In this increasingly challenging time, who is looking out for and speaking to progressive parents?
I will write you from time to time with my thoughts on straddling the demands of standing in this world, actively and progressively, and on the other hand, creating a family life where we live out our deeply held beliefs and values.
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I write twice a week at the most, but some times a couple of weeks go by. But I won’t flood your inbox, waste your time, or pass on your information to anybody else for any reason. And you can always unsubscribe.
Here is one letter I wrote not so long ago, just so you can see what you can expect.
This first week with Trump in office has been a doozy. It’s been more immediately harrowing than I anticipated, to be sure. The political scene is looking an awful lot like the beginnings of a reign of tyranny.
Let’s just name it: we are in a very stressful time. And as parents of young children, perhaps we feel it more than anyone. We are acutely aware that our children will inherit a world marked by the consequences of the political decisions being made right now. We are painfully aware that we need to somehow prepare them for a future that we cannot possibly envision from here–and quite possibly, for a present that is more dangerous than it was before. How could we not be stressed?
Perhaps, like me, you have witnessed yourself swing between two modes: 1) compulsively checking Facebook, frantically clicking on petitions and 2) burying your head in the proverbial sand (AKA: Netflix).
I’m reminding myself:
It’s okay to not know exactly what to do right now.
It’s okay to take a breath and begin to settle in for the long haul that this is going to be.
It’s okay to limit my time on Facebook, or even stay off altogether.
It’s okay to choose a couple of trusted news sources and let the rest go.
It’s okay to choose a couple of concrete actions to take (Niels and I are considering hosting Solidarity Sundays here), and let the rest go.
It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.
It’s actually more than okay. As parents of young children, how we are in the day-to-day moments is a million times more important than saying or doing the exact right thing, or having the best plan of action. Yes, those things are important, but the climate we create by our moods and our presence is even more important.
Our kids are feeling every ripple of what’s happening right now. They are very open human beings, much more porous than we adults are, and right now, they are swimming in ambient stress. And for kids (and adults too), feeling wanted, claimed, connected, and like a cherished part of a bigger human system–this is the most critical part of reducing kids’ stress.
If we can pause long enough to notice ourselves, to notice our kids, and to notice the atmosphere between us–we have taken the exact right next action. If we can hang out in that moment of witnessing and allow whatever is there be okay, we’re doing great. If we can warm up the atmosphere, even subtly just by shifting our tone of voice, we are heading in the right direction.
There is lots more I have to say about parenting in times of crisis, but this is plenty for now. Attend to yourselves with compassion, moms and dads. Raising young ones well is a political act.
And I just know we are going to figure out the rest together.
More soon, my friend.
P.S. I am back from sabbatical, accepting a few new coaching clients (in person, or by Skype).
So again, here is that sign up form. I look forward to connecting with you.