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If You Don’t Feed Your Hungry Heart, How Can You Feed Your Kids?

“Everybody’s got a hungry heart.” – Bruce Springsteen

“We don’t talk enough about how not having a tribe affects us as parents…. I have the fervent hope that we start talking about the exhaustion, need for community and help that we parents need.” – Jennifer

Parents
carry the heavy burden for society of raising the next generation of human beings. The problem is, in our modern culture they carry it with very little
social support. Even before the pandemic, parents have had to figure out how not to go crazy raising children without the village we actually need.

I know you feel a fountain of love for your child, but you can’t keep all that love flowing if you don’t get some love yourself.

And it isn’t appropriate for children to take care of parents emotionally. We all need connection and affection from other adults, and without that supply
of love, we end up with hungry hearts.

That’s not good for you. It’s not what you want to model for your child. And you having a hungry heart just makes you resentful or needy toward your child.
(Guess if that makes him behave better.)

While it’s true that meeting the needs of our children can take all of our time, there are ways to create the sustenance of adult connection in our daily
lives. Yes, even during a pandemic. Here’s how.

1. Get your kids out of the house every day.

I know it’s a pandemic, but the job description of young children is to explore and take things apart to see how they work. If you stay home with them,
they’ll tear your house apart. Be sure to get out daily. Bring bubbles, balls, chalk, shovels — whatever you can use at a nearby park to keep kids
moving and breathing in the fresh air. The connection part? Call a friend! Or listen to something inspiring while supervising your kids.

<!–

, even if you can’t get them out of pajamas. You won’t have deep discussions with other adults with your kids in tow, but at least you can make small adult connections at the park or library or hardware store.

–>

2. Take a daily “distanced” walk with a friend or your partner,

carrying little ones in a sling, pushing strollers, or letting kids kick a ball along the way. Agree in advance to make this quality time by setting aside
ten minutes for each of you to really listen to each other without taking anything that’s said personally, or trying to solve anything. Just keep breathing
deeply to “be” with your loved one, whatever he or she is saying, and say “I hear you.”

3. Start a pod.

Do you have friends nearby who you love, and all the kids mostly get along? Have some preliminary meetings on zoom to confirm that your families are in
sync about what level of risk is acceptable, how to handle discipline issues, etc. Then, trade child-minding time with each other so each of you gets
time off each week. Don’t fritter away all the time you gain on work; use it to connect with your partner or do something that nourishes your soul.
Or — here’s a radical idea — take a nap! Finally, share some meals. Cooking and clean up are much more fun with more other adults, and you’ll get
some lovely connection time with other adults while the children play.

4. Let more love in.

Life is too short for you to be stressing over a bad relationship. If the pandemic has put a strain on your relationship with your partner, or exposed
some fault lines, make working things out a priority. While it’s true that some relationships have no future, it’s also true that we take our baggage
with us to the next partner. Schedule an appointment for couples counseling on Zoom, or get your hands on my audio series Happily Ever After: Conscious Co-Parenting.

5. Find a “listening partner.”

This idea, originally pioneered by the folks at HandinHand Parenting.org, is that you make a standing date to connect, usually by phone, with another parent.
This gives you a safe place and a nonjudgmental, non-problem-solving partner so you can take turns exploring your issues with your child and releasing
your own emotions. It’s fine to “vent” but make sure to pause and welcome the tears and fears that are lurking behind the anger. Once you feel those
more vulnerable emotions, they evaporate — and so does the anger.

6. Join an online forum

like the one that’s part of my Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Online Course. Getting support
from other parents who aspire to conscious parenting can make all the difference in the world in how connected and supported you feel.

7. Prioritize love.

Every day, make sure that you have a juicy connection with another adult. Call a friend or sibling while you’re doing housework. Set up a quarantini with
an old friend. Write a letter of gratitude to someone who mentored you. Be sure your romantic partner knows how much love and appreciation you feel
for them.

Anything that nurtures you and keeps your heart open gives you more love to share. As four wise men once said, “The love you take is equal to the love you make…All you (really) need is love.”

***

This is post #6 in our series on self care: The Secret of the Full Cup.

The previous posts were:

#1 – The Secret of the Full Cup: Self Care

#2 – Let’s Get Physical: 20 Exercise Ideas for Parents and Kids

#3- 10 Stress Busting Strategies for Parents

#4 – As Simple As Breathing

#5 – 5 Ways To Do Self-Care When You’re With Your Kids

<!–

Hire a young mother’s helper

to play with your child every Friday evening so you and your partner can have a picnic dinner in the bedroom. Lock the door.

If you work outside the home,

make it a point to connect with your colleagues a bit. It will make your work life more rewarding and can be a happy antidote to feeling like all you do is meet customer needs by day and children’s needs at night.

