It Takes a Village to Live Well

Sweet September. Of course it’s still warm in Houston, but there’s a light at the end of the hot, humid tunnel and pumpkin spice lattes are just around the corner. The start of school is a great opportunity to pause and take a look at our lives and decide what we want- for ourselves and our families. If you’re like me, self-care is always a challenge. Knowing when to ask for help and receiving it gracefully is a challenge. Slowing down and listening to what I really need is a challenge.

Knowing something is good for us is not always enough to make that thing happen. Many factors can get in the way of taking steps towards more of what we want: budgetary constraints, the logistics of finding the right product or service, or getting your partner on board, for example. Often, we find ourselves navigating a gap between where we are and where we’d like to be. And these gaps keep showing up all over the place, the more we pay attention.

Brene Brown, PhD writes in her book Daring Greatly, “We have to pay attention to the space between where we’re actually standing and where we want to be. More importantly, we have to practice the values that we’re holding out as important in our culture…We don’t have to be perfect, just engaged and committed to aligning values with action.”

Whether it’s feeding our families well, dealing with challenging behaviors, or sleep deprivation, the conversation around making healthy choices for our families is riddled with shame and judgment amongst parents. In the very place where we have the opportunity to create a supportive community by encouraging and learning from one another, what often occurs is disengagement, quick judgment, and feeling inadequate as we navigate the reality of life as a family.

Whatever it is you’re facing personally or as a family right now, we have an opportunity at Shady Oak to grow together in wellness as parents and caregivers, just as much as we want our children to thrive and grow. We have the opportunity to take advantage of a safe place to show up and be ourselves- imperfect and learning- but doing it together.

We don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to be perfect! Just engaged and committed to aligning values with action. Living well is a process. And this process requires grace- towards ourselves first, then towards each other in the community of our families and of our school. Let’s be a community of parents and caregivers who model grace, compassion and resilience. Let’s show up for each other in courageous ways that create the world we want our children to grow up in. Let’s be the village we all need to live well.

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