My book is in final editing phases, and I hope to have a proof copy this month. That means, I better be ready to be vulnerable as I share tons of personal stories of my own difficulties as a parent. I hope you enjoy this little section from the intro.
In the years when chaos erupted between my preschool-aged kids, sometimes the only thing I could do was walk (or sometimes run) away from the room that they were in, lock my bedroom door and then lock my bathroom door. I knew I would then have roughly 2½ minutes to myself. Maybe some small part of me believed that in that time we would be visited by a saving angel who would intercept the kids and bless them with a sparkly wand. They would apologize for hitting each other, vowing never to argue again.
In reality, by the time the kids found a penny and unlocked both doors with it, I would usually be ready to face the situation. But a few times, I just decided to hold the door shut until they gave up trying to open it. Powerful parenting, right?
The handful of times I did this stand out much more in my mind than all of the times I stayed with them in the moment of intensity trying to work things out. The fact of the matter is, neither of these approaches actually brought the peace I was looking for, but they were all I could muster when I was being triggered by my children’s choices and actions.
I knew there was another way—many other ways, in fact. I’d read all about them. But every time I attempted to integrate a new theory into my thoughts, actions, and feelings, I just ended up beating myself up over all of my perceived mistakes. I was truly my own worst enemy. Guilt, blame and shame were the name of this ugly game I played with myself.
In spite of this, through grace and diligence I began to awaken into my True Self. I may have been failing as I tried implementing these new concepts, but I was taking actions, even if they were imperfect ones. And as I did, I was, bit by bit, peeling away the layers of patterning that took years to create. What I did not realize is that studying all of these theories and approaches was actually giving me much of the underlying support I needed to modify my conscious and subconscious patterning. I knew I did not need to be moving through my life constantly triggered by the actions of others, in a perpetual state of fear, or just waiting for the next chaotic life event. The concepts and techniques I studied provided the awareness and understanding that it was possible to be living differently. And I was determined to make it so.
As I did my inner work, returning to the techniques I had learned during my health crisis, happiness and health returned to me and to our whole family. Before long, it became clear that my purpose was to incorporate these concepts and tools into my work as a pediatric occupational therapist. The Connected Parent is the result of these professional and personal experiences.