Darkness Amidst a Season of Light? Ways to Prepare Well

by | December 18, 2018 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

Darkness Amidst a Season of Light? Ways to Prepare Well

by | December 18, 2018 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

I was recently asked to write an article for Mother.ly: 9 Phrases to Manage your Fear & Anxiety & Become a More Peaceful Parent and it got me to thinking of my own life a decade ago.
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It was a time when Christmas was a season of overwhelm for me, filled with feelings of anxiety, anger & fear.
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I wanted to desperately to be happy, to not be so angry at my daughter, to feel joyous & grateful for all of the wonder & gifts around me, but I was scared that this was always going to be the way things were & that I'd never get out of the parenting pit I was stuck in.
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That was almost a decade ago and when you look at pictures from that time, you'd never really know.
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I was in the best shape of my life, I had a hot husband who was the most supportive guy on earth & said "YES!" when I asked "Babe, what do you say if I leave my corporate career & salary to stay home with the kids?" and I had a beautiful home a mile from the ocean in sunny, San Diego, CA.
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Plus, I had ALWAYS been good with kids, so staying home full-time with my own two was going to be a breeze right? WRONG!
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As the Christmas season approached, I remember thinking, "There's so much light & love all around me, but in my own heart I feel dark ... irritated, annoyed, negative, angry, hopeless ... what is wrong with me?"
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As the years passed and this incredible curriculum of Positive Parenting transformed our family life COMPLETELY, I realized it was just a giant time of transition for me. Fast forward nearly 10 years and I've never been happier in my entire life, more connected with my kids & more in love with my husband. The valley was incredibly hard, but also one of tremendous growth for me.
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I think parenthood is a giant transition time for most of us.
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A time when we go from thinking ..."We kind of know it all" (let's be honest) ... to being completely humbled by the reality of how hard it is to raise little human souls with true integrity and joy.

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The good news is that this transition is GOOD for us.
>>> Challenging our morale character to it's core is GOOD for us.

>>> Stretching us to grow in humility, patience, compassion, grace and TRUE influencing skills is GOOD for us, GOOD for the world.

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But IT. IS. HARD.

​​Perhaps you're in this hard dark season right now, where many of your days include feeling:

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>>> ​EXHAUSTED

  • from babies who still need you at 2am, to toddlers who just can't stay in their bed all night to kids who seem to melt down every evening at bedtime
  • from begging, pleading, correcting, scolding, or repeating things to your kids ... all. day. long. every. day.

>>> OVERWHELMED

  • from trying to do it all, fix it all, teach it all, keep it all in order
  • from ALL the activities, needs, challenges, and misbehaviors that demand your attention.

>>> ANGRY

  • that you have a child that pushes back on everything
  • that your kids can't sit still for a meal
  • that every morning is like groundhogs day when bickering & arguing & tears are abundant when trying to get out the door to preschool, work or daycare.

>>> FEARFUL

  • that your kids may grow up to be total brats if you don't figure out how to get them to change, soon.
  • that maybe you're not cut out for this, that maybe you just aren't good at parenting
  • that you're doing it all wrong but you have no idea what to do

>>> ANXIETY RIDDEN 

  • that others are judging you when you're kids misbehave at the grocery store or any public space
  • that holiday meals & gatherings are going to be embarrassing and awful because the kids will probably tantrum & be wild at some point

>>> IMPATIENT

  • when you want so hard to just smile at their silly, sloth like behavior when you ask them to put their shoes on, but instead you snap & consistently yell "HURRY UP" or "GET YOUR SHOES ON NOW OR ELSE.....".
  • when a challenge arises and you want to slow down and work it out with your kiddo, but instead just habitually jump to reacting, scolding & threatening because it's just taking TOO long

>>> NEGATIVE

  • when you seem to easily see ALL the things that are wrong with your child, but realize you don't spend as much time pointing out all the good things
  • when you talk to your friends and use words like sassy, disobedient, wild, naughty and insane to decribe your kid who seems to be always butting heads with you.
  • when your spouse gives you a hug & asks you after a long day, "How was your day babe?" you laugh and say "Well, I survived, but it was pretty awful."

>>> CRITICAL

  • when you realize you're really good at pointing out every flaw your kids have; the ways they wash their hands wrong, the way they talk to their siblings, the way they ask you for milk, the way they make their bed, or talk to their grandparents.
  • ​of your spouse when they do things a bit different than you & it just seems likes your way is better. 
  • of yourself & half of the things you do each day with your kids ... as you lay your head on your pillow at night, you see all the ways you could be better. 

​​If you said yes to any of these, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I am here to help.

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I've been through the valley & am on the other side & IT IS BEAUTIFUl ... worth every bit of effort it will take for you to get there.

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These kind of supercharged feelings are always tricky to navigate, but especially during the holidays when we have giant expectations of flawless family gatherings, joyful kids unwrapping gifts they're grateful for, children staying present (& off devices) & toddlers sitting still during Christmas services.

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Ha! Often NOT the reality of holiday life, would you agree?


​Christmas is a BEAUTIFUL time of year, but:

  • we STILL get triggered by our littles
  • we STILL get angry when they won't listen
  • we STILL get fearful that our relatives will judge us for trying to teach them with kindness instead of smack them
  • we STILL get anxiety that we'll be the ones with the kids melting down at church
  • we STILL don't know what to do when the day seems ruined by misbehavior & it's only 9am!
  • we STILL get scared we won't be able to be kind to our own children on Christmas day when we WANT to celebrate the Prince of Peace, but are irritated & annoyed at our kids' behavior.

Fear, anxiety & anger can create darkness that we often don't talk about to begin with, let alone during the Christmas season when we think everyone ELSE is enjoying peace & connection with their family.

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The truth is EVERYONE is having imperfection in their home & just doing their best to enjoy the season & honor Jesus with true respect & love.

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As parents we NEED to prepare ourselves for ways to manage these strong emotions. Not control, but manage. When we're proactively prepared, we have a much better chance of moving through them fully (instead of running from them or denying them) and taking actions to take care of ourselves & the situations at hand ... in ways that we will be proud of at the end of the day when we lay our heads on our pillows.

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A decade after the time I described above, I am now in a season where I feel FULLY equipped to handle the normal ups & downs of parenting on any day, but especially at Christams time. Even amidst visitors, family functions, overpacked schedules, tired kiddos, and a bit of stress to make Christmas GREAT ... I feel stronger then ever as a parent & more connected than I've ever been with my spouse & children. I want the same thing for you families!

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Click HERE to read my full Mother.ly article on 9 Phrases to Manage your Fear & Anxiety & Become a More Peaceful Parent. (I've also included the text below) & join me on Friday 12/21 for a live discussion on this subject! Click HERE to register.

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9 ways to manage your fear + anxiety—and become a more peaceful parent

  

 

   

 

 

 

  

 

   

 

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Wendy, thank you for this! For taking the time to put the wealth of your knowledge and experience around this subject into words. You are such a light! Thank you for sharing hope! And for sharing specific strategies for connecting more with our kids, taking care of our own hearts and responding with integrity. ♥️. Merry Christmas!!!!

    Reply

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