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Breathe More, Worry Less

Posted on August 01, 2015

hugging

By Kate Green Tripp

Of all the things we {theoretically} prepare for as newly branded parents – years of sleeplessness, going broke, falling madly in love with our kids, obstructed career paths, learning to make peace with our disheveled selves and homes – we don’t get much of a lesson in worry.

It seems to go with the territory, at least in America, that parenthood = anxiety. Somehow, the common message is that increased worry is a sign of doing it right, caring enough, paying attention. But at what cost?

Jennifer Senior, a contributing editor at New York Magazine and author of All Joy, No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, gave an illuminating TED talk on this topic on the NPR Radio Hour last August.

Senior argues that although admirable and understandable, modern parents have become painfully fixated on their kids’ happiness and self-confidence to an extent that is largely unreachable. “Happiness and self confidence can be the by-products of other things but they cannot really be goals unto themselves.”

We agree. High on our list of ‘other things’ here at Luma is the practice of mindfulness, and the accompanying “chore” of simply doing less in the context of modern family life.

Slowing down enough to witness, absorb, and enjoy what it means and how it feels to be connected to those we love at a deep human level is perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves and our children. So the next time those pervasive parenting worries swoop in to grab you – as they undoubtedly will – take a deep breath and practice creating space around you and letting them pass. One day (we promise!), your kids will thank you.