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Parenting is a mixture of joy and grief. 4 ways to let them coexist in your life

Joy and grief can exist together in your life.

Parenting is a journey filled with a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s a mix of excitement and sadness, happiness and longing, all intertwined in a beautiful, messy dance. But what if we told you that these seemingly conflicting emotions could coexist harmoniously?

Therapist Kristin Hodson shares how you can embrace both grief and joy on this parenting journey.

Get more advice from Kristin on Instagram at @kristinbhodson or visit


How to Let Joy and Grief Coexist in Your Life

Recognizing the Grief

Parenting is a series of transitions, from your child’s first day of school to their journey to college and beyond. These transitions can bring about a sense of loss, a type of grief. Kristin emphasizes that it’s essential to acknowledge and name this grief. By doing so, we can better understand and manage our emotions.

Grief isn’t always about the big losses like the death of a loved one – it can also stem from the everyday transitions and changes in our children’s lives. Kristin encourages us to recognize these moments of grief and not shy away from naming them.

Express, Don’t Wallow

Expressing your grief doesn’t mean wallowing in sadness. Kristin suggests that allowing yourself to feel these emotions and share them with others can help you navigate the complexities of parenting more healthily. When you express your grief, you prevent it from manifesting in unexpected and dysfunctional ways, such as irritability.

Reconciliation, Not Resolution

One of the key takeaways from Kristin’s perspective on grief is the idea of reconciliation rather than resolution. Instead of trying to get over the grief, allow it to be a part of your life. It doesn’t mean you’ll dwell on it forever, but you’ll acknowledge its presence and let it flow through you. Grief keeps us connected to the memories and moments that matter, reminding us of the love we felt.

Creating Space for Both Grief and Joy

Grief and joy can coexist. Kristin’s advice is to hold both of them in your hands, much like holding gratitude and grief simultaneously. When you experience moments of grief, allow them to soften your heart, reminding you of the fleeting nature of life. This, in turn, can enhance your ability to experience joy and be fully present in the precious moments with your children.

In a world filled with influencers and online platforms where parenting experiences are shared, it’s essential to remember that grief and joy are unique to each individual. What’s crucial is acknowledging and expressing these emotions, fostering a healthy balance that allows you to cherish your parenting journey fully.

As you navigate the twists and turns of parenthood, remember that your feelings are valid, and it’s okay to feel both joy and grief. By creating space for these emotions, you can truly savor the beautiful moments of this remarkable journey called parenting.

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