It's Okay To Be A "Good Enough" Parent | BabyGaga
Note: This is not Babygaga's views. This personal essay reflects the thoughts and beliefs of the writer.
Let's be honest. Every aspires to raise happy, healthy, and hard-working members of society. And to achieve this, we are told that we need to sacrifice everything. God forbid that we fail to give parenting our all, lest we'll end up with unemployed adults crashing in our basements, and society will remind us that it was all our fault. Today's parent is obsessed with being perfect. But can you be perfect at parenting? Picture this, never making a parenting mistake. . Showing up for your child every single day, whether it means cooking for them, taking them to daycare, showing up for their every game, or taking them for every appointment.
Perfect parenting is a myth, it's illogical and impossible. ruins the child-raising experience, and it drains parent's energy and resources. You push yourself too far and deprive your child of critical growth experiences. Read on to learn more.Via Pexels
Today's parenting standards are exacting. They start with a . Then, moms must breastfeed for years, with those that cannot or experiencing stigma. We're also expected to make our own baby food, feed them only organics, and in BPA-free containers. And don't forget that you need to be present for all their milestones, be engaged in their educational activities, or else they'll fall behind other kids. We're also expected to participate in every aspect of our kids' schools, including volunteering for long hours with the PTA and helping as class parents. There's no free time for the perfect mom and dad, only unlimited devotion to our kiddos. These standards are not only untenable but also crazy.
Did you have to lower your parenting standards due to the pandemic? Have you ever had to fake a bathroom break just to hide from your kiddos? Do you feel like you're not giving it your all every time you see an Instagram mom kicking ass? We beat ourselves up for not being perfect parents. But are we even perfect humans to start with?
Parenting is a chaos-filled rollercoaster. Just because you're not doing what other Instagram supermoms are doing doesn't make you a bad mom. You cannot be a perfect parent. You're only human, and so are your kids. It would be much simpler to parent robots since they're predictable and can be shut down when they misbehave.
According to , parenting isn't anything close to that, and yet, we still strive to be perfect, feeling like we aren't doing right by our kids if we make a parenting mistake.
The famous British pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott came up with the term "good-enough mother" in the "50s. He describes the vital process whereby a mom begins as hyper-responsive to her baby's needs, then naturally relaxes her receptivity in healthy ways as the baby grows and develops.
However, according to , Winnicott admits that adapting and readapting to a child's ever-changing needs for attention vs. independence is no mean feat. He reassures moms that achieving perfection is impossible, and it isn't the goal.
According to the pediatrician, as long as you're reliable and your children are well-cared for, your "failures"- minor slipups and mistakes are part and parcel of parenting. Being good enough, compared to perfect, ultimately f.
In his words, "Her failure to adapt to every need of the child helps them adapt to external realities. Her imperfections better prepare them for an imperfect world."
Good-enough parenting is more of a stigma than a goal. According to Winnicott, "good-enough" parenting isn't an excuse for bare-minimum parenting, neglect, or abuse. The point is to celebrate the everyday "ordinary devoted mom," whose overall love and consistency make up for the inevitable mistakes she makes along the way. This message should be repeated for this generation of aspiring supermoms.
Show compassion to yourself. Permit yourself to consider compassion while responding to self-criticism, but not to condone failure to meet your child's needs. Liberate yourself from perfect parenting. It's okay if you yell or cry sometimes. It isn't the end of the world. It's okay to be human. What matters is what you do with these emotions. Instead of hiding them from your children, tell them what and how you're feeling in a kid-friendly way and explain to them that it's okay to sit with distressing feelings.
advises that you help them understand how to deal with these emotions. For example, if you're worried or sad, explain to them that taking in a deep breath, taking a walk, or watching your favorite show helps you feel better. Then talk to them about what makes them feel better when they feel worried or sad. Stop trying to hold it together every time. Be an actual life emotion model for your children, as it.
A valuable lesson that your kids need to learn is that life is not perfect. It's more important than having a mom or dad that meets all their needs ASAP and with a smile. It's more valuable than having a parent that never shows any sign of fatigue or stress. Rather, be a parent that guides your child in learning how to handle life's challenges and imperfections, making you the best parent your child can have. So, cut yourself some slack. Showing your kids support doesn't mean getting everything right. Good enough is what your children need to thrive.
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