Do You Have Human Gumby Syndrome?

5 Steps to Get Back To Your Family’s Center
Lowering her eyes with the desperate look of a homesick child, a friend said to me, “I want to go home.” I sat for a moment confused – we were sitting in the living room of her lovely, cape home.

Have you ever felt disconnected or far from your true desires as a person and as a parent? Today it’s easy to get overwhelmed– caught between work schedules, your child’s baseball, dance, scouts, and homework obligations. I call this ‘Human Gumby Syndrome.” Human Gumby Syndrome is when you are overscheduled, overworked, and feel pulled from your true self and values.

My friend, a wonderful mother who loves her children infinitely had become a human Gumby. Her family life had shifted from her values of regular dinners and family activities together.

If you feel or have ever felt like a human Gumby try this simple exercise to help you get back to your center and your family’s core.
Exercise: Take a moment to sit quietly. Close your eyes taking your awareness to your heart. Ask yourself – what does my ideal self and family life look like? (I like to call this your family’s core) What does this picture look like? How does it feel, smell, taste, and sound like? How do you and your family feel?

While doing this exercise my friend remembered Sunday family dinners. Now, because of her children’s sports schedules Sunday dinner at home with family are a rare occasion. She decided to re-implement Sunday dinners as this was meaningful to her, a value she wanted to instill in her children, and a stress reducing activity. Sundays became significantly less crammed with obligations and full of family, board games, and wonderful dinners. My friend has also given herself breaks, re-evaluated her home schedule with her family, and has asked for support. Recently she said, “Home feels like home again.”

5 simple steps to get back to your family’s center.

  1. Pay attention when you feel fatigued or stressed. Is this activity necessary? Are there supports you can call in to help?
  2. Take a Break! You work hard – breaks are deserved.
  3. Have a family meeting. Does your child enjoy their activities? Can you set aside a day off from everything for everyone?
  4. Find supports. (learn how to gather your team in upcoming posts)
  5. Fill yourself and your family with positive activities.