Zen Parenting

I often say that the most important thing to do first is "fix the parents, not the kids." Here are six ways to find your Zen in the midst of back to school chaos.
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When you're a parent, it's not easy to keep things Zen in your life. Work, school and the many different personalities living under the same roof are sure to make even the happiest household have its "moments."

With the school year beginning, things will be getting even more hectic very soon (if they haven't already). It's important to prepare yourself as a parent for a new set of juggling acts that will be presenting themselves in the coming months. Between coordinating your children's after-school schedules and the day-to-day grind, you can't forget about your own goals. Remember, they will ultimately help your children in the long run. So how do you balance it all? With balance, of course!

As a nanny for over three decades, I have seen first-hand that chaotic households are more common than not. I often say that the most important thing to do first is "fix the parents, not the kids." What is the best way to keep mom and dad more at ease? I believe that it's to take moments for yourself to get re-centered daily. Below are six ways to bring more Zen into your life. By making sure that you are focused and in a calm state, everyday struggles and stressful moments will be much easier to handle.

Mediation Is a Must: This is essential for new parents or veteran ones. By mediating once for twenty minutes a day, you will be taking a vital time-out for your body, mind and soul. It will help you to put things back into balance.

The Write Stuff: By writing down your most important thoughts every day, you will keep them in your day-to-day awareness. We are all more at ease when we are focusing on our personal endeavors, even if it's just for fifteen minutes a day.

Every Day Is a New Day: Each day comes as a new gift to you, so treat it as such. View each day as a brand new promise to a beautiful life. It will become easier to live in the moment and not be flustered about past woes. This will help you design your days as they arrive with grace and gratitude.

Ask for Help: A quality way of being and maintaining the person you are as a parent is also by learning to not carry the load alone. Ask the people around you to pitch in and they should be willing to carry their load, too. Keeping family peace requires a team effort. Remember, the family that takes care of each other can live, love and laugh together.

Take the Bad Days in Stride: Sometimes the responsibilities on any given day can be overwhelmingly harsh -- car broke down, the dog is sick, there is a flood in the laundry room and so on. Your other half might even be working late. Take a few deep breaths and carry on with your day by simply knowing that this is part of what it means to experience a bad day. Don't harp on it, as they are all little speed bumps that we hit along the way in life.

Here Lives the Love: At the end of your week, you will surely be tired from the bustle and hustle. The weekend is a chance to recharge in a Zen-like way that involves your family. On the weekends, sit down as a family to meals that you all prepared together. Let everyone know how much you cherish them and that you will never trade your life for anything else. This is the life and family you've always wanted and are truly grateful for.