I started my Wednesday morning at my weekly moms’ group, listening to moms describe their frustrations at how busy schedules and hectic parenting demands have sapped them of their abilities to focus on themselves and their needs. Since I had left our new apartment with regret at all the boxes that still needed to be unpacked and the cleaning to be done, I could certainly identify.
I ended my Wednesday at our second installment of the ReVamp Project, listening to moms describe their frustrations at how busy schedules and hectic parening demands have sapped them of their abilities to focus on themselves and their needs. This left them feeling empty and with knowledge that they had little to offer their children in the way of nurturing their souls. How familiar!
Step in, Annie Burnside, soul nurturer. She led us through a workshop based on her book, Soul-to-Soul Parenting. For the rest of the night, Annie helped us do some “soul work,” so that we would be able to return to our families better equipped to nurture our children’s souls.
One key to understanding myself was to think about the place or event in which I most felt like a “kid in a candy store.” I narrowed my experiences pretty quickly to nap time each day. At this time, the kids are either sleeping, about to sleep or playing quietly by themselves. This means I can prepare a special lunch for myself (it is special merely because I am able to eat the entire thing myself, rather than sharing out bits and pieces of everything with the kids!), get my favorite book and take some time just to “be.” I don’t make myself do any chores. I generally don’t answer the phone, I don’t check email (most of the time!) and I don’t let myself think about what I should be doing. By taking this time for myself each day, I am better able to step back in to parenting duties and responsibilities at the end of nap time.
In spite of my “ritual,” I have struggled with the fact that I may not accomplish as much as other moms I know. Maybe others would even consider me “lazy” for not working even through naptime.
Annie helped affirm for me the value of taking that time for myself every day. If that time helps me to be a better parent, it is better than a having a cleaner house or a cleaner inbox. Constantly “doing” is not the best thing for our souls and, as a result, for our children’s souls. By giving myself the opportunity to “be” instead of “do,” I am giving my children the same opportunity for themselves.
I think we are all happier as a result.
This aspect of the ReVamp Project helped me to recognize the value that nurturing myself can have in the nurture of my children. Annie and the other moms of the ReVamp project provided me with a valuable lesson. Thanks, ladies!
I received a copy of Annie’s book and her workshop experience for free as a part of the ReVamp project.
You can read more about Melanie and her family here.