When I was growing up, I knew I wanted to be two things: a minister, and a mother. I never had any doubt that I would have children. It was just a matter of when and how many.
Eventually, I found myself with two incredible children. I read everything I could get my hands on. I talked to other mothers about what their children were like. I heard a ton of conflicting information about breastfeeding, cloth/paper diapers, milestones for crawling, walking, and speaking. I doubted myself at every turn. But I plunged ahead.
Above all, I wanted my children to know they were loved. Somehow, I instinctively knew the tenets of Attachment Parenting long before I had ever heard of it. I let them sleep when they were sleepy, and eat when they were hungry. (I had the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom when they were very small.) There were times I totally blew it. I used the cry-it-out method of sleep training. I yelled at the kids when they would not stop crying. I dropped my son on his head on a concrete floor (covered with a carpet). I went off and left my daughter at a friends house, and got all the way home before I realized she was not with me. In short, sometimes I got it right, sometimes I blew it.
After some years, I realized my other dream of becoming a minister, and focused my ministry on working with children and their parents. I studied, attended workshops, got my Master’s degree, and worked with lots of different families who had completely unique children. I worked as a Director of three different preschools, supervised Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, summer camp, and after-school programs for elementary children, and worked as a Youth Director, leading Youth Fellowship, Bible studies, and summer programs.
I also worked with parents, and I saw that they struggled with the same issues I faced with my own children. I heard their stories of successes and failure, and came to realize that there are no easy answers to any parenting dilemma.
Several years ago, I began learning Nonviolent Communication, and through the work of Miki Kashtan, Ingrid Bauer, Roxy Manning, and above all Inbal Kashtan, I recognized its implications for parenting. I have become passionate about spreading the teachings of NVC to parents everywhere and helping them to create homes where everyone wants to come to at the end of the day.
I love working with parents and hearing their stories. I delight in children – especially as they are allowed to be children and use their own God-given gifts to make the world a better place for all. And my children? They grew up to be incredible, accomplished adults – each successful in their own way. They will readily admit that their mom was not perfect in any way, but I do believe that they know that I love them.