As summer winds down, I find myself feeling hopeful at the start of a new school year. New beginnings always make me feel this way - like this is the year that things are going to fall in place, I am going to fix certain things, do better and not mess up. It's a clean slate and a fresh start.
Except parenting is messy and things do not always go as planned despite our best intentions and efforts. This is true for most of us, and yet each of us feels alone in our shortcomings. This is especially true when our children face challenges, are on their own developmental paths and don't respond to our best efforts.
Today, I would like to give you a hug and tell you that your children are lucky to have you constantly loving them, advocating for them and providing opportunities for them. As you step into the new school year, I want to encourage you to be as forgiving and compassionate with yourself as you are with your children.
The more I work with families, the more I feel that self compassion is a necessity for parents, not a luxury. Self Compassion helps you:
Stay in the moment.
Let go past mistakes.
Make the best choices you can under the circumstances.
Know that you cannot always control the outcomes.
Speak kindly to yourself.
Treat yourself like you would a best friend
Take a break.
Let go the need to judge something as good or bad right or wrong.
Let things be
Accept what is
Make changes where you need to make them
Give yourself permission to be happy and have fun
Be okay with being less than perfect
Ironically, letting go of the need to be a perfect parent also helps us be the best parent we can be:-) So, don't forget to pick up some self compassion along with all the other back to school basics. Here's to a peaceful (amidst all the chaos and drama) school year for all of us!