(Inside: Good parenting skills start here. Do you feel like you’re saturated with parenting advice? What should be your focus? This one thing will help you conquer the parenting season like the champion you are.)
Off, off, off!
I fumbled at my car radio.
I don’t need to hear anybody roar… No hearts going on… And I’m not gettin’ jiggy with it (I just took you’ll waaaay back, didn’t I.) I. Just. Can’t. My brain impulsively sends my fingers to the radio deck searching for off. At the end of every day, the longing for silence overtakes me.
What happened? What made me this way?
It started at age 22 when I went from the back of the classroom to the front. In a blink, I had responsibilities that felt heavy.
(Amazing, but heavy.)
Filled with IEPs, 504 plans, curriculum, school/state/parent expectations, and a bazillion students, I learned that a high school teacher’s job is fast-paced. There are about twenty minutes to eat lunch (that includes a bathroom break), four minutes to help students during passing period, and exactly zero minutes to think.
The silence of my ride home became my place to unpack my day. (Why is this student not engaged in learning anymore? How can I encourage that student whose mom is fighting cancer? How do I better teach that concept next time?)
It’s when my mind analyzed and problem solved. An essential tool for a teacher.
Parenting feels the same way. Except for times ten. Or times a million. (Because we all want good parenting skills.)
Just like classroom teachers juggle weighted responsibilities, so do parents…
- How do I teach my kids about faith/God? (What do I teach them?)
- Why is my kid struggling with social skills? What can I do?
- Am I raising kind kids?
- How do I stress the importance of education in a way that builds intrinsic motivation?
- When should I push and when should I pull back?
- Am I raising healthy, happy kids?
Then, even though we, as parents, say we don’t care what others think…do you still find yourself making a decision against your better judgment because of “social pressure?”
(“Son, you’re doing football! It’ll be great! You’ll love it! *You totally know your kid will NOT love it. And never be a football star.*) If your hand is up – yeah, me too.
Parenting is heavy. (Amazing, but heavy.) And – of course – we all want to be good parents. We want to follow all the parenting advice out there:
- Love big.
- Show respect.
- Create boundaries.
- Be consistent.
- And more.
Parents are oversaturated with how-to-be-a-good-mom/dad resources mixed with heavy responsibilities. The noise – even the good noise – is loud.
How do we know which one piece of solid advice will benefit us the most? There is a calling all parents should consider paying attention to.
Just like teachers, parents long for silence. This is why we subconsciously lock ourselves in the bathroom. Or linger way too long at Target when we’re kidless. Silence calls out to us and says, “You need me. You’re making some of the most important decisions of your life during your parenting years (in careers, in raising children, in finances, in everything). I can help you find those ‘best answers.'”
Do you hear that calling too? Look. Silence doesn’t need much time to empower you – only 8 minutes.
Let me explain…
If you’re like me – type A, practical, math/science oriented – we can think we don’t need silence. We’re tough. Capable. Me-time is selfish. Silence is for the weak. (Feel free to laugh here.)
Except, science doesn’t support that. (I think that’s called irony.)
There’s much scientific research supporting the health benefits for both the body and mind through deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, prayer, and/or silence. The practice of silence strengthens immunity, reduces stress, and supplies perseverance – it builds us up both physically and mentally. In the stillness, we analyze, brainstorm the next steps, and make our best decisions.
Related article: Breathing Techniques – A Guide to the Science and Methods
About mid-way through my parenting, I started a practice of silence and listening to God.
I was just what that season needed. And something I continually come back to through all the ups and downs and twists and turns of parenting.
I created a mini e-book to maximize those 8 minutes of quiet time to empower us.
(Side note, because it needs to be said: As always, life doesn’t always obey formulas. There are days when these meditations for moms’ practice will feel awesome and other days when you just should put it all away, and go watch You’ve Got Mail. Each season of motherhood calls for different ways to encourage and sustain us. But, this tool is a good one. It’s one to have in our toolbox, one to keep coming back to – it really is powerful.)
Back to the mini-ebook, Meditations for Moms…
In the silence, parents need to be built up in 3 areas:
- Knowing we’re loved
- Renewed strength
The mini-ebook contains 7 days of meditation/silence/prayer (using deep breathing and mindfulness techniques) that will empower us in the three areas mentioned above. I included scripture because God’s Word strengthens me in powerful ways and I thought you’d enjoy the empowerment too.
Of course, my outline is a guide – make any changes so it works for you.
So, are you in? Ready to reclaim 8 minutes of our lives? Push the off button? Ready to take one small step that will launch us 10 steps forward?
Let’s do it. Grab the ebook here.
Because the single best thing you can do as a parent is to take care of yourself so you can better parent with patience and direction. The benefits to you and your kids are priceless.
I like this, but I need more than silence. I need solid advice from someone who knows their stuff to help me create good parenting skills.
If you are thinking this, I have just the guy. Dr. Kevin Leman’s books have given me tangible tools to parent. His humorous, wise words will build your confidence too. Here are some of my recommendations through my Amazon Affiliate links:
Be encouraged in building your good parenting skills by reading the full Self-Care and Inspiration for Moms Series
Why is self-care so hard for moms? Y’all, I ignored it for so long, that I had an epic mom crash. (I talk about it over here.) I never want to go there again, so it’s game on, self-care!
I recently listened to a podcast by the author of my favorite book on creativity (affiliate link), Liz Gilbert, where she talked about how she feels like she has been given the divine responsibility of being in charge of “Liz,” so needs to do what’s best for “Liz.”
Okay, I hope I don’t mess up the interpretation of what she said too much, but let me tell you how it went into my heart…
God gives us the sacred responsibility of taking care of ourselves. So, I need to see myself in the 3rd person. I need to step outside of myself and say, “Cheryl doesn’t need to be doing that. She’s done enough..she needs sleep, or to say ‘no,’ or to sit and pet her beloved dog.”
For this go-go-go, do-all-the-things girl, that way of explaining our self-obligation was powerful. Self-care is vital. We better serve our families and communities when we are in a good place. So, be encouraged by the full series on self-care and other inspiration for moms.
INSPIRATION TO REFUEL MOMS
SELF-CARE IN THE CHAOS
8 Reasons Why “Me Time” for Moms is Good FOR YOUR KIDS
The Power of Finding Peace and Joy In the Choas of Momlife
Moms Need a Break and Good Things Can Come of It
Good Parenting Skills: The Single Best Thing Parents Can Do
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.