Dear Moms of Milford,

When it came time to write this post, I was at a total loss for what to say. I don’t have Milford-specific advice right now and honestly, sometimes sharing about parenting feels like I’m being performative and dishonest. Parenting is hard and every individual family is doing their very best. I see that.

So instead of writing about advice on things to do with your kids or things to do around town, I’m just going to share the post that I would want to read. Something that’s a little sarcastic and hopefully a little touching. I hope that’s cool. 

Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about recently:

  • Can one consume too much coffee? If so, what is the amount I should be avoiding?
  • How do I convince my kids to play together with each other so I can string together two minutes to think a full thought?
  • What would happen if I shut off my phone and disconnected from social media (hint: it turned out amazing, highly recommend it)

Does any of that ring true for you?

Here are some of the messages I needed to hear this past month:

  • You’re doing your best and it matters. Every ounce of unseen, underappreciated energy that you’re putting into your family is amazing and respectable. You’re doing amazing things behind the scenes and even if no one else sees you, I see you.
  • The moments where you don’t absolutely lose your cool and only sorta lose your cool – you did an amazing thing there. You regulated your emotions and that is incredible.
  • It’s OK if your kids are a little extra jazzed about screentime this summer, the weather has been tough! 
  • You don’t need to compete with an Instagram-perfect expectation of motherhood. Your version is exactly what your kids need and deserve (also, as a heads up, that feeling of not-good-enough is what the marketing professionals WANT you to feel when you scroll social, so you’ll buy their products).

Here are some of the questions I’m asking myself as we head into August:

  • When I think about this summer and the experiences we’ve had thus far, what did I enjoy? What do I want to repeat?
  • When I think about this summer, what are some of the things I want to do less?
  • Thinking ahead to the fall, what is a habit I’d like to have in place for my family in the fall that would be relatively easy to introduce now and would be a big help when the school year starts?

If this post finds you in a wishy-washy place, just like me. I get it. Summer is amazing and joyous and fun. It can also feel like your whole routine has been put into a blender. 

Here’s what has been getting us through over here in our home:

  • Therapy – Sometimes you need a little help. As a speech-language pathologist, I’m often knocking on the door of therapists and professionals early and often, asking for advice and support for all things parenting, toddlers, and life (check out our Milford Kids Thrive Collaborative Members for any support you may need).
  • The Nurtured Heart Approach – a really positive method of transforming challenging behavior in your home
  • Shutting off my smartphone – I’ve gone from 4 hours of daily use to less than 45 minutes per day. It is tough, but has been eye-opening, especially as a mom. 
  • Connecting with Community – we’ve been loving walking and biking to our local farmstand to get fresh produce for that night’s dinner. That feeling of connection with the farms in our community is fantastic. I also highly recommend stopping by the farmer’s market on Saturdays – there are tons of friendly folks and lots of yummy treats.

I’ll leave you with this: I wish you the very best end to your summer. Next time I write to you we will be right at the start of Fall. Our noses will be full of the scent of new school supplies and our lives will once again be “back in the swing.”