I walked in and explained that I’d held on to this gift certificate since Christmas. That I was in the midst of a family trauma and that I was here to relax and let some of that go.
What I didn’t expect was to burst into tears 45 minutes through, as my massage therapist pulled the energy from my muscles and flicked it away. As she summoned my breath and thanked me for feeling safe enough to let it go in that room, with her, a stranger.
But there we were. 2 strangers united at 9 AM. She, not knowing the trauma and still, meeting me there. Helping me to release.
We hugged, afterwards. After all, after weeping, what else is one to do?
And then we carried on. Her next client. My day with my daughters.
Lately, one of our daughters has been suffering from extreme anxiety. We’ve been in counseling and seeing her pediatrician on a regular basis. I’ve also supplemented my daily reading with a plethora of parenting books and podcasts and today, I wanted to share some resources that have been particularly helpful.
1). It all began with this book my friend, Leslie, recommended. Sissy Goff is a Christian counselor MEd, LPC-MHSP based out of Nashville, TN. She works exclusively with young girls who are suffering from worry, anxiety and/or depression alongside a counselor for boys, David Thomas, LMSW and Melissa Trevathan, MRE who started their practice Daystar Counseling in the 1980s. This is a workbook designed for a parent to work through with their child and it has been an absolutely wonderful resource for our family.
2). This is the companion book to the workbook above, also by Sissy Goff, intended for parents to read as they support their daughter through worry and anxiety. I have underlined half of the book.
3). This is the INCREDIBLE PODCAST that I have been listening to with counselors Sissy, David and Melissa. Each episode is only 20-30 minutes and is PACKED with useful strategies, many of which I have implemented that very same day! Season 4 Episode 7 is specially about worry and anxiety and depression and since it was recorded so recently, it really discusses the effect the pandemic has had on our children. I cannot recommend this entire podcast enough, but particularly this episode! If you do nothing else on this list, listen to this.
4). Season 4 of the Raising Boys and Girls podcast is centered around Sissy’s newest book, Modern Parents, Vintage Values which I have in my reading pile but haven’t started. Everything they discuss in the podcast is right in line with our family’s values so I cannot wait to begin this book!
5). Finally, this is another book co-written by the same three counselors and another in my “to read” pile, by my side as I type.
Philosopher Plato once said, “Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
Happy photos on social media tell only one side of a story- a book with many chapters. My hope is that in sharing a battle our own family is fighting, you will know you are not alone in yours. I hope these resources are as useful to some of you as they have been to us. ❤
These past two months, I have felt like I am trudging through thick, relentless mud.
I haven’t had a lot to write about lately, simply because I haven’t had a nanosecond of extra time, nor an ounce of inspiration.
It’s been really hard and really ugly.
But I am here, writing to celebrate a little crack, a sliver of light that crept through today.
This past March, my youngest, Elizabeth, and I returned to mommy-and-me classes at The Little Gym. They allowed me to stay alongside with her, even though she was beyond the age three limit. They understood the impact the pandemic has had on children everywhere and that separating was more difficult than ever. This Fall, however, it was time for Elizabeth to join the independent three year-old’s class.
Lord knows, I knew this would be an uphill battle. With so many health issues, Elizabeth is more dependent on me than most mother-daughter relationships.
To her, I represent survival.
For her, I want her to experience the joy of independence.
We began in September with us sitting outside of class, watching the others play. Gradually, we made our way into the gym, with her sitting on my lap against the wall. Later, she would do a forward roll a foot away from me and then with bribery, she would run to an obstacle, complete it and run back to me. I attempted to leave the room a few times that first month to no avail; instead, biding my time, sitting inside the room, encouraging her to spend more time off my lap.
Today, for the first time in seven weeks, she completed class with me sitting outside, cheering her on through the picture window. Fifteen minutes in, I announced to the lobby of parents, “Can we just all take a minute here to celebrate this milestone?!” And they clapped and cheered right alongside me.
I have four children and every single one of them has needs, specific to them.
There were so many days that I wanted to throw in the towel but I am a mother.
And mothers walk alongside their children.
Nudging, encouraging, lifting.
Until their children discover the confidence to fly on their own.