July Mama Message
“Such is the life of a man. Moments of joy, obliterated by
unforgettable sadness. There's no need to tell the children that.."
- Marcel Pagnol
This month has brought stormy weather and an appreciation for the ups and downs in life. While I try to always maintain a positive attitude, it is also important to acknowledge that life is constantly changing, challenging, and full of joys and sorrows. It is through this adversity that we gain strength and character, and also we gain an appreciation for the beauty and the poignancy of life on this planet. In his stories, French author Marcel Pagnol writes beautifully of these joys and sorrows… As adults, I agree that it is our job to try to provide as much calm, stability, and joy as possible for our children despite the daily, weekly, or monthly challenges we face. There will be time enough for our children to come up against their own challenges and learning experiences without burdening them unnecessarily with ours.
I am not suggesting that we shield them from everything, or try to hide our emotions from them. I am encouraging a protection of childhood so that they can grow in the way that is developmentally appropriate. At this time in our country mental health issues among teenagers and adults are rising at a staggering rate. The research is in on the effects of trauma in a child’s early years. Overt trauma, overstimulation and even a hurried childhood have changed the way our children are developing. I write often about family culture, and I ask parents to reflect on the values and traditions that they want to pass on to their children.
Family culture does not just mean the pastimes, stories, literature, traditions, and celebrations that are chosen. It is a commitment to creating the atmosphere in your home that is desired… Is it one of joy and compassion? One of laughter and music? One of intellect and reflection? How do we want our children to think of us and their own childhood when they are grown? Parenting is a continual journey of self-awareness and self-improvement… a striving to attain a more mindful countenance. Open communication and cooperation among the adults in a child’s life is so important. In my parenting programs I always encourage self-care, a focus on deepening relationships, and on simplifying our lives to begin with. This is the foundational work before we can even begin to talk about sleep, nutrition, rhythm and play…!
Take time this month to think about your family culture. What are the values that you want to share, and what is the atmosphere in your home? We need support as parents, and it is so important to reach out for the support that is available. One way we can assist in lifting burdens is as simple as using peppermint essential oil to lift our spirits. Peppermint is the oil of a buoyant heart, and it reminds us to be happy and not be controlled by fear. Whether you diffuse this in your home, or inhale from your palms in time of need, it is a quick way to shift the energy in moments of stress and pain. There are also many people that are available to help support you, so feel free to reach out and ask for the help you need.
I am appreciating these times of stormy summer weather to help remind me of the beauty and healing qualities of nature, and of the wonderful feeling that occurs as the clouds pass, the rain stops, and the sun shines brightly once again. I’m also learning to just sit in the center of the storm and appreciate it for exactly what it is… and breathe!
Have a wonderful month,