We working moms are often found screaming in our offices, homes, cars and laundry rooms, “there is just not enough of me to go around or there just not enough hours in the day.” There is definitely never enough time, we don’t work hard enough, we don’t play with our children enough, we don’t see our friends enough—we simply are never enough. This sense of never having or more specifically being enough is what Brene Brown (author of Daring Greatly) refers to as scarcity. According to Brene Brown scarcity includes three components: shame, comparison and disengagement. Shame is the belief that “I am not worthy or good enough, comparison occurs when we create an arbitrary standard of what and who we need to be and disengagement is the inability or unwillingness to connect because of fear.
One way we can combat scarcity is to create and incorporate rituals into our lives. Rituals are aimed at reconnecting and bonding—-not only with ourselves but with our children. Rituals are symbolic representations of our values and beliefs. They help us engage, combat shame, they help us build a sense of security and safety, they signal change and help us celebrate. According to Becky Bailey (author of “I Love
You Rituals) rituals can optimize your child’s brain for success, hold families together even through tough times and strengthen the bond between children and parent.
If done routinely rituals can ensure we put ourselves and our children on our list—-not in a task oriented manner—-but in a “your important to me and I am worthy kind of way.” I know creating and incorporating rituals into your life must seem like yet another thing “to do”, but the energy that comes from putting yourself and your children on your list is very different from a task oriented list of things to do. If you are willing to dare greatly and give it a shot here are some tips:
- make a list of times: consider different times of the day, week, month, year when you could use a ritual such as mornings, evenings, meal times, travel times (driving to school or work), transition times (coming home from school or work or getting ready for bed), Friday night, birthdays or mother’s day.
- start slow: it would probably feel really overwhelming to plan several daily, weekly and monthly rituals all at once. It is not a competition. Simply select 10 minutes of one day and start there. You can build on this later as you and your family incorporate this new ritual (and its benefits) into your lives.
- short and sweet: don’t think of these times as long and drawn out rituals that become dreaded events. They can be a quick made up family song before everyone leaves for the day, sharing gratitudes around the dinner table or over cereal bars on the drive to school, a special hand shake as you drop your child off for the day or meet them at the school bus.
- limit distractions: ritual times should be free of distractions including cell phones, radio and television. Limiting distractions keeps the time sacred and lets those participating in the rituals know that they are important
- contact: attempt to incorporate physical contact (such as hugs, snuggles, secret hand shakes, actions to a song) and especially eye contact into some of your rituals. Physical touch has been proven to have a healing quality that is important for all members of your family.
So go ahead Dare Greatly and engage with your awesomeness and your awesome children. You have nothing to lose but losing out. KIDU has made the gratitude bucket with rituals in mind. Check it out!