In today’s fast-paced world, the concept of slow living has gained immense popularity among adults seeking respite from the chaos of daily life. But what about our children? Can they also benefit from the principles of slow living? Absolutely! Teaching kids to embrace a slower, more mindful way of life can help them develop important life skills and foster a deeper connection with the world around them. In this blog post, we’ll explore some valuable slow living tips for kids, inspired by the sweet children’s book, “Bear Becomes Aware.”
Introduce Mindful Moments: Slow living begins with mindfulness. Encourage your child to take a few moments each day to simply be present. Inspire your kids to observe the beauty of nature, whether it’s through watching clouds, listening to birdsongs, or observing the changing colors of leaves.
Embrace the Joy of Simple Pleasures: Slow living is all about finding joy in simplicity. Share with your children the delight of simple activities like drawing, reading, or baking together. Help your little ones find happiness in the little things, like the warmth of the sun on or the sound of a babbling brook.
Disconnect to Reconnect: In our digitally connected world, it’s crucial to teach kids the importance of unplugging. Encourage device-free time, especially during family meals or outdoor adventures.
Nurture Patience: Slow living teaches us the value of patience. Teach your children to be patient when waiting for things, whether it’s waiting for cookies to bake or a special event. The best way to teach patience is leading by example!
Explore the Outdoors: Nature is the perfect teacher of slow living. Take your children on nature walks, hikes, or camping trips. Let them experience the wonders of the natural world.
Encourage Reflection: Slow living invites us to reflect on our experiences and emotions. After a day of play or exploration, encourage your child to reflect on what they learned or felt. This practice helps them connect with their inner selves. Prompt the dialogue by asking questions like “what was your favorite part of the day and why?”
Read “Bear Becomes Aware”: Finally, consider reading “Bear Becomes Aware” together as a family. This enchanting children’s book tells the story of a bear’s journey to slow down and discover the beauty of life. It can serve as a wonderful conversation starter and a source of inspiration for your slow living journey with your children.
In conclusion, slow living is a valuable concept to introduce to children, and “Bear Becomes Aware” provides a heartwarming example of this philosophy in action. By incorporating these slow living tips into your family’s daily life, you can help your children develop a deeper appreciation for the world around them and foster a sense of contentment that will stay with them throughout their lives. Happy slow living!
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In a world where the narrative often dictates that mothers must be self-sacrificing with porous boundaries to be deemed “good,” it’s no wonder many of us find ourselves exhausted and unable to fully embrace the mothers we aspire to be. But it’s time for a paradigm shift. It’s time to reclaim our power, set healthy boundaries, and show up in our lives and motherhood as the empowered, confident women we truly are.
The Myth of Sacrifice
For generations, society has perpetuated the myth of the “self-sacrificing mother” as the gold standard of good motherhood. It’s an archetype deeply ingrained in our cultural narrative, and it’s high time we scrutinize and redefine this narrative. While it’s undeniable that motherhood demands an abundance of love, care, and dedication, it should never come at the cost of our own well-being. Sacrificing our own needs and boundaries often leads us down a perilous path, leaving us depleted, emotionally drained, and ultimately unable to offer our best selves to our children and families.
Research has shown that constant self-sacrifice can have detrimental effects on mothers’ mental and physical health. A study published in the journal “Self and Identity” found that mothers who prioritize their own well-being are more likely to have a positive self-identity, which in turn positively influences their children’s well-being. Another study in the “Journal of Marriage and Family” suggests that when mothers practice self-care and maintain their own boundaries, they experience reduced stress levels and are better equipped to handle the demands of motherhood.
Tips for Navigating Motherhood with Balance
1. Prioritize Self-Care: Understand that taking time for yourself is not selfish but necessary for your overall well-being. Make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine, whether it’s reading a book, going for a walk, or simply having a moment of quiet.
2. Communicate Your Needs: Open and honest communication with your partner, family, and friends is essential. Let them know your boundaries and needs, and don’t be afraid to ask for support when you require it.
3. Set Boundaries: Establishing healthy boundaries is a key component of maintaining your mental and emotional health. Learn to say no when necessary, and don’t overextend yourself to the point of exhaustion.
4. Delegate and Share Responsibilities: Motherhood doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own. Delegate tasks and share responsibilities with your partner and family members. A supportive community can make a significant difference.
5. Embrace Imperfection: Understand that it’s okay to be an imperfect mother. Perfection is an unattainable goal, and accepting your imperfections can alleviate the pressure you put on yourself.
While motherhood is a beautiful and fulfilling journey, it should never come at the cost of your well-being. It’s time to debunk the myth of self-sacrifice and prioritize self-care, boundaries, and balance in your life. By doing so, you not only benefit yourself but also create a healthier and more nurturing environment for your children to thrive in. Embrace the journey from burnout to badass, and let your inner strength and resilience shine through.
