Rethinking the rules that have been passed down

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“We have the freedom to shape the kind of family we want, rather than an obligation to conform to inflexible concepts of what a family should be.”

William J. Doherty, The Intentional Family

The rebel in me can’t help but do things my own way. Norms and status quo be damned. And this rebel attitude has translated into my parenting.

I made a decision even before becoming a mom that I wouldn’t follow the traditions and rules I grew up with just for the sake of it. I would let my values and priorities lead the way.

Most of us…

We need to talk to kids about loss and let them know it’s okay

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The other day, I was hanging out with my 5-year-old in her room. I sat on her bed and she climbed up and sat on top of her dresser. I asked her if she was sad to see the dresser go since I’m planning to get her a new one as part of a room makeover for her birthday. She got really quiet, something unheard of with my daughter who happens to talk every second of every day.

She started crying and told me she was sad to see her old dresser go, the one she’s had since she was…

Discover — Plan — Execute

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As I approach my 36th birthday, I can’t help but reflect on where I was one year ago — overcome by the fear that regret would be waiting for me at the end of my life if I continued to choose comfort over growth. I wanted more out of life, and from myself, but felt completely and utterly stuck.

I was drowning in full-time work, two toddlers, and depression. Living on autopilot. Doing just enough to survive each day. Knowing that something needed to change but had no idea where to start.

I’m pretty sure feeling stuck is a human…

4 small things you can do to not lose your mind

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Is it just me or is parenting during a pandemic the hardest thing ever? It seems every time I think parenting has hit its peak difficulty, something gets thrown into the mix that takes it to the next level.

At first, it was being a working mom. Then it was having a toddler and a baby. Then it was having two toddlers.

But most recently, the biggest challenge of all has been parenting two toddlers during a pandemic. And, if that weren’t enough, distance learning decided to join the party.

Needless to say, I’ve found it harder and harder to…

Four connection tools that changed my parenting

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I’ll never forget the last time I got a call from my daughter’s preschool saying I needed to pick her up early. It’s not that I hadn’t had to pick her up early before. For the year prior I had gotten used to regular calls about her hitting at school. I told myself it was a phase and she’d grow out of it. After all, she wasn’t even two when her brother was born. Everyone assured me it would take her time to adjust and that it was normal for toddlers to hit.

But after a year, the hitting didn’t…

Commit to only one day at a time

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“Everything you want is waiting for you on the other side of consistency.” Bhumika Marwah

I hate that she’s right. Consistency the key to achievement but it’s also my long-time nemesis.

My first step on the journey of intentional living was (a lot of) self-reflection. Reflecting on the parts of my life that weren’t working. The parts of my life I wanted to improve. How I wanted to spend my time. My values. My goals. And what I wanted my life to look like down the road.

Through that process, and after doing a whole lot of planning but not…

Ten writing tips from a newbie — proceed with caution

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I never thought I’d be writing about writing.

When I joined Medium a month ago I didn’t even notice Writing as a topic. I came for the good stuff. Personal growth, productivity, and parenting. The juicy topics. But writing? Doing it, sure, but reading about it? Who does that? And writing about it? Never. It was confusing to me, like people who blog about blogging.

Oh, how naive thirty-day younger me was. Today, my daily digest is stuffed with writing tips and stories. I can’t get enough. I read writing posts all day, every day. The top topic I clap…

#8: A closed mouth doesn’t get fed

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My 20’s were, so far, my most transformative years, both personally and spiritually. In my 20’s I graduated from college, moved from California to Philly for law school with no family or friends in sight, moved back to California, started practicing law, experienced a breakup and a marriage, and made lifelong friends. I learned to love myself after hating myself. I went from deep insecurity to true self-confidence. I hit my lowest lows and my highest highs. I felt both immense pain and immeasurable joy.

That’s a lot to go through in a decade. But thankfully, I didn’t walk away…

How letting go of control can help you parent from a place of calm

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Quarantine has no doubt brought up anxiety in my daughter in the form of defiance, aggression, and a teenager’s attitude. She’s five, by the way. At first, quarantine went okay. But then I started burning out, had less patience, and stopped focusing on connection. Basically, we were locked in a power struggle for two months.

When she had an attitude, I got mad and yelled. It was a vicious cycle to nowhere except high blood pressure. There was more yelling than laughter. More stress than fun. And it only got progressively worse. …

It can help you see what truly matters

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The day after my grandfather died, I remember driving to school and feeling numb. I remember how as I drove I didn’t feel the need to rush like I normally did. I wasn’t trying to beat the yellow light (which I had done a few weeks earlier only to run a red light and ironically get hit by another driver running a red light a few streets later). I didn’t race to get in front of another car.

I remember not feeling the need to do any of those things because in that moment of suffering none of those things…

Salma Enan

Mom, writer, lawyer. My life motto is somewhere between live my best life and good enough.

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