Fed – Check
Changed – Check
Bathed – Check
Sleeping – Check
The notorious check-list that almost every new parent uses to keep as much order and control over their daily life as possible. It takes plenty of time and energy to be able to check off these items (and others) on a daily basis. There are so many x-factors that can or do happen that you just cannot account for. Therefore, making it seem like changing a diaper or feeding your child the most grueling task. However, after some time, we all get a handle on things and you develop your own customizable playbook to counteract many of those x-factors.
While your battling dirty diapers, tantrums and sleeplessness there is a whole another aspect of your child’s life that is even more challenging to conquer; that is parenting. We as parents are constantly getting mixed messages about what we should and should not be doing to raise our child. For example, let your child cry at night to learn to self-sooth, or don’t let your child cry at night because it may create a sense of abandonment. Here’s another, use only positive reinforcement to teach your child right from wrong or use negative reinforcement to teach your child not to do something. As a first-time parent you start to believe everything your doing is wrong and find it difficult to seek out what’s right. You become overwhelmed by the teeter tottering of information resulting in unnecessary anxiety and stress.So how do we conquer parenting? I don’t know.
What I do know is that all these articles, books, forums and studies are missing one key aspect of parenting and that is the parent(s)! After having my son, I had many anxieties, and fears about basically failing as a parent by not doing enough. I felt that all of these deeply embedded anxieties would get projected onto my son unconsciously, so as a parent I took a step back and took a deep breathe. Parenting in my opinion is about you (the parent) and your relationship with your child. So, the hard part of parenting is you!
For parents who are perfectionists like myself, you will soon discover that is it impossible to maintain that type of standard. It’s ok to let things go sometimes it will not make you less of a parent it will help you be more flexible to handle situations with ease. For parents who are more laid back like my husband, they come to realize they need to be more cautious. I’m not saying you lose these facets of your personality completely because they do come in handy in certain situations but some adjustment is needed to refine your skills. Your child is already learning and observing how you behave when things are seamless and when things are going haywire. Take time to reflect on your actions, behaviors and attitudes when it comes to situations dealing with your child whether they be positive or negative. Also, when I do read information about parenting or child’s development I take the information that is most suitable for my child, myself and our lifestyle and do away with the rest.
Teaching your child new skills for development whether they be social, behavioral or physical starts with having a full tank of patience, a toolbox of creativity, a touch of cleverness and a mind that constantly reminds you how much you love you them. And yes, you will make mistakes and you must be forgiving to yourself because you are learning also. Forgiveness is a hard lesson to learn but it has alleviated my stress so I can focus on doing more for my kids. Parents let your child guide to becoming the parent you want to be and the parent they need you to be.