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Where Have I Been? A Play Therapist Parent's Journey Through Chaos and Connection

Where Have I Been?

Life, like a wild rollercoaster, takes unexpected twists and turns. As parents, we know this all too well. The chaos of daily routines, work pressures, and family responsibilities can leave us feeling like we’re juggling flaming torches while riding a unicycle. But what happens when you’re not just a parent but also a mental health professional? How do you navigate the stormy seas of your own mind while guiding others through theirs?


This spring, I faced that very challenge. As a play therapist, my days are filled with helping children express their emotions through play, supporting families, and advocating for mental health awareness. But behind the scenes, I grappled with my own mental well-being. I realized that to be effective in my work and present for my family, I needed to prioritize self-care.

Choosing My Mental Health

Authenticity is my compass. I strive to live in alignment with my values, both personally and professionally. So, when life turned chaotic, I made a deliberate choice: I put my mental health first. It meant stepping back from some tasks, saying no to additional commitments, and allowing myself to recharge. As parents, we often forget that our well-being matters too. We can’t pour from an empty cup.


Summer’s Arrival: A New Beginning

Now, as summer blooms around us, I feel grounded once more. My energy has returned, and I’m ready to share the lessons I’ve learned during this transformative season. My parenting journey—filled with both triumphs and struggles—has taught me invaluable truths. And I want to invite you, dear reader, to join me on this path of growth and connection.


Lessons from Chaos to Connection

  1. Embrace Playfulness: Amid the chaos, playfulness is my lifeline. Whether it’s building sandcastles at the beach or having a dance party in the living room, play connects us to our children’s hearts. I challenged myself to play more, to find joy in the little moments—the belly laughs, the messy art projects, and the spontaneous hide-and-seek games.

  2. Stay Curious: Children are our greatest teachers. Their curiosity is boundless, and they remind us to see the world with fresh eyes. This spring, I rekindled my own curiosity. I asked wonderings, explored new activities, and marveled at the wonders of nature alongside my kids. Curiosity keeps us engaged and open-hearted.


  1. Connect Authentically: Connection isn’t just about physical presence; it’s about emotional attunement. I vowed to be fully present with my children, even when my mind wandered to work or deadlines. We shared stories, whispered secrets, and hugged tightly. Authentic connection requires vulnerability—it’s messy, imperfect, and utterly beautiful.


Join Me on the Summer of Connection

This summer, I’ll share more insights, personal anecdotes, and practical tips. Let’s explore the delicate dance between chaos and connection. Together, we’ll celebrate the messy, magical moments of parenting—the ones that make our hearts swell and our souls sing.


Consider joining me in the Summer of Connection Program.


Receive weekly emails with a short video and blog post with reflections, challenges, and actionable steps. Let’s create a community where authenticity thrives and mental health matters.

When we care for ourselves, we can better care for our children.


Remember, dear reader, you’re not alone on this journey. Let’s walk hand in hand, embracing the chaos and weaving threads of connection.

Cary Hamilton Signature

Cary Hamilton is a registered play therapist, advocate for mental health, and a parent who believes in the power of play and authentic connection.

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