Fueling Your Powerhouse: Energy
One essential ingredient we often overlook in this journey is energy. Mothers need an endless supply of it, but many of us haven’t been shown how to increase and maintain the energy we require to be present in our daily lives. It’s time to dive into the journey of reclaiming and expanding our energy reserves.
Studies have consistently shown that maintaining healthy energy levels is not just beneficial but essential for overall well-being. In a research paper published in the “Journal of Positive Psychology,” it was found that individuals with higher energy levels reported increased life satisfaction, better mental health, and greater resilience in the face of life’s challenges. Energy, it seems, is the cornerstone of our ability to navigate motherhood with vitality and grace.
Tips for Harnessing and Expanding Your Energy:
1. Prioritize Sleep: Quality sleep is the foundation of your energy reserves. Make sleep a non-negotiable part of your routine, aiming for 7-9 hours of restorative rest each night.
2. Nutrient-Rich Diet: Fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods that provide sustained energy throughout the day. Incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates into your meals.
3. Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased energy levels. Ensure you drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day to stay refreshed.
4. Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity not only boosts your physical energy but also enhances your mental and emotional well-being. Find an exercise routine that you enjoy, whether it’s yoga, walking, or dancing.
5. Mindfulness and Relaxation: Practice mindfulness meditation or relaxation techniques to reduce stress and maintain a calm, energized state of mind.
6. Limit Energy Drains: Identify activities or commitments that drain your energy unnecessarily. Delegate tasks or say no to those that do not align with your priorities.
7. Set Realistic Goals: Be mindful of overloading your schedule with too many tasks or responsibilities. Set achievable goals and break them down into manageable steps.
8. Connect with Passion: Engage in activities or hobbies that ignite your passion and enthusiasm. Doing what you love can significantly boost your energy.
9. Social Support: Surround yourself with a supportive community of friends and loved ones who uplift and energize you.
10. Time Management: Efficiently manage your time and create a daily routine that includes breaks and moments for self-care.
Remember that energy is not a finite resource but a well you can tap into and replenish with conscious effort and self-care. By nurturing your energy, you are not only reclaiming your power but also unlocking the potential to thrive as a confident and radiant mother. Embrace this journey, and watch as your inner powerhouse fuels your transformation from burnout to badass motherhood.
Setting Boundaries: The Key to Resilience
Establishing boundaries is a crucial step in regaining control over our lives. Healthy boundaries protect our energy, allowing us to prioritize self-care and recharge when needed. They enable us to say no when necessary, without guilt, and create space for what truly matters.
Studies have shown that individuals with well-defined boundaries experience reduced stress levels and increased life satisfaction. In a study published in the “Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science,” researchers found that people who set clear boundaries in their personal and professional lives reported lower levels of burnout and improved psychological functioning.
Tips for Setting and Maintaining Healthy Boundaries:
1. Self-Awareness: Understand your own needs, limits, and priorities. Take time to reflect on what is essential to your well-being and what you can comfortably manage.
2. Effective Communication: Clearly communicate your boundaries to those around you. Whether it’s with your partner, children, family, or colleagues, open and honest dialogue is key to ensuring your boundaries are respected.
3. Learn to Say No: Saying no when necessary is a powerful act of self-care. It’s okay to decline requests or commitments that would push you beyond your limits.
4. Consistency: Maintain consistency in upholding your boundaries. When others see that you consistently respect your limits, they are more likely to do the same.
5. Prioritize Self-Care: Incorporate self-care into your daily routine. Whether it’s meditation, exercise, or simply taking time for yourself, these practices reinforce your commitment to maintaining boundaries.
6. Seek Support: Reach out to your support network when needed. Friends, family, or a therapist can provide guidance, encouragement, and accountability as you navigate boundary-setting.
7. Guilt Management: Understand that setting boundaries is not a selfish act but a necessity for your well-being. Manage any feelings of guilt that may arise, knowing that you are taking steps toward becoming a more resilient and empowered mother.
8. Evaluate and Adjust: Periodically review your boundaries to ensure they align with your evolving needs and circumstances. Be willing to adjust them as necessary.
By setting boundaries, you protect your energy, reduce stress, and create space for self-care and personal growth. It’s a powerful act of self-love that empowers you to show up as the best version of yourself in motherhood and all areas of your life. As you continue on your journey from burnout to badass, remember that boundaries are your allies in reclaiming your power and embracing the radiant mother within you.
With the weight of modern motherhood on our shoulders, it’s easy to feel burdened and drained. Yet, this is not the motherhood any of us dreamt of. Deep within, we each have a vision of a version of ourselves who glows with ease in motherhood. It’s time to make that dream a reality.
