Monday, April 15, 2024

SAFE Presents: Living Life During Unprecedented Family Overwhelm (Jan. 24th)

Cynthia crashed onto the couch with a loud thud after another tiring day of failed expectations behind her. She stared across the living room to the door leading into the kitchen, terrified by the idea that cooking dinner remains on her list of daily to-dos. She has only 5 more minutes before her husband returns the kids home from their afternoon practice. For those 5 minutes she melts onto the sofa and almost has to remind herself to breath. Every day is like this she thinks; an incessant undertaking of activities. Every night she feels like it’s the last mile in a marathon that she’s just too tired to finish. While ‘overwhelmed’ is a word that resonates with Cynthia to her core, she’s ashamed to admit it because it seems like everyone else handles it all so easily.

Cynthia had always heard the old cliché, that ‘less is more’, but she’s never actually thought to live it. In her community, achievement is highly sought and valued. With that as the central goal, less is just… less. So Cynthia and her family have launched head-long into the race that consumes every last part of her sanity. But what Cynthia is just now waking up to realize, is that the benefits to this life overwhelm are not anywhere near the price.

In just this last week, she’s ‘lost it’ in front of her kids at least twice, and hasn’t made up with her husband since an argument they had about the dishes. It seems like eons since she’s sat in quiet to read a book, or catch up with an old friend. She feels disconnected from her family and even worse, disconnected from herself. She thought that raising kids would get easier after the baby stage, but things are just way harder in a brand new way.

Cynthia’s story is the battle cry of the new American parent. The World Health Organization has found that America is the most anxious country in the world and it is with good possibility that today’s parents are leading that charge. Extraordinarily high expectations for ourselves, our kids, and others leave many parents unsatisfied. Living in a state of chronic stress actually lowers our ability to perform. The growing rates of parents like Cynthia who are pleading for a break from our modern day stresses is what gave birth to SAFE’s third annual Parenting Conference: Raising Children in an Age of Overwhelm. This unique event features a series of six professional experts, each who will share their own knowledge and experiences on living life as a parent during the unprecedented age of overwhelm in our modern world.

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