With almost every strategy or tool I’ve been given that reflects connected or trust-based parenting, my initial instinct is to scream,
“EASIER SAID THAN DONE!”
Because healing trauma is a marathon, not a sprint, there is plenty of time for me to get frustrated and keep repeating my self-pit mantra.
With every maladaptive behavior, I am tempted to blame my child–not her trauma. I struggle to find the compassion she needs for healing and security.
Let’s not mention the part where our kids tend to mirror our emotions and regulate off of us. The person who coined, “If mama ain’t happy, no one is happy,” must have been the parent of a kid from a hard place. Kids from hard places also directly correlate our mood to their sense of acceptance and love.
Happy mommy or daddy= I am loved. Grumpy mommy or daddy=I am a problem and at risk of being abandoned.
While the goal is, obviously, to help our kids learn how to self-regulate and be secure, in the meantime, we are under a tremendous amount of pressure.
Since becoming super-human doesn’t seem in the card yet, we can only do the next best thing which is put on our proverbial oxygen masks first before helping our kids.
We need to make SELF-CARE a priority.
Walk away before you blow. Some parents think trust-based parenting requires you to be WITH your kids always to create felt-safety and show your commitment. This isn’t true if the person who stays with them is irritated, grumpy, and compassionless. Instead, modelling calmly taking a break AND returning is much more beneficial.
Find respite. This probably a whole post in itself. Check back next week.
Do the basics. Drink enough, eat well, and get your body moving.
Find a hobby. Don’t let your parenting life define you.
Go. Make a list of things you’ll do this week to make yourself a priority.