For me, this meant, even as a single mom, being able to homeschool, run a business travel, write a book, and Homestead, all of which takes a lot of energy. I refused to give up on my dreams, and instead began problem-solving on how I could expand my energy and accomplish more of what was aligned with the life I wanted. I had to give up what drained me and do more of what filled my cup. This meant big changes around boundary setting, time management, and incorporating more practices that regulated my nervous system and improved my mental health. I’ve taken this entire three year journey and created an in depth seven module course to walk mothers through the process of healing and discovering their most aligned and empowered version of themselves in motherhood. If you’re truly ready for a full life transformation, you can sign up for the course here.
The Journey Ahead
The journey from burnout to badass is one of self-discovery and transformation. It’s about reclaiming your energy, setting boundaries, and reimagining the kind of mother you want to be. It’s about becoming the empowered, resilient, and radiant woman who can play and thrive in motherhood.
Stay tuned for more insights, tips, and strategies on this transformative journey. You deserve to be the badass mother you aspire to be. It’s time to rewrite the narrative and step into your power.
Remember, the journey begins with you. Embrace it, reclaim your energy, and let’s transform motherhood together.
In a world that places increasing demands and pressures on young minds, parents play a crucial role in fostering their children’s mental well-being and cultivating a strong sense of confidence and empowerment. Drawing from the principles of unschooling, outdoor play, risky play, and mindful parenting (or any of the mix that best fits your family’s needs), we can create an environment that nurtures our children’s mental health and equips them with the tools to thrive in today’s challenging landscape.
Unschooling: Fostering Intrinsic Confidence
Unschooling, an educational philosophy that emphasizes self-directed learning, helps children develop a natural sense of curiosity and ownership over their education. This approach encourages children to pursue their interests, ask questions, and explore their passions, leading to a strong sense of intrinsic motivation and self-confidence. By trusting their ability to learn and adapt, unschooling empowers children to believe in themselves and their capacity to navigate the world with confidence.
Unschooling, a pedagogical philosophy rooted in self-directed learning, is a dynamic approach that resonates deeply with my background in child development. Extensive research underscores the pivotal role of unschooling in nurturing children’s intrinsic confidence, ultimately shaping them into individuals who are not only well-prepared for future challenges but also possess a solid sense of self-assuredness.
Research by educational psychologist Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan has shown that intrinsic motivation is a critical component of psychological well-being. Unschooling excels in fostering this motivation by allowing children to steer their learning journey based on their genuine interests and curiosities. This approach taps into their innate desire for autonomy and self-determination, igniting a sense of ownership over their education.
For instance, when my five year old daughter exhibited a fascination for marine life, our unschooling approach enabled her to delve deeply into this subject. Guided by her interests, she explored marine biology books, visited aquariums, and conducted online research. This self-directed pursuit fostered a sense of accomplishment and ownership, leading her to feel empowered to explore further and tackle more complex concepts.
Moreover, a longitudinal study conducted by Peter Gray and Gina Riley found that unschooled children often develop advanced decision-making and self-regulation skills due to the autonomy they experience in their education. This autonomy is a crucial catalyst for intrinsic confidence. When children are given the freedom to shape their learning experiences, they become active participants rather than passive recipients. This dynamic process builds a reservoir of self-assurance, as they recognize their capacity to set goals, manage their time, and adapt to new challenges.
In my own journey as an unschooling mom with a background in child development, I’ve witnessed my daughters’ confidence blossoming as they explore topics that genuinely captivate their attention. This authenticity of exploration infuses them with a belief in their capacity to understand complex concepts, seek out knowledge independently, and articulate their ideas with conviction.
Outdoor Time: Connecting with Nature and Self
The benefits of spending time outdoors are immense. Nature offers a serene backdrop that fosters emotional well-being and enhances mental clarity. Engaging in outdoor activities allows children to disconnect from screens and distractions, providing a space for self-discovery, creativity, and emotional expression. Outdoor play not only promotes physical health but also supports cognitive development and emotional resilience, allowing children to build a strong foundation of mental well-being.
Stepping into the realm of outdoor exploration and nature-based experiences, my background in child development and my commitment to unschooling converge to illuminate the invaluable role that nature plays in nurturing children’s mental well-being. Research has consistently underscored the profound positive impact of outdoor time on children’s psychological, emotional, and cognitive development.
To raise a nature-bonded child is to raise a rebel, a dreamer, an innovator… someone who will walk their own verdant, winding path.
The “restorative theory” proposed by environmental psychologists such as Rachel Kaplan suggests that nature possesses a unique ability to restore mental fatigue and enhance cognitive functioning. Time spent in natural environments allows children to detach from the stimuli of modern life, providing a peaceful backdrop that rejuvenates their minds and promotes emotional well-being. Studies have demonstrated that exposure to nature can reduce stress, anxiety, and attention fatigue, leading to improved overall mental health.
