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Dear Moms & Dads – “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”

April 25, 2020

Photo: Nantasket Beach, Hull, MA 4/25


All you Moms & Dads out there,

Thank you for all that you are doing!

I know this is hard. And many of you may say, it sucks!

But…Let me hear you say it “I am doing the best I can.” and “That is ok” And… “All I can do is all I can do.”

I am here to tell you: Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t feel guilty.

It. is. not. worth. it.

Take it from someone who knows. Working parent guilt, taking care of a daughter who was seriously ill, feeling you are never doing enough. It will eat you up!

Don’t do it. Period. Seriously, don’t do it.

It doesn’t serve you in ANY way. All it does is make you feel more stressed and anxious. And last time I looked it up, those aren’t good things. Well, some stress can be good, but not this kind.

It drains your energy! And you need your energy!

Now, don’t start beating yourself up about the guilt either. Nope, that is not good either!

Anything you felt or did is in the past, you can’t change (believe it or not!). In my experience, not.

Move forward.

You are doing the best you can. So. say it.

Sure, it may not be perfect or ideal. That. is. ok.

Turn off the catastrophe thinking. Switch your mindset.

Negative thoughts – gone! Flip them. I use a technique called “Holding opposites.” If you think a negative thought, then immediately think of the opposite thought. You can rewire your brain.

This: I feel so guilty. My kids don’t like me. My kids aren’t learning anything. I am not spending enough time with them.


This: I am doing the best I can. I am providing for this family. I have setup the best possible situation for me and my family. My kids are learning. They will be ok.

And it’s ok to have a pity party once in a while, but the party shouldn’t go on for days.

If you feel it, you feel it. “Name it to Tame It.” Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel.

Recognize, Acknowledge, Process your emotions. You will be surprised how many people feel just like you. This is another one you can take from me. I am a reformed (Emotion) stuffer. I used to not process much; but the emotions have to go somewhere. Hello chronic pain!

Did I say earlier? – it doesn’t serve you well…nope it doesn’t!

Find someone to vent to, family member, colleague, therapist, health coach, EAP. Journal.

Your house doesn’t need to be clean! No one is coming over anyway! Play the game, watch the TV show, go for the bike or walk.

Let your kids tell you how they feel. Listen. Validate their feelings. You don’t need to fix it.

Let go of what you thought life would be like.

Give yourself a break. No one knows how to do this.

Schooling. Don’t worry about it. Your kids will learn. The teachers will be all over it next year.

Your kids need to feel safe. Model what you want for them.

Model safety.

Model hope.

Model health.

Model calm.

Model peace.

Model happiness.

One of my favorite quotes is, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”, attributed to Mindfulness guru, Jon Kabat-Zinn. Teach your kids to surf. These are the things your kids need, and learning these things builds resilience!

And please take care of yourselves. “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

Self-care. Find some positive affirmations for yourself. Speak to yourself like you would your best friend.

And please appreciate each other too. Thank you to each other goes a long way…

Each and every one of us is in this together.

Thank you for all that you are doing!

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