Intro: This month I am previewing a book I am working on Inspired Parenting.
(Noun) – a dark area or shape that comes between rays of light.
(Verb) – to cast a shadow over.
In general, the announcement of a child is typically seen as positive. An opportunity for hope, joy, and new beginnings. But what if upon birth a parent hears, “your child has…” (fill in any disability or incorrectly formed body part). Or what if as your child seems fine at birth, but then developmental delays begin to reveal themselves? Or what if her or she makes it through childhood, only to begin to show signs of neurological abnormalities that cause them to make extremely poor choices that effect not only themselves, but the entire family? No one likes to talk about the shadow side of parenting, but it does exist. To deny it leaves those who are experiencing it alone in the dark where rays of light, many times, can not be seen and fear and anger wrap themselves around the parent like a prision blanket…uncomfortable and scratchy…unable to keep out the cold.
And along with this shadow comes its good friend, Guilt. Guilt often leaves thoughts in a parent’s heads that they would never dare say out loud for fear of being judged. This book isn’t just for parents who want to have an inspired vision for their own children. It is also for the parents who wants an inspired vision for themselves. This book is just as much for the parent who feels engulfed in shadows as it is for those parents who feel as though they are currently bathing in the light. Creating expectations and boundaries, allowing ourselves, as well as our children, to dream is more what Inspired Parenting is rather than a picturing perfect world—in this reality, there is no such thing. However, we can teach ourselves to “walk on water,” so to speak, and not get caught up and drown in our children’s chaos and come as close as we can to anchoring our dreams for ourselves and our children in the here and now.