From the moment you become a parent, the love you have for another human is indescribable. There is joy, hope and awe.
And intertwined with those positive feelings are exhaustion, fear, angst, frustration and overwhelm.
The responsibilities of parenthood are overwhelming. You are now a leader guiding a young life to adulthood. It’s exhilarating and terrifying.
And as you try to be the best parent you can be, it feels like you are continually hitting parenting road blocks.
Every day you face problems you must resolve. And right when you feel you have everything figured out, something new happens. A developmental milestone, a sleep regression, a change at your work, or possibly a pandemic…
At times it feels like one small decision early on will be a catalyst for your child’s later life.
As parents, we sometimes burden ourselves with making the “right” decisions because our ultimate goal is to raise a decent human being.
We stress over our child and critique every decision we make.
Sometimes we doubt or blame ourselves. Or even worse, listen to the inner critic in our head that we are messing everything up.
We put so much weight on ourselves trying to be the “best” parent and then it feels like we fall short.
And then there’s the ever present shame. It’s rampant on social media. We already feel doubt and blame and now shame rears it’s ugly head.
Quickly we go from feeling guilt, “I did a bad thing and I didn’t respond the best way to my child” to shame, “I am a bad parent.”
We are inundated with advice (often unsolicited) from other family members, friends, colleagues, and random strangers.
And then we either become defensive or we retreat.
We pretend that everything is going great, when in fact we feel like we are unraveling.
In an attempt to hide our vulnerabilities and be authentic, we “fake good.”
Maybe you share a beautiful (filtered) instagram post about the glorious hike with your child but omit the part about the epic meltdown from your child and the fact you forgot the sunscreen.
Or possibly you share the breathtaking picture of your adorable sleeping baby but omit the part about how you spent the last 45 minutes trying to get your screaming infant to sleep and that both of you were crying moments before the picture was captured.
Or when asked how you’re doing you respond with “great! the kids are great” when in fact, the kids aren’t great and neither are you.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
Self-Development and Support
Parenting is a journey in personal growth. You have the power to work through these parenting road blocks.
You can stop allowing self-doubt, shame and secrecy. The first step is having awareness that it’s occurring.
If you find yourself questioning your parenting decision or changing your decision based on what others are doing, it’s time to embrace healthy support.
There is strength in silencing self-doubt, shame and secrecy.
It’s time to embrace imperfect parenting.
We can be the adult we want our child to be.
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