Raising children is a tough job, which takes a lot of skill, patience and humor to get through on a daily basis. It is no wonder parents need time to talk with each other, to read books, to write blogs, read blogs about their experiences of what works and what doesn’t work, and to think about what they would do next time, and what they will never do again. If only as a vehicle to vent your frustrations about your own as well as your children’s growing pains, sharing your experience as a parent is imperative to getting through this often joyous, and often challenging time in your life.
One of the most challenging parts of parenting for me is finding the balance between being there for my children and being there for myself. Even writing that sentence feels a little selfish, but the better part of me knows I cannot sufficiently take care of others unless I have first taken care of myself. When I talk about this with other parents, we all seem to be in agreement. We feel better, we parent better, we love better, when we take time for ourselves.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds. There is only so much time in the day. The stresses of others’ needs and demands tug at us. An inner voice says, “There’s too much to do. I don’t have enough time.” We are pulled to do the “one more thing” on the endless to-do list that seems to tyrannize our lives.
While the answer to relieving the stress of our lives seems to be “do more,” the fact is that doing more just perpetuates a vicious cycle. And nothing is ever fully completed. There is always something more to do, and then, there is no time for me!
Tara Brach in her book Radical Acceptance calls this constant cycle “the trance of unworthiness.” Abby Seixas, author of Finding the Deep River Within, A Woman’s Guide to Finding Balance and Meaning in Everyday Life, identifies the endpoint of this endless rollercoaster ride as a feeling of “inadequacy. “ I know I can identify with both of these. In my experience, the constant effort to keep feelings of inadequacy at bay by doing more caused me to lose touch with myself. Once a pretty happy, spirited, enthusiastic, and creative woman, I began to feel bogged down, depleted and stressed all the time.
This is why I facilitate a Deep River Women’s Group, based on the book Finding the Deep River Within: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Balance and Meaning in Everyday Life, by Abby Seixas. These groups offer a place for women to come together and talk about their own “tyrannical to-do list”. You do not have to be a parent to understand this feeling either. This group is for any woman who is aware of a serious imbalance in their lives and wants to find a way back to themself. The group offers a supportive community for women to find and nurture their inner needs and truest natures. It provides a pathway out of surviving the hectic schedule of daily life, to balancing, and even thriving, in your daily life.