How to Navigate The Self-Doubt Stage In Your Parenting Journey
Sometimes I wish I had Wonder Woman's supernatural power.
Going through the many phases of life as a woman is quite exciting, fulfilling, and challenging. Furthermore, becoming a mother adds a deeper layer to the journey of womanhood altogether.
Thus with everything, motherhood comes with its challenges, which can often cause parents to feel unsure, afraid, and overwhelmed. As a parent-coach, I work with mothers to help guide and coach them through the different stages of their parenting journey, such as setting healthy boundaries, understanding parenting styles, and working together with their spouses.
Parenting is hard work, not to mention the level of pressure parents are under
regularly about a myriad of things, from whether or not we should use baby formula, go vegan, do soccer or lacrosse to whether or not we should homeschool or do public school. We can all agree that most parents want what is best for their children. Sometimes, society's unhealthy demands, peer pressure, and unrealistic expectations can cause mothers to feel stuck in a self-doubt hole, making them parent from a place of insecurity and fear. So what can mothers start doing today that will help them parent with confidence and assurance and face their self-doubt head-on in their parenting journey?
Step #1: Have a Heart-Check
For you to start on the road of confidence and assertiveness, you must look inward and see all that might be in your way to parent with serenity. I purposefully used the word "serenity." Why? I learned early on that the sooner we realize that there will be many things in our life we will not have control over, the better it is for us to manage and choose our battle wisely. So, take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself these questions: "How's my heart today"? And what tends to cause me to doubt myself as a parent, what seems to be the common denominator"? I highly suggest you ponder on these questions until you start feeling uncomfortable about the answers. So, please take all the time you need, it might get excruciating, but it is necessary.
Step #2: Discover the Style Of Parenting You Have Been Practicing
Parenting styles are crucial because a lot of what you are experiencing in your parenting journey is highly related to your parenting style. So, the experience you get from practicing a Child-Centered Parenting Style will be very different from a Parent-Centered Parenting Style, and so on.
Step #3: Re-Organize Your Priorities
We all know too well that we are being bombarded every day with things that get us distracted and lost in many areas of our lives. Well, that goes for parents, mothers as well. Mixed priorities lead to frustration, confusion, tiredness and just, more stress. Mothers don't need any unnecessary loads in their journey; unhealthy expectations can create a feeling of inadequacy. The question is, "how can you give the best version of yourself to your family if you are constantly functioning to reach something that in the end will only create more pressure and stress in your life as a parent"? Take a few steps back, and let go of everything that is no longer serving you or your family.
Step # 4: Make Self-Care a Priority
Parenting is exhausting. You are not Wonder Woman. It is impossible to take care of those around you properly if you, yourself, are drained and starving. That is, mentally, emotionally, and physically you are exhausted. Your children need to see and understand that taking care of themselves is just as important as caring for others. So, have a self-care routine each month for both mom and dad.
Step # 5: Be A Team With Your Spouse
Nothing feels more challenging and hopeless than a parent who feels alone and
unappreciated in her parenting struggles while being married. No effective changes or lasting results are possible when mom and dad are operating as competitors, better yet rivals. As a mother, you will experience different things in your parenting journey, and the same goes for a father. For self-doubt to not create a wedge between you and your spouse, you must be on the same page as often as is reasonable. Develop an early and healthy communication line between you and let truth and honesty guide you each step of the journey.
Step # 6: Never Stop Learning And Growing
Being honest with your shortcomings as a parent is the first step to address self-doubt. Knowing that there's always something that you can learn and improve on as a mother eases the load off your shoulder and allows you to live each day being mindful of grace for yourself. So yes, you will mess up. Yes, sometimes you won't know what to do. But, as long as you commit to learning and growing, the experiences and the whole parenting journey itself become less heavy, more enjoyable, and serene.
And so, know that we all struggle with doubt at some point in our lives in different seasons; when doubt has taken over our confidence and serenity, we need to hit pause. So, the moral of this blog is that when you do feel heavy, confused, and lost at the same time, start with a heart check. God does not make mistakes. You are the EXACT parent, mother your children. Pray for the mental and emotional well-being of your entire family, pray with your spouse, pray for and with your children.
By: Christie Charles (CoachKrysty). Christie is a Certified Life and Parent Coach. She has worked with private families for over ten years as a Family and Personal Assistant, Consultant, Mentor, and Parent Coach. She specializes in helping parents improve their children's unhealthy behaviors and coaches mothers to prioritize self-care and their sense of individuality. Check Christie out on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, Clubhouse, website.
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