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Self-Love and Care for Soulful Mamas

  • Johanna Bernhardt

How do we Thrive as a family?

Updated: Apr 11, 2020

If I had to pick one thing, one idea, that could change the world, it would be family. If we could figure out on a small scale how to consistently be good to each other and for each other, and then bring that love outward into the world, great things could happen.

When I look at my children, and witness who they are and who they might one day become, I am filled with an over-whelming urge to be a better person. Their goodness, purity, and wonder has that effect on me. I think I’ve grown more as a person because of their existence. I’ve been stretched beyond what I ever thought possible, digging deeper than the well would allow sometimes. And so far, I have survived.

But here’s the thing. I don’t want to just survive family life. I want to thrive.

What is it that makes a family thrive within their home? I have a few theories. They’re based on the good and bad days that I’ve observed in my home over the past 9 years. They’re also based on the books and articles I have read, and continue to read, to educate myself on this important topic.

I don’t presume to have it all figured out every day (hilarious). But, when I do, my hope is that someone can take that tiny thread of goodness and weave their own truth with it.When I don’t have it figured out, I reflect on my mistakes, strive to make it right, and then try to forgive myself (that usually takes a while).

I don’t think a family can ever be perfect. But I do think that in the midst of the chaos that is inevitably life, we can establish a set of values that guides our actions, helps us navigate the sometimes rough waters, and steers us back to the equilibrium that we deserve.

That’s the magic spot where we actually thrive. But we must be patient with ourselves. We must allow our daily actions and choices to slowly build momentum. Becoming a family doesn’t just happen in an instant. We are our own single beings for so long, until one day we find we are inextricably and forever bound to our partner and children. But with time, consistency, and great heart, we are made whole, and become the solid stone we know as family.

When I look at all the research available, and the truths I witness in my own home, I have come to believe that there needs to be three focuses in a family:

  1. Nurturing Care: invest time and energy in all members of the family, including yourself. Lavishing love, care, and quality time while honouring the unique natures and/or developmental stages of each person.

  2. Nature: connect daily to the real world. The one that actually keeps us alive and provides everything we could ever need. Giving our attention to natural rhythms, beauty, and stillness is essential to our well being. We must learn to protect this precious world by seeing ourselves as stewards and honoured guests.

  3. Nourishing Food: prepare food that feeds our bodies and souls, made from ingredients that are good for people and the planet. We need to make time in our hurried lives for meals and reintroduce the old ways of food preparation that enhances nutrient absorption.

I hope to explore these focuses in great detail and share whatever truths I can find. Any wisdom found in parenting is hard won, through tears, laughter, and joy. If we can share our stories, ideas, and mistakes, maybe we can move more effortlessly towards that thriving home we all deserve.

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