What we can't do alone, we do together: Meet Anna and Bryson
April 6, 2021
Anna and Bryson Creighton were one of four Colorado families who shared their story of parental resilience and parenting during the pandemic at the virtual launch of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Parents to two girls, 20-months and 4-years old, Anna and Bryson have introduced new traditions, such as a chakra singing bowl and family meditation at bedtime, visits to their family barn and caring for plants, to help them adjust during the pandemic.
Effective communication and making the time to prioritize and understand one another's needs have been key in their teamwork as parents and as spouses.
Both parents agreed that making time for self-care and ensuring that they each have some dedicated time for themselves is essential and has played a role in their ability to be present and healthy parents. Bryson manages stress that comes along with full-time parenting and working by maintaining a regular exercise routine, and Anna has been intentional about scheduling virtual interactions with friends, reading and indulging in skincare.
Asking for help
Anna and Bryson are most proud that they have built the flexibility and inner strength necessary to bounce back when facing challenges and feel well-equipped to cope with the stresses of everyday life.
Although they are resilient, they still need help from time to time and recognize that asking for help can help to prevent stress, which ultimately strengthens their family.
What they need help with the most, Anna and Bryson say, has been babysitting.
“I'm not one to ask for help, it's not my personality or what I do,” said Bryson. “With that being said, when it comes to our children I have asked for help not only to provide Anna and I the head space to cope with life events that have transpired over the last year, but also to enjoy quality time together.”
Anna says that she too has found asking for help to be especially important over the past year." Asking for help doesn't come easy yet living in a pandemic in conjunction with my medical needs, it's essential to our mental, physical and emotional health not only as parents but also for our children,” said Anna. “My support system has assisted us in finding that balance.”
Anna and Bryson Creighton sit with their daughters to say a nightly ritual, ringing a meditation singing bowl.
The importance of building and maintaining parental resilience
Anna and Bryson realize that continuously working to build and maintain their resilience as parents is important for their family throughout the pandemic and well after. Being resilient as a parent is one of five protective factors that allow parents to parent effectively, even under stress.
In addition to the newly implemented traditions that have kept their family afloat over the past year, they have also found comfort in the motto’s that they have come up with as a family and refer back to them when they need a gentle reminder of how strong they truly are; What we can't do alone, we do together and if it doesn't make your heart happy, don't do it.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. The Colorado Department of Human Services CO4Kids campaign encourages all Coloradans to strengthen families and communities throughout the year. If you know of a parent or family willing to share their story, or an organization working to strengthen Colorado families and communities that would like to be highlighted, please reach out to Dianna Robinson.
To learn about the signs of child abuse and neglect and for information about how to become a foster or adoptive parent, visit CO4Kids.org. Call 844-CO-4-Kids to report concerns about child abuse and neglect. If a child or teen is in immediate danger, dial 9-1-1.