Join or start a regular playgroup with like-minded parents

so you can connect while little ones play. You don’t have to agree about everything to find this helpful.

–>

“Everybody’s got a hungry heart.” – Bruce Springsteen

“We don’t talk enough about how not having a tribe affects us as parents…. I have the fervent hope that we start talking about the exhaustion, need for community and help that we parents need.” – Jennifer

Parents
carry the heavy burden for society of raising the next generation of human beings. The problem is, in our modern culture they carry it with very little
social support. Even before the pandemic, parents have had to figure out how not to go crazy raising children without the village we actually need.

I know you feel a fountain of love for your child, but you can’t keep all that love flowing if you don’t get some love yourself.

And it isn’t appropriate for children to take care of parents emotionally. We all need connection and affection from other adults, and without that supply
of love, we end up with hungry hearts.

That’s not good for you. It’s not what you want to model for your child. And you having a hungry heart just makes you resentful or needy toward your child.
(Guess if that makes him behave better.)

While it’s true that meeting the needs of our children can take all of our time, there are ways to create the sustenance of adult connection in our daily
lives. Yes, even during a pandemic. Here’s how.

1. Get your kids out of the house every day.

I know it’s a pandemic, but the job description of young children is to explore and take things apart to see how they work. If you stay home with them,
they’ll tear your house apart. Be sure to get out daily. Bring bubbles, balls, chalk, shovels — whatever you can use at a nearby park to keep kids
moving and breathing in the fresh air. The connection part? Call a friend! Or listen to something inspiring while supervising your kids.

<!–

, even if you can’t get them out of pajamas. You won’t have deep discussions with other adults with your kids in tow, but at least you can make small adult connections at the park or library or hardware store.

–>

2. Take a daily “distanced” walk with a friend or your partner,

carrying little ones in a sling, pushing strollers, or letting kids kick a ball along the way. Agree in advance to make this quality time by setting aside
ten minutes for each of you to really listen to each other without taking anything that’s said personally, or trying to solve anything. Just keep breathing
deeply to “be” with your loved one, whatever he or she is saying, and say “I hear you.”

3. Start a pod.

Do you have friends nearby who you love, and all the kids mostly get along? Have some preliminary meetings on zoom to confirm that your families are in
sync about what level of risk is acceptable, how to handle discipline issues, etc. Then, trade child-minding time with each other so each of you gets
time off each week. Don’t fritter away all the time you gain on work; use it to connect with your partner or do something that nourishes your soul.
Or — here’s a radical idea — take a nap! Finally, share some meals. Cooking and clean up are much more fun with more other adults, and you’ll get
some lovely connection time with other adults while the children play.

4. Let more love in.

Life is too short for you to be stressing over a bad relationship. If the pandemic has put a strain on your relationship with your partner, or exposed
some fault lines, make working things out a priority. While it’s true that some relationships have no future, it’s also true that we take our baggage
with us to the next partner. Schedule an appointment for couples counseling on Zoom, or get your hands on my audio series Happily Ever After: Conscious Co-Parenting.

5. Find a “listening partner.”

This idea, originally pioneered by the folks at HandinHand Parenting.org, is that you make a standing date to connect, usually by phone, with another parent.
This gives you a safe place and a nonjudgmental, non-problem-solving partner so you can take turns exploring your issues with your child and releasing
your own emotions. It’s fine to “vent” but make sure to pause and welcome the tears and fears that are lurking behind the anger. Once you feel those
more vulnerable emotions, they evaporate — and so does the anger.

6. Join an online forum

like the one that’s part of my Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Online Course. Getting support
from other parents who aspire to conscious parenting can make all the difference in the world in how connected and supported you feel.

7. Prioritize love.

Every day, make sure that you have a juicy connection with another adult. Call a friend or sibling while you’re doing housework. Set up a quarantini with
an old friend. Write a letter of gratitude to someone who mentored you. Be sure your romantic partner knows how much love and appreciation you feel
for them.

Anything that nurtures you and keeps your heart open gives you more love to share. As four wise men once said, “The love you take is equal to the love you make…All you (really) need is love.”

***

This is post #6 in our series on self care: The Secret of the Full Cup.

The previous posts were:

#1 – The Secret of the Full Cup: Self Care

#2 – Let’s Get Physical: 20 Exercise Ideas for Parents and Kids

#3- 10 Stress Busting Strategies for Parents

#4 – As Simple As Breathing

#5 – 5 Ways To Do Self-Care When You’re With Your Kids

<!–

Hire a young mother’s helper

to play with your child every Friday evening so you and your partner can have a picnic dinner in the bedroom. Lock the door.

If you work outside the home,

make it a point to connect with your colleagues a bit. It will make your work life more rewarding and can be a happy antidote to feeling like all you do is meet customer needs by day and children’s needs at night.

