Parenting is hard. Full stop. At times it takes my breath away, both in awe and worry, and leaves me questioning everything I thought I knew. And parenting teens, yikes. I’m new to the adolescent scene and already it’s simultaneously beautiful and messy (in more ways than one!).

Lately, I’ve noticed how easy it is to climb onto the roller coaster with them. To feel all the highs and lows as if they’re my very own – these lines from E.E Cummings have taken on new meaning for me over the years as I’ve mothered my children.

Two Red Hearts Shape

“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in

my heart) i am never without it (anywhere

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing, my darling)”

However true these words ring for me, I suspect that what my kids need from me is to be stable, to be constant, to be the eye of the storm when life is whipping all around them, knocking them down and pulling them in every direction. To be calm in the chaos more often than not.

This is where ACT comes in. It helps me to do the work to notice and name what’s showing up for me – how my anxiety over their well-being may be impacting how I react to them, for better or worse. It helps me to stay present and grounded rather than swept up in the storm. It connects me to my values so that I can more intentionally navigate the space between letting go and holding on, between ‘fixing’ and equipping, between where I end and they begin. And it invites me to treat myself with kindness and compassion because this parenting stuff is hard and I don’t always get it right. Loving myself through my mistakes invites my children to do the same in their own journey.

In ACT, we work together to develop skills and strategies in order to more effectively manage difficult thoughts and feeling related to a number of life’s challenges – like parenting, anxiety, depression, addiction, relationships, life transitions and grief. Together, we explore what might be keeping you stuck or holding you back and experiment with new ways of responding that are connected to your values and goals.