Personal Development In Parenting–Part Two: Biography and Balance

Parenting can be challenging.  Some parents actually have children that I feel are pretty easy to parent, and some parents  have children that are truly challenging.  However, how we view and respond in parenting, like anything else in life, begins with us.  How calm are we?  What is our temperament?  What are our challenges?  What are our triggers? 

But, most of all, how can we grow and strive and improve? 

I think there are two fundamental places to start in personal development in parenting: one is biography and one is assessing  balance in your life. 

Biography is the process of looking at oneself, one’s story.  What patterns are in our life when we look back through it?  What responsibility have I taken for my own life, my own actions?  How do I accept myself, meet myself?  What people have I really connected with during this lifetime?

Can I think about my life?  What do I remember?  Can I put them within seven year cycles as talked about in “Tapestries” by Betty Staley?  We went through “Tapestries” chapter by chapter on this blog; fascinating!

What  do I feel about these events?  What empathy do I have for myself, for others connected to my story?  To other’s stories?

What can I do with this for the future?  What goals do I have? 

Biography is the first piece in knowing oneself and in being able to do that in order to connect with others.  It is the first step too, toward looking at your parenting patterns.

The other critical piece, I feel, is balance.  I see so many mothers that seem either to only live for their children with no thought for themselves or their spouses or go the other way and the children are deemed almost an afterthought or an inconvenience.  Where is the balance?

Where is the balance between the outer and inner selves?  The outer self, the physical body, is often seen by many as diminishing in the 40s…but this doesn’t mean that the physical body should be ignored.  Too often I see mothers who seem to not take great care of themselves.  You are important to your family, and your body is an important part of who you are!  Vibrant health, physical activity, clothes that make you feel good and influence how you feel – what is the place of all of these things for you?

The inner self is the other part that is equally important in this balance.  This is the piece people seem to  think about in regards to personal development more often than biography or balance.  How does one develop the inner self?  We tend to think of developing certain characteristics such as patience or calmness; we may look to spirituality and religion to help us meet those goals.   I feel if spirituality is our attitude and concern toward  the Divine, then perhaps religion is the way we express that.    

One thing that has helped me immensely in developing my inner self  is the use of rhythm in the day, the week, the year.  Liturgical rhythm through my religion.  Meditation on what I hear from God  and prayer to God.   These pieces, along with nurturing the physical body and the use of art, help keep me in balance. 

Our personal development impacts our health, and our health in turn provides the foundation for our family. 

Biography and balance.  Just a thought for today with a bit more about inner work to come in the next post.

Many blessings,

Carrie

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8 thoughts on “Personal Development In Parenting–Part Two: Biography and Balance

  1. That was a beautiful post. I have one out of three daughters who challenges me fully. The gift is that I delve deeper into inner work and ask for grace of the divine more often. My life is fuller. As a woman in her 40’s with only a sacrificial mother role model, taking care of my outer self to remain healthy and strong without feeling selfish is a huge challenge for me. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. You always write just what I feel I am suppose to hear. :) Thank you. You are such a blessing to me. I wish I was your neighbor so that I could bake you some bread, bring you a fresh pot of tea, and a great big hug. Thank you for being in this very space at this very moment. xoxo

  3. Carrie, I love your thoughts about adding rhythm in your life. In our company we drum every Monday together. Our music is based in drum beat. We hold very dear the power of rhythm in our lives and that of our children. Nice to see others embracing the same.

  4. Great timing, Carrie – well for me anyway. I have just started sitting outside first thing in the morning in a space of thankful-ness and then ‘making’ myself sit still for a time during the day. I started with a very difficult three minutes, the aim is to build up to 10 minutes. It is becoming easier.

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