Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

Where are You Going?

It is my pleasure to share the work of fellow therapists who are doing incredible work in the field of mental health. This is a guest essay by therapist, mother, and author Mary Martina.

 

Where Are You Going?


"What happened Mommy?" my son asks with inquisition already knowing that I just mentally checked out and I just shifted to overwhelm and panic.


I shake my head "Nothing Bubbie, nothing" I lie.


"What happened Mommy?" he insists...

 

I see you.

I see you overworked, rushing from here to there. I see you frantically cleaning the house, folding the laundry and organizing the toys so that you can all have a few moments of family time together.


I see you.

I see you doing the mental math around naps and feeding schedules so that you can have a few moments to yourself. So that you can actually see a friend.


I see you.

I see you creating lists of chores that are forever and always regenerative.


I see you.

I see you working to be present with what is while thinking of the bills, the dinner, the permission slip, the job you are supposed to be working and then there is that small matter of managing your relationship to keep this ship running.


I see you.

I see you hurrying up to get to your life. Hurrying up to find that place where it all clicks. Constantly seeking the illusion of balance.


And because I see you.


I ask: Where are you going? This is your life. This. The mess. THIS is life.


Your life is not a destination you arrive at when everything is perfectly in place.


Your life is this beautiful chaotic day of parenting.

 

When we live life as something to be frantically won our children feel it. They sense our chaotic, rushing nature and they try to match it. This then creates more of what we are not looking for in our homes- chaos.


Here is the thing: Our brains are very smart but not smart enough to tell if something we are thinking about is happening in the past, now or in the future. So when we are overwhelmed by something in the past or in the future we send the signals to our nervous system that now is a great time to freak out.


Ah- our kids see this and think- ok I see you and match you...


So what can you do?


Here are four things to try to bring you and your kiddos back into the actual moment that you are in:


  1. Progressive muscle relaxation- this can be done with any body part you can squeeze. Hold for 30 seconds and release. You can do your whole body (from feet to head or head to toes) or just one area like your arms.

  2. BE where your feet are. Say it to yourself until you are there. Name things around you and feel your feet in your shoes or on the ground.

  3. DANCE. Put on your favorite song or wheels on the bus and move your bodies together.

  4. Laugh- it is hard to be overwhelmed and laugh at the same time. PLUS children laughing evokes more laughter and we could all use a bit more joy.

 

About the Author: Mary is a mother, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Therapist, and creator of Be. Counseling, LLC a place where women return home to themselves. Mary offers mother-centered care from blending holistic/traditional practices with clinical knowledge to support individuals on their journey back into themselves. Mary offers individual psychotherapy and group coaching where she walks women through from the disempowerment of birth trauma to owning their power. You can learn more about her practice on her website and see more of her work on instagram: @the.new.mom.therapist

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