Moreover, the Attention Restoration Theory (ART) postulated by psychologists Stephen and Rachel Kaplan posits that natural environments elicit involuntary attention, allowing the brain’s directed attention mechanisms to recharge. This restoration of attentional resources has been linked to enhanced problem-solving abilities, creativity, and cognitive flexibility. By engaging in outdoor play and exploration, children are not only reaping physical health benefits but also cultivating a mental landscape primed for optimal learning and development.
Richard Louv, an advocate for nature-rich childhoods, coined the term “Nature Deficit Disorder” to highlight the detrimental consequences of children’s disconnection from the natural world. His research suggests that reduced exposure to nature can lead to a range of psychological challenges, including increased stress, diminished cognitive functioning, and even attention disorders. On the flip side, immersing children in outdoor environments offers a counterbalance, fostering improved mood, reduced stress levels, and enhanced overall psychological well-being.
As a mom who prioritizes time outdoors, I’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative effects of outdoor exploration on my own children. From exploring nearby forests to picnicking by lakes, these experiences have nurtured their curiosity, encouraged creative expression, and offered them a sense of calm.
Incorporating outdoor time into our unschooling routine aligns seamlessly with the tenets of child development research. By providing opportunities for children to connect with nature, we’re offering them a sanctuary for mental rejuvenation, emotional expression, and cognitive growth. These experiences serve as a potent reminder that the natural world is not just a backdrop but an essential ingredient for cultivating robust mental well-being in our children.
Play is the foundation of learning, creativity, self-expression, and constructive problem-solving. It’s how children wrestle with life to make it meaningful.
Susan Linn Contemporary American psychiatrist
Risky Play: Navigating Challenges and Building Resilience
While modern parenting often emphasizes safety, exposing children to controlled risks through risky play can be immensely beneficial. Climbing trees, exploring uneven terrain, and engaging in adventurous activities teach children valuable skills such as assessing risks, problem-solving, and building resilience. These experiences instill a sense of agency, teaching children to trust their judgment and cope effectively with setbacks. By gradually allowing children to face manageable challenges, we empower them to overcome obstacles and develop a sense of mastery over their environment.
Embracing the concept of risky play as an integral part of my unschooling approach, fortified by my mastery in child development, unveils a realm where calculated challenges become catalysts for fostering resilience and shaping confident individuals. Research and real-life examples vividly illustrate the profound positive impact of allowing children to engage in controlled risky play.
Researchers like Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter have highlighted the critical role of risky play in promoting children’s physical, emotional, and cognitive development. Sandseter’s “six categories of risky play” encompass activities such as climbing, jumping from heights, and exploring on one’s own. Engaging in these activities not only fosters physical strength, balance, and coordination, but also stimulates the development of risk assessment skills and decision-making abilities.
A study published in the journal of Pediatrics found that children who engage in risky outdoor play are more likely to exhibit enhanced motor skills, self-confidence, and social skills. The study emphasized that activities involving risk allow children to develop a better sense of their own capabilities and limitations. For instance, when my youngest daughter decided to navigate climbing the tree in our yard, she honed her motor skills, learned to assess potential challenges, and developed self-reliance – attributes that are pivotal for her future success.
Furthermore, psychologist Peter Gray’s research emphasizes that risky play not only equips children with physical skills but also cultivates emotional resilience. By experiencing challenges and setbacks in a controlled environment, children learn to cope with discomfort and uncertainty. These experiences lead to the development￼ of a “can-do” attitude, instilling a belief that they can overcome adversity.
In my journey as an unschooling mom with a foundation in child development, I’ve witnessed how engaging in risky play has bolstered my daughters’ self-esteem and fortitude and done the same for many children I’ve worked with over the years. Whether they’re balancing on logs over a small stream or making stick forts, these activities empower them to take calculated risks and experience the exhilaration of conquering challenges.
By weaving risky play into our unschooling approach, we’re not only aligning with established research but also nurturing traits that are essential for success in various facets of life. Through these experiences, our children learn to navigate uncertainty, make informed decisions, and stand resilient in the face of difficulties. By embracing controlled risks, we’re sculpting individuals who are not just confident but also adept at confronting life’s complexities with poise and determination.
Mindful parenting involves being fully present and attuned to your child’s needs, feelings, and experiences. This practice encourages open communication, active listening, and empathy, which are essential components of emotional intelligence. By validating their emotions and creating a safe space for expression, parents enable their children to develop a healthy relationship with their feelings. This foundation of emotional intelligence equips children with the tools to navigate relationships, manage stress, and develop a positive self-image.
