“ Mindful parenting is the hardest job on the planet , but it ’ s also one that has the potential for the deepest kinds of satisfactions over the life span , and the greatest feelings of interconnectedness and community and belonging .”
– JON KABAT ZINN
Being a mindful parent has been one of the best and hardest jobs of my life . My daughters have been my best teachers , and I am so grateful for everything I have learned about self-nurturing as a result of parenting them through challenging times . It has been a journey of progress not perfection in parenting and self-nurturing and I continue to learn what supports me and how to nurture myself through each age and stage of my life . Looking back , I am profoundly grateful that I recognized that giving from an empty cup was unsustainable and that I was inspired to cultivate a self-nurturing practice that has supported me in growing and thriving ever since .
My daughters are young adults now giving me more opportunities to engage in mindful parenting and prioritize my self-nurturing . Just when our nest became empty , the pandemic hit , and our kids moved back home . I live in a multi-generational household with my husband , two daughters , son-in-law , and two granddaughters under the age of two . We have so much fun as a family and there is an abundant flow of love and joy , as well as tears and diapers . We are in the process of building an apartment connected to our house so that my motherin-law can join us . Then we will have four generations living in our home !
When we live with others , a common challenge we face is balancing caring for ourselves with caring for other people . I have found a beautiful solution ! We can cultivate self-nurturing practices for the whole family . Living in community provides a fabulous opportunity to be intentional about engaging in practices that everyone can enjoy . Since self-nurturing does not need to be a solo act , you can adapt many of your self-nurturing practices to incorporate your family . I love music and dancing so our family has dance parties every morning to start off the day listening to the song “ Better ” by Michael Franti . I also find gratitude deeply nurturing so we weave gratitude practice into family gatherings at meals , walks , celebrations , and bedtime . Being creative about cultivating family self-nurturing practices is fun and joyful and allows us to expand and evolve our own practice .
Practicing together can strengthen a family and model these essential skills for children of any age . When children learn the importance of nurturing themselves by engaging in selfnurturing activities together as a family , they