Does this sound familiar: You have no idea what you’re doing with this whole parenting business, you doubt yourself a lot, especially when you hear conflicting advice or admonitions from others around you, and you’re starting to get scared your kids will fall short compared to their peers.
Meanwhile, you see other moms who feel very confident with what they’re doing. They don’t doubt their decisions or second-guess actions. They know they’re doing all right in the overall scheme of things.
We all vary with how confident we feel as mothers, and sometimes this confidence ebbs and flows by the day. Others times, it’s a state of mind that can alter how we see ourselves and even the decisions we make.
From the spectrum of ‘very confident’ to ‘I have no idea what I’m doing,’ where do you fall?
Me—I feel like a confident mom. I wouldn’t say over confident since I realize I’m always learning, but I can’t imagine doing anything bad enough to screw up my kids.
Being a second-time mom helps. Granted, having twins was a learning curve, but I feel more confident with my second round of kids than with my first. I know from experience that sleep deprivation won’t last forever or that I won’t always be beholden to the challenges of breastfeeding, plus I have some tricks up my sleeve for milestones I’ll meet again like potty training or tantrums.
I sweat the small stuff a lot less.
I also research a lot. When something has me stumped, I look it up or ask around. I don’t take every bit of advice, but after gathering information, I’m better able to make a decision than if I hadn’t read up on it. I’m not afraid to ask other moms for opinions, from friends to family to coworkers, on how they handled a particular situation.
The few times others have criticized my parenting methods I’ve let slide as best I can and instead focused on the people’s intentions. I take the advice that works for my family and ignore those that don’t.
I know I’m human. I’m not perfect and sometimes don’t even follow my own advice. Many times I’ve regretted doing or saying something to my kids. I’ve felt terrible when my son slipped and fell in the shower while I stood there so close and later wondered why I didn’t react sooner to catch him. I’m sure I can do so much more for my kids financially or provide them with enrichment activities.
During these times, accepting that I’m not perfect nor should strive to be has kept my confidence in place. One fault or a few regrets don’t equal poor parenting.
Best yet, my kids are happy. And I’m more than confident in my love for them and doing my best. Because a truly terrible mom is one who considers only herself and not her kids. One who neglects, abuses or manipulates her kids.
One who wouldn’t wonder whether she was doing all right as a mom.
Because no matter where you fall on that spectrum of confidence—from a very confident mom to scared you’re not doing enough—you’re probably doing above and beyond in the eyes of the ones who matter most: your kids.
What obstacles hold you back and make you question your abilities as a mom?
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