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The ultimate self-care

How is your summer (or winter) break going?

Back from three wonderful weeks in France, visiting family and friends. Living far from them during the year makes being there my ultimate self-care. I’ve somehow always managed to live far from someone dear to me, that’s just the way my life has unfolded.

It’s also the time of year I do a much needed digital detox, proud to say it’s my third year in a row.

I unplugged for 22 days, took all the social media apps off my phone, logged off the sites on my computer and enjoyed every moment of it. Last year, I also took the email app off my phone, and you know what!? I’ve never put it back! Email is email, it now stays on my laptop and I deal with it when I’m working, it’s been an ideal boundary to set for myself. You should give it a try.

So why do I do an annual digital detox, you ask?

The ever connectedness of our phones and other digital devices have us in a constant state of interruption and overstimulation. At least that’s true for me. Let’s be truthful, how often do you find yourself scrolling aimlessly only to realize that what you came to look for has been forgotten? I know I’ve done that a few times. You do realize that app developers have studied our brains, which is why we will stay hooked for hours on end, not even realize it. That is why it’s vital to take a stance for what is important, being mindful that we do and can control our personal digital diet.

During my little break I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book, City of Girls. If you haven’t picked up a copy, it’s a fun and daring read (I also like to unplug from all the academic readings I partake during the rest of the year).

The best part about not being plugged in is I got to day-dream, plan and connect with those that are dear to me.

I went for a few days to our family home in Burgundy with my father, sister and a cousin visiting from the US. The only place on earth that I’ve known since I was an infant, it’s been in our family for eight generations! So needless to say, it’s my happy place.

Spent some lovely and much needed quality time with my Parisian girlfriends, friends I’ve had for over 30 years, we rarely talk during the year but boy do we have a lot to catch up when we get together.

My in-laws celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary and Joel and I our 24th. Theirs was a two-day event with family members gathering for good food, wine, storytelling and card playing.


So fun to visit with everyone, yet I will admit I have to be reminded of who is who each time. I did not grow up with such a large family and marrying into one has been a blessing.

I even got to spend time with my wonderful co-author Violaine of “Les 100 règles d’or de la méthode Montessori” and got to actually see our book in a bookstore! Still pinching myself that I’m a published author.

Then we, husband and daughter, took off to discover a part of Brittany I didn’t know, met up with friends who now live there. Such a beautiful region, we were instantly inspired to move there, you just never know where life will take you. Especially now that we are starting a new chapter in our parenting journey that of being empty nesters, daughter in Glasgow and son in Santa Barbara both in college.

Now, that I’m back in San Diego I get to put in place all the plans I have for you. But first I’m off to China in a few days to give some intensive Montessori training to new teachers in Beijing. I do love to travel put the 15-hour time change is definitely intimidating. And this time I will have an imposed social media break.

One of the projects I’m super excited to share with you soon is the creation of a podcast. As you know I love to share knowledge and wisdom I gain from others and truly enjoy doing interviews with prominent parenting and child development experts. So this is what I will be sharing with you on my podcast. I’ve not yet settle on a name, so if you have any ideas, let me know.

With loving kindness,

Jeanne-Marie
Your Parenting Mentor

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