Life is funny. Have you ever thought, "If I had only known what I know now when I was 20?"
The same is true for our kids, a 4 year old can't think like a 12 year old, and a 12 year old can't think like a 20 year old. Hormones, brain chemistry and experience (or lack of) all prevent this. So this is the beauty of having 3 generations actively involved in family life. We can have fun together and in
doing so we learn, develop compassion, share ideas & insights both new and old, and begin to realize what the process of growth is all about: love.
As parents with a growing family, struggling through a difficult economy and the challenges of daily living, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that we are still in a process of growth. We can get caught up in our position as adults, parents & caregivers with all sorts of responsibilities, and forget that life is about our own growth as human beings, as well as our children's. Sometimes we can even expect too much of ourselves, or not give ourselves time to be nurtured.
A mom who has a mom or sisters she's emotionally close to, and can talk to often, is in a good place to be nurtured. A dad, who has a close relationship with his own dad, brothers or friends, will find strength and empowerment to invest in his own family. Once again we see the value of 3 generations, strong family bonds and community.
However in today's world many families don't have these supportive connections. If you do have a supportive & nurturing family system, reach out to someone who doesn't and share your love. If you don't have the support you need, find it, it's out there. Make friends with other parents and your neighbors, everyone needs a supportive environment.
There's also a lot we can do to nurture ourselves, be your own parent and friend. Read scripture, pray, join a religious community, take yoga classes, meditation, go for regular nature walks, do affirmations, see a therapist, the list goes on. These things are about connecting to the source of Universal Love & support which is the root of life. What you call it and how you do it will depend on your own personality, needs, culture, family and resources. The important thing is to keep growing in heart & mind by finding the nurturing and support you need.