Parenting is hard. And stressful. But also wonderful and amazing. My patience is tested on a daily basis. And what I have noticed for myself is that when my stress is managed I have way more patience. When I haven't slept well, haven't eaten, am feeling anxious or overwhelmed parenting becomes unbearable. I don't like myself during those times that I am short with the kids or raise my voice at them. It might sound like common sense: eat, sleep, manage your stress and parenting your kids (and the rest of life) will be a whole lot easier to deal with. This is hard to actually pull off for a variety of reasons, you already know this! Acupuncture is one of the best stress relievers out there: with no side effects it shuts off the physiological stress response of the body, kicking it out of fight or flight mode, allowing the body to discharge stress. It is my secret sauce to parenting. Honestly I don't know how people parent (or live!) without acupuncture!
But aside from the logistical rushing around and day to day work of parenting is something else that is a lot harder. It's letting go of our kids. Usually around the teenage years (plus or minus) is when they start to individuate, beginning the process of figuring out who they are outside of us- their parents. It becomes obvious that we have no control over them, their choices and actions or the random events of their lives. And sometimes we desperately wish they made different choices and that we had total control over their life events. My kids are still little but they already have parts of their lives that I know nothing about and I've already had to let them go a bit. There is grief in that letting go and the process of accepting what is and that we have zero control over the actions and choices of other humans. Even our kids that are pieces of us! This can be a difficult process that even continues when kids aren't kids and are adults themselves. Acupuncture helps with the acceptance process. I can't explain how exactly, but I know this is true because acupuncture works for all kinds of grief. I have had many patients dealing with difficulties around their children and they report that "acupuncture helps". It just does. It helps people deal with life which is sometimes very very hard and painful. It helps people keep going, to keep the faith, to pause for a minute and maybe make room for a change in perspective. And that can make all the difference.
Meaghan Massella, M.Ac, L.Ac, Dipl. Ac (NCCAOM) is an acupuncturist, business owner and mother of 2.