Fredericksburg Parent

September 2019

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6 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • September 2019 PUBLISHER Leigh Anne Van Doren Tabitha & Jamie Nelle's mom EDITOR Chris Jones Quincy, Hayden & Olive's dad MEDIA & ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Megan Walsh: Mia, Noelle, and Adelaide's mom DESIGN & PRODUCTION Cheryl Carter, President, Carter Creations Alex, Kate & Jackie's mom WEBMASTER Karen Charney: Joshua & Spencer's mom, and Abby's mother-in-law SOCIAL MEDIA AND MARKETING MANAGER Lovedy Carroll: Meredith's mom CALENDAR & COOL THINGS TO DO ELETTER Leigha Pecher: Jake and Luke's mom EDUCATION AND INFANT ELETTERS Debra Caffrey: Aidan's mom parent fredericksburg & family Entrepreneur of the Year PROUD FOUNDING MEMBER ADVERTISING PHONE 540-429-3572 EMAIL CALENDAR & SOCIAL MEDIA E-MAIL EDITORIAL PHONE 540-429-3572 E-MAIL SNAIL MAIL P.O. Box 7884, F'burg, VA 22404 The publishers reserve the right to reject any advertisement, editorial or listing that does not meet the publication's stan- dards. No part of this magazine may be reproduced with out permission. Listing and advertising rates are available upon request. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information con- tained herein, however, the publisher cannot guarantee such accuracy. Listings and advertisements are sub- ject to typographical errors, ommissions and/or change without notice. For terms and conditions please visit our website at © Copyright 2019 Nurture, Inc. All rights reserved. LIKE FredericksburgParent SIGN UP TWEET PIN fredparent FOLLOW @fredparentmagazine When I'm ready to get into my car and go, there are fewer things more frustrating than seeing my dashboard warning lights still lit after the car has started. "I feel like I'm always fixing this thing!" I groan, rolling my eyes as I let out a long sigh. Woosah! Serenity now! You know like I do that cars play an important role in our daily lives. This means keep- ing up regular maintenance, or they will no longer work or will perform poorly and break down at the most inopportune time. (Ever have your engine blow on I-95? I have.) Staying in good mental health as a parent is similar. We don't have warning lights, but we know the warning signs when we're feeling off. One day we're getting everything done effectively and the next we're under the covers with the blinds drawn. That's how burnout works. That's the parental check engine light. I ignored my warning lights from February until June. I need to power through today and then I can rest tonight. Tomorrow will be better, I'd lie. Who was I fooling? I was struggling to get the kids out of the door some days. I dreaded making meals. And heaven help the child who got out of bed for a glass of water five minutes past their bed- time. I was fried. It wasn't until my wife suggested that I go to counseling to talk to someone about how I've been feel- ing about the role changes (she's working outside the home on a shift schedule, while I run my business from home). I've started biweekly therapy in June, and it proved to be a great decision from the first session. My therapist has been instrumental in helping me balance my work schedule; stick to using block scheduling for maintaining separation between work, family and personal time; navigate a par- ticularly difficult external relationship; and keep realistic expectations for myself (I'm an ENFP, so if you are too, you know the struggle!). Best of all, she has helped me become better at saying "No" to things in favor of scheduling time for myself. I share this with you because in this issue, we're talking about children's mental health, suicide warning signs, and child advocacy. It's hard to be there for our children in moments of need when we too have needs. I want to encourage you to have a profes- sional look at your own check engine light. Our spouses and kids know when we're not at our best in the same way we know when they are stru ggling. We owe it to ourselves and to our families to ensure that our mental health is a priority. As the old saying goes: you can't pour from an empty cup. WRITTEN BY CHRIS JONES letter to readers Light "...she has helped me become better at saying "No" to things in favor of scheduling time for myself." Your Mental CHECK ENGINE

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