A few years ago I was vacuuming when my vacuum made a weird noise, started smelling like burnt rubber, and became very difficult to push. I had no idea what happened and after a few moments, the burnt rubber smell went away, so I continued on, pushing my vacuum over the carpets with so much effort, that my arms quickly grew tired and I started working up a sweat. 

Anxious parent with hands on face


Over the next month, I noticed that our carpets didn’t look as clean as the normally did but the vacuum was still turning on, still sucking things up, and so I made do. Every time I would vacuum, I’d get tired, sweaty, and frustrated but honestly, I didn’t know or want to take the time to figure out what was going on with my vacuum cleaner and at the time, we had no money for a new one. 


So I made accommodations to work around the broken vacuum cleaner. I started vacuuming less, vacuuming before I showered (it was really hard work!), and sweeping our carpet by the entry door one day. It’s not pretty and yes, life could be easier if we stopped and address the root of the problem, but we’re surviving.


So I imagine you’re wondering what in the world this story of my broken vacuum cleaner has to do with parenting. I know, it’s a silly story but think about it. How often do we approach life, parenting included, in this same way?


We are surviving but we are not thriving. Our heads hit the pillow each night, and we cover ourselves in blankets of discouragement and disappointment. Our homes and our lives feel chaotic, and we know it could be better, but we don’t even know where to start. 


Let’s face it, the world we are raising our kids in is unsettling. Chaos, stress, and trauma are the norms and it’s affecting our families and our homes. Statistic tell us that 7% of children ages 3-14 meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder and the number just keeps rising. 


Sometimes, we just get use to the surviving the chaos and stress because we don’t know what else to do. I got use to the broken vacuum cleaner because I didn’t know what else to do and I didn’t want to ask for help (and that’s another conversation for another day) but after months of wrestling with it and increasingly dirty carpets, I knew I needed more help. 


On June 1st, we are launching our first ACT Parenting Community online course, “Building Blocks for Whole Family Calm: Parenting in an Anxious World.” The vision for this course is to provide you with foundational knowledge to recognize the influence of anxiety and learn some practical tools to help your family begin to experience more calm in the midst of an anxious world. 


This is not a magic fix but rather a course where you can gain not only new knowledge and tools but also connection with other parents. The online course has video teaching, reading, action steps, and discussions with other parents as well as an invitation to join Dr Jessi Sigander and myself for a live class for more teaching and conversation.


We believe in what we are teaching because we’ve seen in impact our own families. Over the next two weeks, we will be offering special offers, discount codes, and giveaways for our ACT Parenting Community members. And if you know anyone who could benefit, be sure to invite them to join the community!



Hannah Benedict

Hannah Benedict is a northwest native as well and loves anything that gets her outside, baking, and reading. Through her coaching practice, Hannah partners with people to give them practical solutions for intentional living. She has a master’s degree in counseling, specializing in children and adolescents, a B.S. in Human Development, and is a master’s level PCI® Certified Parent Coach. As well as coaching, Hannah teaches workshop, trainings, and has over 15 years of experience as an educator in a variety of settings.  

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