Happy 4th of July! What do you wish to be free from?

As I celebrate Independence Day (United States) in my country, I think about freedom from the perspective of a parent.

Buddha uttered “anata”, which means “no self”.

Similarly, Jesus said “Deny thyself” (Matthew 16: 24).

Some of the most famous spiritual guides advocated for a denial of one’s self. When you become a parent you undoubtedly experience life from a place of “no self”.

Stay-in-Bed Mom Blog, and other blogs in my space, champion self-love – the opposite of what these teachers preached. But Buddha, had only one child, and Jesus wasn’t a parent. You can’t pour from an empty cup. You can’t love your children – the way they deserve – unless you love yourself first.

Still, these inspirational guides had it right with regard to finding freedom in your life. According to Buddha and Jesus, we’re already in a state of enlightenment or salvation. We’re free. We need only remember it.

white and red flag
Photo by Aaron Schwartz on Pexels.com

What does freedom look like for a parent?

1. Detach from things.

How do you practice detachment in your household?

  • Limit or ban screen time in your house – not just for your kids, but for you too.
  • Cut back on the number of gifts you all receive at birthdays and holidays (e.g. Christmastime) or say “no” to gifts.
  • Don’t move into a bigger house. Most likely your current house is big enough to suit your family’s needs and wants.
  • Don’t redo your kitchen. It’s fine. Really it is.
  • Be a one-car family if possible.
  • Celebrate big moments (e.g. milestone birthdays and monumental achievements) with experiences everyone can share.
  • Invest in trips your family will always treasure.
  • Move to new cities for your job (or your partner’s), if your family is open to it.
  • Pick up a new hobby. And once you’ve mastered the skills/content, move on to a new hobby.
  • Give yourself permission to enjoy some time away from the kids.
  • Read as much as you can. Learn about the great, big world.
  • Get outside in nature as much as possible.

2. Let go of the illusion of control.

How do you let go of control?

  • Not compare your kids or yourselves to others in terms of developmental milestones – early in life – and education and employment (etc.) – later in life.
  • Not fret about the if or how much your kids eat. (Gosh, it’s hard though.) You only control the what, where, and when.
  • Not count how many times your kids get on the honor roll. Or if they’re in the “best” school (preschool/grade school/high school/college-university). Instead, consider if the school is “best” for your kids.
  • Not worry about how “popular” your kids are (or you for that matter). Most of us can only manage 3-5 close friendships. And even having just one best friend is all you need to be happy.
  • Not gripe about the number of sports or extracurricular trophies/honors your kids have received.
  • Not mourn your kids moving away for college/university, a new job, or a new life.
  • Not criticize your kids’ career choices. If they are happy and able to support themselves, then who are you to judge?
  • Not complain about the frequency or duration of your kids’ phone calls.
  • Not lament the quantity and quality of your kids’ visits.
  • Not grumble about your kids’ choices in romantic partners or their future parenting decisions.
pexels-photo-461917.jpeg
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A Final Thought – From the Pillow

You’re already free.

So “stay woke” this 4th of July and remember we already have everything we need to be happy – and free – in the here and now.

How do you detach from things in your household?

How do you let go of control in your mom/dad life?

5 thoughts on “Happy 4th of July! What do you wish to be free from?

Add yours

  1. I would be happy with Freedom from my financially emotionally and psychologically abusive situation at home and somehow come out of it all without losing everything I love in the process

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My parents are going to pay for the divorce lawyer but I cannot go stay with them. I have no job no money and I’m not sure if I will even be able to take custody of my kids because of financial and medical issues. I have no friends left because of all the drama over the past 15 years so I can’t just call up a friend and ask to bunk with them. It looks like I will have to go to a shelter at least at the beginning until I get on my feet. Only problem is I can not even get him to listen to me tell him it’s over without him screaming at me about how it’s all my fault and I am beyond help with my mental state according to him. Basically my life sucks right now but getting out isn’t going to really help me much anytime soon. Let go and let God

        Like

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