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Holistic branding and marketing posts by Diana Chaplin.


Filtering by Category: Family

Personal Thoughts: Motherhood, Honesty, and The World

Diana Chaplin

This post is not about professional content, branding, or marketing. But it is about communication, in a deeply personal way. 

Sparked by a recent tragedy, here is a brief story of how I approach motherhood, honesty, and a sometimes incomprehensible world. 

Elliot (my almost 6-year-old son) and I were driving home from a town fair when I turned on the radio and first heard the news. He heard me gasp and asked what was wrong. In that moment I could have turned it off and said “nothing.” Instead, I turned it up and we listened to some of the reporting together, then I explained what had happened.

I didn’t think through all this consciously but in the back of my my mind were questions about whether he is too young to hear such things, whether he’ll get scared and traumatized emotionally, but instinct told me to brush those thoughts aside and I chose to just be honest. He should know that the world is complicated, that unthinkable things happen, and that dying is not a game… right? Most importantly, I think I wanted him to understand that even if something doesn’t happen to us directly, it is still important, it affects us, because other people are basically our extended family and we are all connected.

I don’t remember if it was me that said it or the reporter on the radio but Elliot picked up on the words “hate crime” and asked what that was.

His sweet and innocent voice asking such a loaded question nearly broke my heart.

I answered that some people don’t know that we are all the same inside, that people do bad things out of fear, hatred, confusion, and most often from a lack of love. We talked about how people are different and that’s what makes us all so wonderful and interesting, and that we must all love each other, all creatures and living beings, and the planet, in order to create a better world, a happier world, because this is the challenge we are faced with and love is the seed of change that we need. He said yeah, I love everyone, then he grew quiet and looked out the window thoughtfully.

The conversation was complete. His questions were answered. He wasn’t traumatized.

This wasn't the first time. We actually have talks like this fairly regularly, basically since he started to speak. We’ve talked about poverty, racial inequality, sustainability, energetic connectedness, universal principles, evolution, the microcosm and the macrocosm, sacred patterns, extinction, climate change, corruption and greed, creativity and innovation, and how there is still much that we don’t really understand about how things work.

We’ve talked about Martin Luther King Jr. and political movements, we’ve talked about John Lennon and how ideas can both inspire good and invoke fear, we’ve talked about what might happen when you die. It is never forced and I’m not trying to “teach” him anything. These are just conversations that emerge organically from situations, events, or his curiosities.

I’ve never felt the need to hold back or shelter him from knowing that he is part of something much bigger than himself, something continuously unfolding in which he has a role to play, something that is both magnificent and heartbreaking, an existence in which life and death, creation and destruction are intricately intertwined.

Kids understand much more than we generally give them credit for, they can handle these things if we can speak about them frankly, without alarm, but still conveying relevance and being clear that some things are open to interpretation and different viewpoints. I believe they have a right to know, they are better served and will grow into more open-minded and conscious adults, with a more global view of the world - and that is something humanity desperately needs of the next generation.

At the end of these talks I always leave him - and myself - with hope, empowered, knowing that one person, no matter how small, can make things better, knowing that there are far more good guys than bad and that together we are already building a new, more loving and conscious world, we just have to keep going even when it's hard.

See you soon

Diana Chaplin

Every now and then my husband and I are blessed with a reprieve from our parenting duties when my in-laws come along to whisk the children off to New Hampshire for a few days. It gives everyone a welcome change of scenery and allows us to catch up on fun things like laundry, paperwork, and of course, blogging. 

It's a brief glimpse into parallel lives where we don't have children.

I'm not going to lie, the first day or two are pure bliss. 

We eat meals without repeatedly telling other small humans to eat theirs. We go to bed late and wake up late because there's no one to wake us up at the crack of dawn. We go places unencumbered by strollers and diaper bags and snacks and toys. 

It's liberating!

We comment on how great it is, how free we feel, how childless people have it made. We revel in the experience like unsupervised children ourselves, exuberant at the mischief we'll get into without all the usual rules.

I've heard of parents who experience no separation beyond the daily school/work schedule until the age of whatever, who would scoff at the idea of even wanting time and space apart from their precious little ones, but for us it is essential for mental health. It creates room to breathe, catch up, re-energize, and reconnect with each other. 


There's no doubt that we love our little dudes with every measure of heart and soul, but it takes a lot of energy to entertain, feed, comfort, clean, and educate them (not to mention take care of other household and personal needs as well). We need to have our batteries CHARGED in order to do those things well, it's good for everyone. 

Just like sleep is essential for focus and energy during waking hours, and silent meditation fuels creativity and ideas, time apart helps transform us from zombie parents who get easily irritated by spills, nags, or busy schedules to fully present and joyful parents who are alert enough to appreciate these fleeting moments of childhood and are able to respond to tense situations from a grounded place of peace. 

That being said, a few days after the initial euphoria has worn off, the shift comes. The silence that was so welcome at first begins to feel empty. The serenity, freedom, and time begin to drag and feel dull. Life becomes less colorful without them in it. I have an ache deep down in my soul that can only be soothed with Elliot's exuberance and Rhoan's sweet embrace.

I realize that while I might be more productive, successful, or adventurous in this childless parallel world, I would be incomplete and far more lonely. 

I miss the chaos, the screams I ask to quiet, the messes I clean again and again. I long to return from my kidcation and thank the universe that I have such a family to greet me back in the real world. 

See you soon kids.