Encompassing the essence of emotional intelligence, mindful parenting intertwines seamlessly with my aligned parenting flow. This nurturing approach unlocks a realm where empathy, open communication, and a deep connection with my children lay the foundation for emotional resilience and a harmonious family dynamic. Grounded in research, mindful parenting serves as a cornerstone in my journey through intentional and aligned motherhood.
Research by psychologists John Gottman and Daniel Goleman underscores the pivotal role of emotional intelligence in personal and interpersonal success. By nurturing emotional intelligence through mindful parenting, we’re equipping our children with essential skills that contribute to effective communication, conflict resolution, and the formation of healthy relationships.
Practicing mindful parenting involves creating a space for open communication and genuine understanding. When my oldest daughter encountered a challenging situation with a friend, I approached the conversation with active listening and empathy. This allowed her to share her feelings without fear of judgment, fostering a sense of safety and mutual respect. Through such interactions, our children learn that their emotions are valid and deserving of acknowledgment, setting the stage for them to develop a robust emotional vocabulary and regulation tools.
Mindful parenting also encourages us to model emotional regulation. Research by Mark Greenberg suggests that children learn to manage their emotions by observing how their caregivers navigate their own feelings. By acknowledging our emotions and demonstrating healthy coping mechanisms, we’re teaching our children the invaluable skill of managing their emotional responses constructively.
In my journey, I’ve found that incorporating mindful practices, such as deep breathing exercises or mindful storytelling, facilitates emotional bonding and regulation. These practices not only enhance communication but also create moments of shared presence and connection. My “Becoming The Wild Mother Journal” and The one-on-one coaching sessions offer parents a compass to navigate the terrain of mindful parenting, allowing them to align their approach with their values, and find ease in the complex journey of raising emotionally intelligent children.
As an unschooling mama who loves mindful parenting, I’ve witnessed how this approach not only enriches our family dynamic but also nurtures the emotional growth of my daughters. By cultivating open communication, empathy, and self-awareness, we’re nurturing individuals who are not only well-prepared for the challenges of life but also equipped to navigate them with emotional resilience and grace.
Incorporating unschooling principles, outdoor play, risky play, and mindful parenting into our children’s lives can have a profound impact on their mental health and overall well-being. These practices encourage self-discovery, resilience, and a deep connection with themselves and the world around them. By nurturing their confidence, empowering their choices, and fostering emotional intelligence, we are laying the groundwork for children who are not only mentally strong but also equipped to thrive in an ever-changing world.
Hey there, fellow mamas! As a single mom of two with a master’s degree in child development, I know firsthand the beautiful chaos and incredible joy that comes with being a parent, as well as the struggles of doing it alone and having to face overwhelm and the many burdens that come with adulting and parenting. Motherhood is a journey filled with love, growth, and adventure, but it’s also natural to face moments of overwhelm and stress. Stepping into emotional regulation is a game-changer that can empower us to find our ease and flow in motherhood. In this blog post, I’ll share research-backed tips that have helped me and other mamas navigate the emotional rollercoaster of parenting, allowing us to create a loving and (mostly) harmonious environment for ourselves and our children.
1. Breathe and Be Present: When the day feels overwhelming, take a moment to pause and breathe. Mindful breathing is a research-backed technique that calms the nervous system and reduces stress hormones. By being present in the moment, we can ground ourselves and gain perspective, making it easier to respond to challenges with patience and understanding.
I love starting my day with a guided breathing practice or meditation to make sure I’m not carrying the stressors of the previous day into the new day. You can find a ton of options on YouTube if you want to try a guided practice.
2. Practice Self-Compassion: As single moms, we are superheroes juggling multiple roles, and it’s normal to have moments of frustration or self-doubt. Instead of being hard on ourselves, let’s practice self-compassion. Acknowledge that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and remember that we’re doing our best. Embracing self-compassion fosters a positive self-image, which impacts how we nurture our children’s emotional well-being.
Post some of your favorite affirmations around the house (my Becoming The Wild Mother Journal includes some awesome affirmations you can hang around the house). Our society can be critical, constantly reminding us of where we can be better, so we have to act as our own advocate in reminding ourselves we are already enough just as we are.
3. Seek Support and Connection: Building a support network is crucial for single moms. Reach out to friends, family, or join online communities of fellow intentional and conscious parents. (Be careful to not join groups that tell you how you should be but rather support you on your individual journey, my community Becoming The Wild Mother is great for support and connection without judgement!) Research shows that having a strong support system reduces stress and improves emotional well-being. Connecting with others who understand our journey helps us feel understood, lessens the emotional burden, and gives us a safe space to share experiences and seek advice.
