Ana and Kerri's pieces are love letters to ourselves- ideas, resources and tools that help us ride the waves of parenting. And we hope they bring you the big hug we give ourselves in writing them, and validate your feelings so you feel connected.
A Call to Parents
How many times do we doubt our parenting and desire validation (or understanding with) for our choices or decisions? How often are we just so curious to know if there are other parents feeling the same?
The road we’ve traveled could have only been navigated with/within a village of love and support. Support makes embracing the beautiful, messy and often painful emotions of parenthood possible and provides us with the courage to be vulnerable. Give the full lives that we lead as parents, how can we connect and how do we make the time? How do we go about creating our village and how can we be a village for others who may feel alone in their parenting journey? As we began asking ourselves these questions and talking with others, we began to write for ourselves. In February of 2017, we started writing a weekly piece for our high school principal’s newsletter which reaches 1500 families. The intent was to create a platform for sharing the information and research we sought as parents, knowing we didn’t have answers, just access to timely and really good stuff. Our pieces also provided a way for us to help others find strength, resources and tools to address issues that parents face today. It became a quiet and very powerful tool for parents, and it initiated and furthered important conversations about our kids, their needs and struggles, expectations, and the ways our/their world and our roles and responsibilities are changing.
The writing process and all that resulted from collaborating provided us with much comfort and became a warm hug we have to ourselves. The time and space to think, share and compose allowed us to show our vulnerabilities, bring to light our fear, and taught us to celebrate our imperfections. In reading, we hope we have given others an opportunity to feel and do the same.
From our experience, we think it’s realistic to say that it’s often challenging to make and take time to seek information or answers in the midst of parenting- especially if we’re on the rollercoaster or riding the waves of a challenging time. If we’re putting out a fire, we’re likely not going to grab our phone to Google “How to put out a fire,” we’ll likely act the best we know how in the moment.
Parenting today, especially of teens and tweens, is challenging- period. Some days, it feels like we’re living in a whole new world, one that makes it hard to feel brave. In addition, social media has a unique way to magnify our challenges, fears and doubts. We thought it best to share the encouragement, resources and coping tools we gained in the form of Love Letters. Initially conceptualized as letters to ourselves, Love Letters to Parents became our way to share our knowledge, experiences and conversations with others.