All the confidences I had in my pre-child life when poof and vanished, when I had Evan. It was no longer just about looking after myself as had this small vulnerable human solely reliant upon my care. I doubted everything. Was it I doing it right? Was he happy? Why was he not as advanced as other children?
I struggled with the sleepless nights. I was walking through each day like a sleep deprived zombie. I was on auto pilot one from day to the next. I’d get upset if I couldn’t settle him. The other parents as play group talked about there children and how well they were doing and it made feel even more inadequate.
But you know what? I am a good parent! It may have taken me some time to realise it but it’s true.
Know that your worries mean you’re a great parent too! You’re are already taking the gravity of this position seriously and wanting to shape and grow your child in the best way.
Here are some tips that will help you find your confidence too.
Act confidence – it will progress to natural confidence -your confidence aura will surround you. Your baby soak it up like a sponge – they’ll feel safer, calmer and happier as a result. Soon this confidence guise will no longer be a act as you gain experience and find your stride.
Take advice with a pinch of salt – ironic as am reeling off these hints and tip! But in all seriousness everyone will offer advice of ‘do this’, ‘don’t do that’, ‘you should’ and so on. Sometimes you will be given some absolute gems of advice but other times although be given from a place of love, the advice can be a load of rubbish. Trust your instincts, get guidance if your insure, heath visitors are always happy to point you in the right direction. But aways remember you know your baby and family dynamic better than anyone – always do what is best for you. Finally, some advice provided can be from outdated knowledge so don’t feel pressured or that you have to relent to people who act as though they know more than you.
Do not compare yourself and your child. No good ever comes from comparing! Every baby and child is different just because Sharons’ baby walked at 9 months, is not a baring or a reflection of you and your child if yours hasn’t. Is your child healthy? Happy? Exactly- everything will happen in due course.
Overcome ‘I’m a bad parent because….’, When Evan was younger and learning to sit, I had him in his cot, a left for a split second to grab a muslin cloth (or something along those lines) and in the nanosecond he fell backwards and cried. The mum guilt hit, but before you let it consume put the moment into perspective. It wasn’t done intentionally. All kids – even babies – get hurt/have accidents. Apply changes to prevent this from recurring. Finally, it’s done, it’s in the past now so leave it there and move on.
Take time for you. Parenting is the most rewarding job there is! But children are like beautiful little parasites draining your energy. It is important that you can make the time to replenish yourself. You can’t give 100% if you’re running on empty. This can be anything from grabbing 5 minutes and putting your feet up with your favourite hot drink, a bubble bath, reading a book, doing exercise or listening to music. Whatever you’re relaxation go to it, you will fee better for it.
Know your child. Turn the tv off, put my phone on aeroplane mode. Focus on that special 1-1 time. The more time I spent with Evan without distraction enhanced our bond more, built up more trust and allowed me to understand him more. The more I knew him the more I could help him.
Learn what triggers you. Everyones buttons get pressed but if we can identify what pushes them, we can look at alternative methods to cope. It’s a lot easier to keep your confidence if were not getting all flustered. If you find you can stop it, just pause, breathe, collect yourself. All situations are easy to overcome with a level head.
Now you’ve found your confidence at the end of each day look back. See your successes and celebrate them.