The amount of parental pressure these days is exhausting. “Do this, don’t do that” “More of this, less of that.” It seems like you’re always ruining your kids in one way or another, but the key to parental success is actually really simple.
The nature of our society today leads us to feel like there’s so much pressure on us to be kick ass mums and parents. We feel like everyone wants or expects us to try and give our children a ‘perfect’ upbringing. It feels like this parental pressure comes from every corner of the globe.
Really though, it doesn’t. It might feel like there is because we’re constantly inundated with good ideas and the best ways to do things – we live in a world of information. I’ve often said that I feel like there’s so much pressure on me to be the best mum I can be, and I know many other mums feel the same way. Want to know the truth though? There’s not. It’s self imposed, self inflicted. We want to be good mums, the best we can be. Not because it’s expected of us but because we want to feel successful at this.
We put the pressure on ourselves without even realising it.
"As much as we feel like we don't know what we're doing and we could be doing better, we're doing it... and that's amazing."
When it comes down to it, it’s really obvious that we do this to ourselves. The pressure doesn’t come from everyone else. Our friends won’t think less of us if we parent different to them – even if we do something they don’t think is quite right. We don’t want to share our secret parenting quirks with people just in case they think less of us, but think about it… what do we really value in this very open society of mums sharing their journeys? We value honesty and confidence.
Do you admire the perfect mum or the honest and real one?
We all love following those mums in popular social media who throw the truth bombs out there about what parenting really looks like… those mums that give us permission to stop trying to be so perfect. We don’t judge them for the decisions they make when it comes to parenting their kids. What makes them so different to the rest of us ‘normal mums’? It’s really simple. They say what they say and do what they do with confidence and conviction. That’s what we like. They’re free from the self imposed pressure and the construct of ‘trying to be better’. Instead, they realise how well they do already and they’re content with that.
We don’t judge those parents, we admire them. It’s not because they have parenting down to a fine art, it’s because they know how they want to roll and they do it. It’s really empowering. Free from the guilt of ‘my kids watch too much tv, or have too much tablet time’ – imagine how great that would feel.
"We don't judge those parents, we admire them. It's not because they have parenting down to a fine art, it's because they know how they want to roll and they do it."
Take the pressure off yourself, YOU have that power
"Stop judging yourself and learn to love your own decisions and instincts. Trust me, you do much better than you give yourself credit for."
We like to blame this guilt we feel about our lack of parenting finesse on society… it’s easy to. There’s so much information in our faces about ways to be an awesome parent, how could we possibly live up to that? However, it’s not society’s fault that we falter in our own convictions. As much as we feel like we don’t know what we’re doing and we could be doing better, we’re doing it… and that’s amazing.
Stop beating yourself up about what you lack or what you struggle to fit into your crazy busy life, and celebrate everything you succeed at. We each have the power to give ourselves permission to accept that what we do is enough and it’s not going to break our kids. Have confidence in what you feel is best and what you feel works in your family, and no one can judge you for that. Stop judging yourself and learn to love your own decisions and instincts. Trust me, you do much better than you give yourself credit for.
At the end of the day do you know what really matters? The happiness of everyone in your family. If you and your kids are happy and looking after yourselves to the extent you can, you’re doing an incredible job.