4. Embrace Mindful Parenting: Mindful parenting is about being fully present with our children, observing their emotions and needs with non-judgmental awareness. Research has found that mindful parenting strengthens the parent-child bond and fosters emotional intelligence in children. By practicing mindful parenting, we create a loving and secure environment where our children can thrive emotionally.
This also gives you some mental space as you realize you do not need to redirect and micromanage your child but rather can be a present support providing a safe space in which you trust your child will turn out well rounded as you lead by example.
5. Prioritize Self-Care: Remember that self-care is not selfish; it’s essential for our well-being as moms. Research-backed studies show that regular self-care reduces stress and enhances emotional resilience. Carve out time each day for activities that bring you joy, whether it’s reading, exercising, or indulging in a hobby. Taking care of ourselves models healthy behavior for our children and teaches them the importance of self-love.
6. Teach Emotional Regulation: As moms, we can teach our children essential emotional regulation techniques. Research supports the effectiveness of methods like identifying emotions, using positive affirmations, and engaging in expressive arts to enhance emotional resilience. By equipping our children with these tools, we help them navigate their emotions and build resilience.
One of the best ways to teach is by leading through example. Pick up habits of deep breathing and self regulation to show yYour child we can bey upset and still express our emotions in a regulated and safe way.
Regulating a dysregulated nervous system can greatly improve emotional well-being. Here are some techniques that can help:
1. Deep Breathing: Engage in slow, deep breathing exercises. Inhale deeply through your nose, expanding your diaphragm, and exhale slowly through your mouth. This can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting relaxation.
2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation: Tense and release different muscle groups in your body to release physical tension and signal relaxation to your brain.
3. Mindfulness and Meditation: Practice mindfulness to stay present and reduce rumination. Meditation, even for a few minutes a day, can calm an overactive nervous system.
4. Grounding Techniques: Focus on your senses to ground yourself in the present. Notice things around you—sights, sounds, textures—to shift your focus away from distressing thoughts.
5. Sensory Stimulation: Use sensory tools like fidget toys, stress balls, or scented items to provide calming sensations that can regulate your nervous system.
6. Exercise: Engaging in physical activity can help release built-up tension and stimulate the release of endorphins, which promote feelings of well-being.
7. Hydration and Nutrition: Proper hydration and a balanced diet can positively impact your nervous system’s functioning.
8. Limit Stimulants: Reduce or eliminate caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants, as they can exacerbate nervous system dysregulation.
9. Yoga: Gentle yoga and stretching can promote relaxation and help release physical tension.
10. Aromatherapy: Certain scents, like lavender or chamomile, can have calming effects. Consider keeping these herbson hand to smell or make tea.
11. Visualizations: Use guided imagery or visualizations of peaceful places to evoke calming responses.
As mindful mamas, we have a deep understanding of our children’s emotional needs but not always our own. By incorporating research-backed emotional regulation tips into our lives, we can find our ease and flow in motherhood, supporting our own emotional needs. Mindful breathing, self-compassion, building a support network, and practicing mindful parenting are powerful ways to enhance our emotional well-being and create a nurturing environment for our children. Prioritizing self-care and teaching emotional regulation to our kids paves the way for a harmonious and fulfilling motherhood journey. Let’s embrace emotional balance and continue to thrive as strong, resilient, and loving moms!
The past two years I have been stepping away from the crunchy mom way of life and stepping into wild mothering.
For me, the transition was a natural part of my healing process. The last three years, especially the two after leaving my marriage, have been primarily focused on healing. I let go of bad habits, hurtful people, and primarily, mindsets that were impeding me from stepping into my power and flow within life.
Wild mothering for me, is allowing myself to be untamed and unimpeded in my flow. My intuition, my joy, and my love for my life and love for myself lead the way – not fear.
It sounds like common sense – to live aligned with our intuition and out of love – but fear is so prominent in our current society it’s challenging for it to not get a hold on us.
When I had began my journey into the crunchy mom life, I was deeply influenced by fear. If I’m being honest, fear ran my life.
As soon as I was pregnant, the fearful comments poured in. Hospital birth is dangerous, home birth is dangerous, this and that problem can happen in pregnancy, etc., etc. No one ever asked what I intuitively felt was the best path for me, but rather tried to influence me towards what they thought was best using fear.
I’ve always said, I went into motherhood knowing too much. I had a BA in developmental psychology, an MA in child development and nearly ten years of experience working in the field. And while yes, that had its benefits, it also had its downfalls. I knew all of the research and was hyper aware of developmental milestones, typical development, developmental disorders, and the causes behind things not going “typical.” It was a lot of pressure and rather overwhelming feeling fully responsible for every little aspect of my child.
