a wonderful time of year!
But it can also be stressful, especially visiting family.
Choosing to parent your children differently than how you were parented can be a stress point when going home for the holiday. I was well aware that it was much easier to consciously parent inside my own home. Traveling to see family triggered stress about how others would judge my parenting.
Even though I was excited to be with my family there was also tension inside as I witnessed my family’s discomfort over how I was parenting my daughter.
The number one support I offered myself was to take my SafeSeat along.
If you’ve been practicing your physical SafeSeat now it’s time to embody it inside.
The unconditional loving part of you, the SafeSeat, is always available during stressful times.
Remember, your family may feel threatened by your choice to parent in a more conscious way. If the gold standard in your home growing up was “good” behavior, of course, they may criticize and judge you for creating an environment for your children to express their internal experiences.
Parenting this way can cause a lot of discomfort in the adults who still believe children are responsible for their happiness and therefore should BEHAVE.
Looking to your family to acknowledge and support your parenting choice, when they believe different, takes a lot of energy. Defending, justifying, convincing, and begging come to mind.
I did all of them until I realized my family was the location of my doubt that I was doing it “right”.
I chose to own the part of me that was still questioning my choice.
Getting clear that your family doesn’t HAVE to acknowledge or support you gives you the freedom to support yourself and releases you from throwing your kids under the bus to fit in. You are choosing to parent this way and as an adult, you can own this choice.
Of course, when you go home you may emotionally regress (this is normal), and yet when feeling triggered remember you have a SafeSeat you can go to.
As you sit with those BIG feelings acknowledge and support yourself in trusting your way.
Offering this to yourself gives you the opportunity to turn towards your family and honestly say, “thank you for your advice and I’ve got this”.