Hello again everyone! A thousand apologies for the little mini break that my husband and I took. We felt like we were getting into a groove about posting about our parenting life and then all of a sudden our website went down and it took us a while to get it functioning again! What was great about this break (because nothing is a coincidence) was that it gave us time to re-center the purpose of Somos-Padres and come back to it with an intentional mindset about what we are trying to achieve together in 2017 and beyond. Hey, I know that your time is precious so I want to make sure that any time that you spend reading a blog post is adding at least one new idea that can add value to your parenting life or minimally create a space for you to reflect on your own parenting journey.
So today, I actually want to take a step back and talk about the decision to launch this blog. Why share our parenting experience via a medium where it is the easiest to criticize and judge our parenting choices? Why would we make that choice? Hopefully this will make as much sense to you as it does to me.
I have spent my entire professional career, now 12 years, with child maltreatment front and center. I have met many parents, some struggling with drug addiction, intimate partner violence, mental health issues and more. Each parent, in front of me, because their struggles had now impacted their children in ways that required of me to be in their lives. I have listened to many personal stories and with time and my own maturing as a parent what I came to understand is that they were doing the best that they could with the life experiences that they had.
The way that we parent matters!
I have also seen examples of this from the adults in my life growing up. I had the fortune of being raised by an incredibly resilient mother. Her life has been filled with many traumatic moments. I often think that she has experienced multiple lifetimes of pain and yet she has achieved more than is imaginable with her 2nd grade education. She was raped at 16, endured years of intimate partner violence and was a widow with four children by 29. All of that before I was even born. Add to the equation that she did not receive the love that she craved from her parents as a child. As a parent herself she did what she knew how to do. She put her head down and worked hard in the fields to make sure that her children’s physical needs were met, leaving before dawn and coming home in the evening. But working hard and not knowing how to connect with her children ultimately took a toll. My three brother’s started to figure things out on their own, learning to deal with life through gangs, drugs, multiple failed relationships and making choices that would ultimately land two of them in jail for a considerable amount of time. But you know what, my mother was doing the best that she could with the life experiences that she had. My brothers were doing the best that they could with the life experiences that they had.
The way that we parent matters!
The other night I was re-watching the Super Soul Session we had the fortune of attending last year of Dr. Shefali Tsabary. It’s available free at SuperSoul.TV if you are interested in watching. I re-watch it every now and then when I feel like I am losing my center as a parent. She was making her case against parenting (yes you read that right) and she said to the audience: “But you will argue with me. What about poverty? Income? Politics? Education? You know life is tough. I’ll say to you: these are just smoke screens…they are branches of the tree but you and your relationship [with your child] is the root”.
The way that we parent matters people! Seriously though, it seemed as though everywhere I turned in my life I was reminded of this. It was as if my life was continually seeking to keep this on my radar. It spoke so loudly to me that Somos Padres was born. So I am doing this blog, sharing my parenting journey with the conviction in knowing that I am just doing the best I can and whoever you are reading this right now I want you to know that so are you! I really believe that knowledge is power and when you know better you can decide to do better. At the core of our parenting challenges is that sometimes we just don’t know another way. I want to change that. I want to flood you with alternative ways of seeing the parenting spectrum.
If you have read our blogs for a while I think we have mentioned Dr. Shefali Tsabary a lot. Her teachings have definitely been game changers for us in terms of our parenting and how we see our role as parents. Here is another quote from the Super Soul Session because it has turned into our parenting mantra and consequently our mantra for Somos Padres. She says, “Our mandate [as parents] is to heal, to parent, to raise ourselves to our highest evolution so our children can be liberated”.
This year at Somos Padres we will continue to share our journey of self-reflection as we dare to raise ourselves in order to raise our children (did you notice we changed our tag line to this?) We are going to take you along as we go inward and reflect on the daily complexities of the parenting journey, which will include both moments of disappointment and enlightenment. We also plan to expand our platform to include Podcasts (at some point). In 2017 we want to use our voice to influence the way that you think about parenting. Not in a “we are parenting experts so you should believe what we believe about parenting” way but in a “The way you parent matters; here are lots of ideas for you to consider about parenting so that you may find YOUR best way” or “your highest evolution” as Dr. Tsabary calls it.
Thanks for staying with us and allowing us to be a part of your parenting journey. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already done so and feel free to share if you think this blog and our future platforms may help another parent on their journey. If you are interested in watching Dr. Shefali Tsabary’s Super Soul Session, the link is below!