While outsiders projected their fears onto my motherhood experience, I also created a lot of fears around not be able to fully implement the “optimal parenting” I had learned getting my masters degree. But there is no optimal parenting – there is only healthy and aligned parenting. Once I released the idea of some optimal, perfect, way to mother, parenting became a lot easier with more flow and space to find my own ease with my children.
One of the first big life changes that led me in the direction of Wild mothering rather than crunchy mom life, was my free birth. I had made parenting decisions from my intuition previously, but they were also decisions made from fear, research, and outside influences. My free birth was a decision I made purely from wisdom. It just felt right for me.
Having a free birth that I truly loved seemed to free me in motherhood, and while I still had a lot of healing and learning to do after my free birth three years ago, it was the beginning of unraveling my fears and the control they had over my life.
“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories… water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés
To love motherhood, to be present within motherhood without resentment and without burnout, we have to release the hold our fears have on us and begin parenting from a space of trust. We have to trust ourselves to show up, to know what’s best, and to know that when we’re having trouble showing up in a way that’s aligned, we’ll learn how to become aligned.
Once we feel untamed and unimpeded, we can feel confident, secure, and even at peace within motherhood.
So many of us face the story of disconnect. Stuck in the cycle of rush, moving too quickly, to really pay attention to our present environment. A cycle that keeps many of us depleted, exhausted, and aching for something more. And there is a way to get more.
We can’t just say that we want the world to be different and keep living the same.
It’s our job to start living the way that we want to see the world change. That includes doing what we can to start creating more connection in our lives. From building communities, to slowing down in our own homes, to making home and connection the center of our lives rather than money and productivity. For me- this looks like child led homeschooling, practicing homestead skills like cooking from scratch and gardening, and slowing down to be more intentional in how I spend my time.
We can start living in ways that replenish our minds and our bodies rather than the ways that deplete us.
Reading, listening, and deep diving into my own passions, I have mulled over the idea of living a connected life time and time again. I do believe a connected life will look different for everyone but there are a few things that are core to living a more connected life: living aligned with what brings you joy, quality time with those you love, and community.
As we fall into a routine on our new 10 acres and old farmhouse – our farm – I noticed the days have become longer. As if I somehow now have more hours in the day, as if I can somehow now get more done with the same amount of time than I could before. I’m able to get my to do list done, for the most part, and still have time to rest and play. I thought maybe I would get overwhelmed running a farm on top of running a business and homeschooling, but honestly things have somehow felt easier. It is, of course, never perfect, and stressful moments still arise, but things are easier even though it’s technically more work, because I am doing things I love. The daily work nourishes me rather than depletes me as I flow through each bit of work with gratitude. It’s not about doing less but doing more of what feels you with joy, ease, and passion.
As we dove into our passions, as we heal, as we create more space for the things we love, we will start to fill a shift in our energy. I am asked nearly every day how I have the energy to do all that I do and everyone wants a quick fix or easy trick that will somehow make them super human and able to take on more than any human should, but the truth is the key is in setting boundaries, getting clear on your priorities, and realigning your life to flow with ease so that it takes less energy (if this sound likes what you need check out my Burnout to Badass Coursewhere we deep dive and transform your life to take your energy and confidence back).
Burnout IS disconnection. Once we hit burnout, it’s nearly impossible to be present, even when we are doing the things we enjoy. We just cease to have the energy. There is a process of healing and recovery that must take place between burnout and connection, but it doesn’t have to be checking out of life. It can happen within community, within support, within connecting with ourselves our passions and those we love.
Let’s be the change we want to see. Let’s step into a space of connection and lead our families to a life of connection.
1. Make a Detailed List Of The Parent You Want To Be
Include at least 10 characteristics of what an ideal parent is to you. For example, you could say you want to be calm, kind, and affectionate. There is a free handout to help at the bottom of this article! Read more about setting expectations as a parent.
2. Write 3 Things You Want To Change About Your Parenting
Get specific and write out all the details. I would even suggest writing a story down of an example of the parenting characteristics or actions you want to change. This will help you clarify the issues and pinpoint what you want to change and how you may be able to do so.
3. Make An Action Plan
Write a detailed plan for the new behaviors you are going to use to replace your old unwanted behaviors. GET SPECIFIC. For example, instead of telling when my kids aren’t listening I will calmly give them two choices. Write yourself an example to make it real: “You can get your shoes on by yourself or I can help you.”
4. Make a List of 3 Ways You Will Bond With Your Child(ren)
Choose specific activities that you will both enjoy and can do regularly. Also try to choose activities that allow you to chat and focus on each other. For example, if your child is sporty, instead of playing laser tag or something with a lot of distractions, try putt-putt golf so there’s lots of time to chat. Some ideas for bonding with younger children is art activities, going on a walk, or some of these easy activities. Whatever you choose, schedule it in at least twice monthly. Get a calendar or planner, write it down, and stick to it. The consistency of your efforts will mean the world to your child (whether their old enough to express it or not).