Join or start a regular playgroup with like-minded parents

so you can connect while little ones play. You don’t have to agree about everything to find this helpful.

–>”Everybody’s got a hungry heart.” – Bruce Springsteen “We don’t talk enough about how not having a tribe affects us as parents…. I have the fervent hope that we start talking about the exhaustion, need for community and help that we parents need.” – Jennifer Parents carry the heavy burden for society of raising the next generation of human beings. The problem is, in our modern culture they carry it with very little social support. Even before the pandemic, parents have had to figure out how not to go crazy raising children without the village we actually need.
I know you feel a fountain of love for your child, but you can’t keep all that love flowing if you don’t get some love yourself. And it isn’t appropriate for children to take care of parents emotionally. We all need connection and affection from other adults, and without that supply of love, we end up with hungry hearts.
That’s not good for you. It’s not what you want to model for your child. And you having a hungry heart just makes you resentful or needy toward your child. (Guess if that makes him behave better.)
While it’s true that meeting the needs of our children can take all of our time, there are ways to create the sustenance of adult connection in our daily lives. Yes, even during a pandemic. Here’s how.
1. Get your kids out of the house every day.
I know it’s a pandemic, but the job description of young children is to explore and take things apart to see how they work. If you stay home with them, they’ll tear your house apart. Be sure to get out daily. Bring bubbles, balls, chalk, shovels — whatever you can use at a nearby park to keep kids moving and breathing in the fresh air. The connection part? Call a friend! Or listen to something inspiring while supervising your kids.
, even if you can’t get them out of pajamas. You won’t have deep discussions with other adults with your kids in tow, but at least you can make small adult connections at the park or library or hardware store.–>
2. Take a daily “distanced” walk with a friend or your partner,
carrying little ones in a sling, pushing strollers, or letting kids kick a ball along the way. Agree in advance to make this quality time by setting aside ten minutes for each of you to really listen to each other without taking anything that’s said personally, or trying to solve anything. Just keep breathing deeply to “be” with your loved one, whatever he or she is saying, and say “I hear you.” 3. Start a pod.
Do you have friends nearby who you love, and all the kids mostly get along? Have some preliminary meetings on zoom to confirm that your families are in sync about what level of risk is acceptable, how to handle discipline issues, etc. Then, trade child-minding time with each other so each of you gets time off each week. Don’t fritter away all the time you gain on work; use it to connect with your partner or do something that nourishes your soul. Or — here’s a radical idea — take a nap! Finally, share some meals. Cooking and clean up are much more fun with more other adults, and you’ll get some lovely connection time with other adults while the children play.
4. Let more love in. Life is too short for you to be stressing over a bad relationship. If the pandemic has put a strain on your relationship with your partner, or exposed some fault lines, make working things out a priority. While it’s true that some relationships have no future, it’s also true that we take our baggage with us to the next partner. Schedule an appointment for couples counseling on Zoom, or get your hands on my audio series Happily Ever After: Conscious Co-Parenting. 5. Find a “listening partner.” This idea, originally pioneered by the folks at HandinHand Parenting.org, is that you make a standing date to connect, usually by phone, with another parent. This gives you a safe place and a nonjudgmental, non-problem-solving partner so you can take turns exploring your issues with your child and releasing your own emotions. It’s fine to “vent” but make sure to pause and welcome the tears and fears that are lurking behind the anger. Once you feel those more vulnerable emotions, they evaporate — and so does the anger.
6. Join an online forum
like the one that’s part of my Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Online Course. Getting support from other parents who aspire to conscious parenting can make all the difference in the world in how connected and supported you feel. 7. Prioritize love. Every day, make sure that you have a juicy connection with another adult. Call a friend or sibling while you’re doing housework. Set up a quarantini with an old friend. Write a letter of gratitude to someone who mentored you. Be sure your romantic partner knows how much love and appreciation you feel for them.
Anything that nurtures you and keeps your heart open gives you more love to share. As four wise men once said, “The love you take is equal to the love you make…All you (really) need is love.” *** This is post #6 in our series on self care: The Secret of the Full Cup. The previous posts were:
#1 – The Secret of the Full Cup: Self Care #2 – Let’s Get Physical: 20 Exercise Ideas for Parents and Kids #3- 10 Stress Busting Strategies for Parents #4 – As Simple As Breathing #5 – 5 Ways To Do Self-Care When You’re With Your Kids Hire a young mother’s helperto play with your child every Friday evening so you and your partner can have a picnic dinner in the bedroom. Lock the door. If you work outside the home, make it a point to connect with your colleagues a bit. It will make your work life more rewarding and can be a happy antidote to feeling like all you do is meet customer needs by day and children’s needs at night. Join or start a regular playgroup with like-minded parents so you can connect while little ones play. You don’t have to agree about everything to find this helpful. –>

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