the faint of heart

the faint of heart

________ is not for the faint of heart.

Did you fill in the blank? 

Maybe you wrote:

“Parenting during Covid” – or –

“Distance learning” (or “distance teaching!!”) – or –

“Eating my homecooked food” LOL.

Each of those can be intimidating.  And yet it’s time to set ourselves free.  To stop stressing over the unchangeable and find emotional peace.

What does emotional freedom look like?

It’s kinda like parenting a 5-month old who’s learning to nap in his crib… 

When our son, Mason, needed us to bounce and hum longer than the length of his actual catnap I reached a stress threshold. 

I asked myself, “Do I continue to work harder than him – or – do I teach him the skills to fall asleep on his own and set myself free?”

In the Mad to Glad Blueprint I teach parents to follow the Happy Sleeper method of checking on kids at specific intervals and speaking a loving script.  This helps their “little scientist” brain detect that parents are there to support (so they feel safe) but not overhelp.  This allows them to learn independent sleep skills.

Our script is: It’s time to sleep.  We’re close by.  I love you.

It sounds sweet, right?

But let’s pull back the curtain.  If you have trained your kids to nap then you know this is not for the faint of heart.

A child’s sadness is heartbreaking.  Their madness?  Frustrating.

As a loving adult, you are tasked with self-talking your way through difficult situations; much the same way you talked yourself through the past year.

I found that my self talk in 2020 felt effortful and strained. 

Here is how Nikki Morrell, Mad2Glad Certified Parent Coach, would summarize the intense mood fluctuations for many of us in 2020.

(Denial, grief, super positivity, and burning the candle at both ends for an uncertain amount of time.)

So lately I have been praying for COURAGE. 

Courage to navigate naptime with strength rather than anxiety. 

Courage to seek peace when the world around me is screaming (literally and figuratively!).

Courage to THINK and SPEAK positively so that the people around me are uplifted,
not torn down.

A baby who intuits “you’re not a good sleeper” doesn’t become good at falling asleep.

A child who hears “you never listen” never listens.

A teenager who is told “you are always on screens” defaults to screen time.

A grown up who says “my cooking is terrible” doesn’t take a class to improve.

Let’s practice courage and believe in ourselves; in those around us.

LIFE is not for the faint of heart.  And sometimes we need a reminder of how to take action to shift our thinking -- and our personal situation.

uplifting smile


  1. Guided meditation. One of my favorite sayings is, “the mind is a dangerous place…don’t go in there alone.”  When your self talk is negative and fearful it can be hard to pull up.  Seek another’s voice that speaks peace and love. My favorite is this Inner Smile meditation by Kevin Niv Farrow on Spotify.
  2. Choose a preferred emotion and FEEL it. When I’m frightened or lost I turn on the free app Insight Timer for 10 minutes and sit in stillness with the intention of feeling one of my go-to’s: love, peace, trust and joy. 
  3. Seek inspiration. This one is personal choice.  Do you feel better by spending time outdoors?  Writing or creating art?  Starting your day with devotions?  My current jam is walking outside with the baby carrier on and listening to audio.  My dial has been tuned to the Aware Parenting Podcast.
  4. Move your body. When you feel frightened, upset, powerless (or any other difficult emotion) it is your nervous system’s “fight or flight” response kicking into high gear.  Mel Robbins talks about how to outsmart panic attacks here – and it’s not by just lying still trying to breathe.
  5. TALK TO PEOPLE. (you get it)

We can find our way through dark places and hard times. 

You are capable.  And you are brave.

As my friend Kathy Flaminio recently said, “Life can be intense… AND … you’ve made it through 100% of your days!”

Take courage, now.

With love,


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P.S. Now that maternity leave is over I have space for 2 clients.  Click this link to set up your private parent coaching consultation.

Continuing education, advanced training, and parent coach certification for professionals who support intense kids and their families. View my mental health Ted Talk on helping families heal from stress here.