5. Reflect and Improve
Although reflection requires a lot of effort, it will by far make the biggest difference in your parenting. Take time at least weekly to check in on your parenting goals and see if you’re meeting them. If not, where can you make little adjustments to make the goals more obtainable. What new examples can you write down to help remember and put into action the way you want to parent? With each reflection, you’ll be able to better embody your parenting goals.
Car seats are extremely important and have saved many little ones’ lives. It’s important to use a car seat when in a car, however, because they’re intended for the sole purpose of keeping baby safe from an impact, they do absolutely nothing in terms of supporting the baby’s development and actually hinder development. Because they actually impede baby’s development by confining and limiting movement, it’s important for baby’s well being to only be left in the car seat when in the car.
Please note this article is not intended to shame parents but rather to inform and empower them to make the best decision for their family.
Switching from one container to the next reduces the amount of time and ability for a baby to kick, turn their head side-to-side, wiggle and move as a baby is supposed to do in order to develop the needed strength and coordination to learn new skills such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling and walking.
Over use of a car seat (along with other container devices such as a baby swing, rockers, strollers, etc.), can result in issues such as delayed development, flathead syndrome (plagiocephaly), maldevelopment of the neck muscles (torticollis), ADHD, and maldevelopment of reflexes.
Time in containers should be limited to no more than 30 minutes maximum per day
Although a baby carrier is still considered a “baby container,” it is a much better option that leaving baby in a car seat. A carrier allows baby to be close to you, regulating their breathing, heart rate, and it allows baby to feel safe and involved with whatever you are doing. Baby can learn by watching and listening to you, while babies are often left out of whatever is going on when left in a car seat. It also prevents head deformation as baby has different positions for head support, if any, when in the carrier.
Wearing babies allows you to carry them in a position that’s beneficial to their physical health and development. It helps prevent flat head syndrome and can promote digestion (helping with colic and refluxes). Babywearing also increases the amount of time spent doing skin-to-skin with your baby, which research has connected to decreased rates of postpartum depression.
In terms of supporting development, a Playmat is your best option. It allows baby to move freely and develop his or her own movements. Although a great option, I know it is not always a realistic option when in public spaces. However, if you’re in a safe environment with baby, always have a Playmat on hand to let them develop their skills!
Organic Explore Playmat
Organic Cotton Round Playmat
Portable Play Yards
A great safe option to let babies play and grow is a portable Play Yard. It keeps baby from any accidents while still keeping them safe. While it’s best to use a play mat in a safe environment so baby can feel more involved with the surrounding world, play yards are a good option for when that may not be safe or realistic.
Of course there’s always the great option of just holding your baby!
Having Someone Else Watch or Hold Baby
If you’re engaged in something important or unsafe enlist others to hold or watch your little one. Almost everyone will say yes to holding your baby!
Convertible Car Seat
A great solution to limiting time in a car seat out of the car is eliminating the option! Get a convertible car seat that will grow with baby that stays in the car. This way if the temptation arises, it’s not an option because you definitely won’t lug around a huge convertible car seat. You’ll happily strap on the baby carrier or grab the play mat and head on your way.
The Maxi Cosi is my favorite because it has great safety ratings, it’s easy to use, and they don’t use toxic flame retardants on their seats.
How do you avoid or limit container parenting? Any tips?
Children explore their roles in the world and their impact on the world around them through creative play. It’s important for children to process and understand their world as well as express their emotions through creativity for emotional well-being.
Follow these easy tips to support your child’s development through creative play and building the skill of creativity!
Set Up The Environment
The environment is key in encouraging creative play. It is important to create a “no” free zone that children know they can engage in without criticism or many limits.
If it’s not possible to always have this space set up, you can get a large baby gate to section off an area that you can add toys or art supplies the child can engage with freely. Providing a playroom, if possible, is a great option as well.
Simple Toys and Supplies
Research actually found children engaged more and formed more cognitive connections when using simple, wooden toys rather than electronic “learning” toys.
Keep simple toys that can be used for multiple purposes and imaginative play available at all times.
Schedule Free Time (or Don’t Schedule)
Always make sure there is time in the schedule for your child to engage in play without direction or a goal.
Give Children Space
Simple, give children space to play on their own without direction. However, ignoring children or forcing them to have alone time will only create children to be more “needy.”
A child’s emotional and attachment needs must be met before they are interested in solo and imaginative play.
Show your child how to use their imagination! Read some fantasy books together or grab a stick and pretend it’s a wand.
Teach your children it’s ok and even encouraged to engage in creative play and use things in creative ways.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have.”