Four reminders for when you next feel judged as a parent
Author: Jasmine Vanstone Date Posted:23 July 2017
As beautiful as parenthood is it can at times come with overwhelming feelings of guilt, self-doubt, indecision, and worry about doing the right thing by our children. Feeding, schooling, screen time, discipline, there’s so much to consider – and everyone has an opinion on how you could do it better!
The next time you feel judged, are doubting yourself or sorting through a mountain of everyone’s well-meaning advice here are four reminders we’d like you to think on.
1. You are the only one who sees the full story
It's easy for someone to sit on the sidelines and tell you what you “should be doing”. But if they aren’t experiencing the same life you are 24/7 they are not getting the full story.
As parents, we are bombarded with so much information and well-meaning advice from friends, relatives and the Internet, many of which contain conflicting ideas on the best ways to parent children. But no two children are the same, and no two parents are the same - and no one knows your kids as well as you do.
Because of this, you children need you to trust yourself. I know from personal experience just how hard that is, but it is vital for your children’s well-being and your sanity. Seek and listen to advice but don’t feel you need to implement it if it doesn’t work for you and your family – and certainly don’t buy into the guilt, doubt or judgement for doing this.
2. There is only one person you should compare yourself to
And that is the parent you were yesterday. While having the support of other mums is invaluable it can also lead to the inevitable comparison. But the challenge with this is that we live in a world of highlights. Afraid of being judged, we present the highlight reel on social media and in conversations with other parents, yet by doing so, all we do is isolate ourselves more.
Stop yourself. Go back to the reminder above and know that you do not see their full story. No one has it together all of the time, and if you find that rare friend who lets you into all their mess – and sees yours without judgement, hold on and never let go!
3. You will make mistakes
And plenty of them! We’re human after all and mistakes are how we learn. In the same way, your toddler tests the boundaries to find out where they are, we too as adults have to find our way through life and navigate situations, events and people that we have no idea how to handle. Even when we’re armed with the best of intentions we’re going to get it wrong a lot of the time.
So don’t dwell on the mistake though, dwell on the lesson. Take the learning and be better. Your child is the best example here, when they try to crawl, walk or run they don’t stop and focus on the last big fall they had, they get up, dust themselves off and try again.
4. Focus on your wins
Who wants to stay focused on everything they’ve done wrong in a day? Of course you are going to feel like a horrible parent! Starting from today why not start a list on your phone or in a notebook of all the great things you did today – from avoiding the tantrum in the shops to playing in the moment or even getting on top of the washing (that is a HUGE achievement by the way!). Try being your own cheerleader for a day; I promise you won’t regret it!
So tell us, what reminders do you give yourself when you are judged as a parent either by yourself or someone else?