How My 4 Year Journey of Self Discovery Saved My Family
Do you ever look back and think how a cascade of small decisions completely changed who you are today?
I mean every choice we make each day contributes to who we are in the future. But so often we live on auto pilot. Going through the motions. Surviving.
When I think back to when my journey of transformation began, it wasn't about my family at all. It was the "I need to lose this weight to fit into my clothes again."
I can see it clearly although it seems like a different lifetime. I spent a lot of time crying. From overwhelm. From feeling like a bad mom. From feeling bad about myself. And if I am being honest, I also spent a lot of time yelling. At my babies. At my husband. At my dog.
I was not happy. Which made me feel incredibly guilty. Because I have a very blessed life.But this unhappiness was spilling out all over my family. Usually in the form of anger.
I don't even know if you'd have asked me at the time if I'd a said I was unhappy. I don't even know if I was aware of it. It was just a place of being. It was my normal. I plastered the smile on my face saying "I'm fine" to anyone that asked so much that I actually believed it.
But back to those jeans. There was nothing innately special about them. Except that I fit in to them pre-baby. And that mattering was all I could focus on in the midst of being lost.
So I struggled. To stick with it. To really make change. Looking back it was likely that my why was too small. Too centered on the outside without considering what I needed on the inside.
The thing is when I focused on fitting into those jeans, I started to eat healthy. Exercise. Take care of myself just a little. And I started to yell less and laugh more.
The veil began to lift on what life could look like when the fog fades. I wanted more. I wasn't going to let go of the thin tether to a different way of being. My why was growing as my possibility expanded.
I began to make decisions that would make my heart happy. I enrolled to become a health coach. I told myself it was to help others have this new happiness I was finding but in reality it was exactly what I needed.
As I discovered coaching (or it found me as the universe may have it) my stories about worth and the need for perfection began to unravel, the fog continued to lift. The tether grew stronger.
It felt as if a thousand weights were lifting off. It wasn't about those jeans at all (I did finally fit into them) but became about saving myself. And in saving myself I saved my family.
I opened up to a why bigger than myself. Bigger than fitting into my jeans. Or rocking that bathing suit. The why that was staring me in the face all along. My family.
I wanted more for myself but man did I want to be more for them.
Then I found the Jai Institute for Parenting. I registered in the Parenting Coach Program and everything changed. I truly began to rebuild myself by taking cues from my kids. Kids can unlock memories from our childhood that live in our subconscious. Memories that come out in how you interact with your child. I feel more connected to my kids and my husband. We laugh more. I am holding boundaries that foster cooperation. I am experiencing a deep connection with my kids I didn't know existed.
My 6 year old son is peeling off the layers and getting comfortable with his feelings. With showing and receiving love. And as this grows so does his natural cooperation. My 5 year old feels safe to ask for what he needs. I'm learning I don't have to "fix" anything or move mountains. I simply need to be there. To hold space for them to be their own authentic little beings.
And I am happy. On the inside. In a way that I didn't even know existed.
I am ready to bring this work to every other mom who is struggling like I was. Parenting is hard. There is no manual. You feel alone. That feeling breeds unhappiness. And guilt. And shame. You feel like you're failing.
Those feelings spill onto everyone in your path. Kids are resilient. They'll survive what you throw at them. But they won't thrive.
I've experienced what is possible. Even if I never have a client, the transformation in my family is more than worth the investment.
Parenting in peace begins with the parent. It is letting go of the old beliefs that keep you stuck. It's developing the emotional intelligence to be in control of your emotions. As you model emotional intelligence to your child you're teaching him. When he learns to regulate his emotions, he can learn to regulate his behavior. When you parent in peace, you build connection with your child. That connection fosters cooperation and partnership. In that connection your child feels safe to be their true authentic self. Without fear of judgment. Or the need to judge others. And how beautiful a world would that be.
This is the 4 year journey of personal discovery that saved my family. I like to think we'd have made it if I was still the same person I was before, but truthfully I don't know. I do know that I'd have been still yelling at my kids and because of this would be dealing with a lot more defiance than I do now. And less laughter and joy. The kind that you feel in your heart deep inside.
Life's not all sunshine but we sure have a lot less stormy days!
I'm sharing this journey with you to simply show you what is possible with one small step today. To exercise. To eat better. To sleep. To focus on connecting with your child rather than controlling his behavior. Empower him to make choices rather than attempting to force him into yours.
Inaction can come from the idea of something too big that we stay paralyzed. So we take no action. But what if everything we don't even know we want is on the other side of one small change.
My goal 4 years ago had nothing to do with my family but this journey has become exactly what my family needed.
If you’d love some support on your parenting journey, check out what’s available here!
Irene is a certified parenting coach who is passionate about creating peace in parenting and opening parents hearts to what is possible in their family. She works with clients 1-1 and offers support through her digital course, The Peaceful Parent Playbook. She is host of the private Facebook Community, The Moms Hive. She is inspired to help moms let go of the doing that leads to the overwhelm and more “bee-ing” in peace, joy and a love for parenting.