Back to school is often a frenzied time for families with children in school. Back to school looks a little different this year. For a lot of us, the normal excitement has been replaced with tough decision making and anxiety. How we wish we could provide a blanket solution for all parents juggling their child’s or children’s education, safety, enjoyment of life. So far, no such blanket exists or we’d mail them around the world as quickly as possible. Here are a few practices and some mantras that we hope bring you peace.
Try this Tonglen practice and focus on extending compassion for yourself around the tough parenting calls you have had to make. Then as you go through the practice you can extend that compassion to all parents who have had to make difficult choices. You also could go through this Tonglen practice and offer yourself compassion for the anxiety you are experiencing. Then extend that to all parents who are experiencing anxiety. We hope this is a reminder that you are not alone.
Repeat any of the following mantras as many times as you’d like. Or you even can make up your own. If you have some favorites that you’re repeating nowadays, please share them in the comments.
I am not alone.
Even if you’re physically alone, there are parents across the world who are experiencing parallel difficulties and anxieties.
Self-care is necessary.
It’s easy to shrug off your own needs when you are regularly met with the needs of others. It is ok to take some time for YOU. In fact, you will probably find that you’re a better you when you take that time.
I am doing my best, and that will never be perfect.
Spend time cultivating compassion for yourself.
Today I am thankful for (fill in the blank).
This mantra may help you come to the present moment and build your gratitude muscle. It’s not a free pass to ignore suffering, but it is a doorway to acknowledge at least one thing that is sparking joy. Some days you even could try to have more than one thing on the list.
What’s helping you find joy and balance during this transition? What’s been tough? Please add in the comments if you feel like sharing!
We are hoping to develop more resources for parents and caregivers. If you’re a parent or a caregiver and want to help us develop those resources, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to chat about it.
Sending virtual and safe-distance hugs to all you parents and caregivers out there.
You have a tough job, but it’s an important one.