Making your emotions your top priority.
My daughter, Grace, goes to a Waldorf kindergarten. I wish I could go to this school! The teachers respond to the children with such compassion and gentleness. I try to infuse my own home with the feeling I get when I walk through the school halls: spaciousness, whimsy, magic..., but alas, I often fail.
I am still learning how to manage my own emotions as a parent so I am not always able to hold my kids the way Grace's teacher holds her. I used to berate myself for this, but I've come to understand that a teacher's job is well defined; it's clear that they are providing an important service, and they (hopefully) bring their bests selves to provide that service. This is possible to achieve for an 8 hour work day.
In contrast, parenting is an around the clock job done at home, where we are often more accustomed to giving our emotions more latitude. It is also a job we receive no training for, and the books neglect to teach us what is really important. That only comes with experience!
So, I'm here to tell you that your emotions are vitally important. In other words, if you do everything "right" but are emotionally distraught while doing it, the value is diminished. So, dear mama, instead of striving to be perfect, I suggest you focus on developing your confidence, joy and general sense of wellbeing. When we mirror these things for our kids, we are like the sun that shines every day and our children will soak our warmth up and become stronger themselves.
Rather than DO IT ALL and get overwhelmed in the process, set up a simple rhythmic lifestyle for your family, and maybe even dig deep into your soul so you can sing while you are doing it :) If you need to work full time, then work. If you need to go out with friends that feed you, then do it. If you need to ignore the kitchen sink that is full of dishes so you can take a walk on a beautiful early Spring day, do it.
And stay in the moment where your thinking, feeling and doing are all the same.
How are you finding ways to manage your emotions and stay calm?