Parents, Look for Signs You're Succeeding
I’ve been talking a lot on the blog lately about ways to get the support you need when you’re really doubting yourself as a parent--how to know when you need advice and when you just need encouragement, what to do with advice that doesn’t fit, and dealing with unsolicited advice from relatives and strangers.
Today, though, I want to talk about finding that inner confidence as a parent, so that you can squash self-doubt and overwhelm all on your own. Truth be told, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a practice. But the good news there are things you can start doing today that will help you to trust your own parenting sense and feel better about doing things your way.
Last week, I went live on Facebook with 4 Tips you can start using today to let go of self-doubt and start seeing the signs that you’re succeeding at this whole parenting thing.
And I’m sharing that video with you here now.
Check out the video and transcript below.
And then, let me know in the comments: What helps you to remind yourself that you’re doing just fine as a parent?
WATCH THE VIDEO:
This video previously aired as a Facebook Live. You can follow Happy With Baby on Facebook to catch all their live videos here.
Hey there. I thought I recorded this live yesterday and maybe it did record and then it didn't end up saving. I'm not really sure what happened, so I'm gonna be doing it again today. And then hopefully tomorrow you can join me again at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time because I'll be doing another Facebook live. So I'm hoping to make my Thursdays at 11:30 regular Facebook live informational, helpful tips and stuff like that. So I hope you guys are all having a great day and thank you for bearing with me.
In my last video, I was talking about how to get clear on what we need as parents when we are feeling vulnerable or not supported, when we're doubting ourselves because I know that can happen frequently. And sometimes we need advice and suggestions and sometimes we just need validation and support. And sometimes we get that unsolicited advice or support, and then we have to deal with all the feelings around that. So my last video was talking about how to kind of deal with that.
But then there's some times where you need support and your go-to person isn't available or maybe already checked in with those people and you kind of didn't - it wasn't helpful wasn't supportive in the way that they typically, you typically feel it. So this video is about how can you be that pillar of strength for yourself.
So if you don't know me, I'm Catherine O'Brien at Happy With Baby, and my easy answer is look for signs that you are succeeding. This is definitely a skill you can practice and get a lot better about, about how to shift your focus. And so, I have a few easy, quick tips. Easy - easier, it's easier said than done a lot of times. So definitely these are things that you can practice.
And honestly, I kind of reverted to some of them as I was trying to get up to do this Facebook live again, like it can be like - doing new things can be hard, right. Like having a baby, having kids at every stage can be hard and we need to really like shift our focus and look at how we are succeeding as parents.
So my number one tip is stop focusing on what other people are doing and comparing yourself to them. Guys, so me looking at other Facebook Live videos is not helpful before I do my own Facebook Live, right. So I took a break from social media and I'm not doing that stuff. I think the same thing goes for what you see other parents doing on social media, right.
You know that we only post our best foot forward typically because it's hard, it's harder to be vulnerable and show the not-so-great stuff. And you know, sometimes there's backlash for that. So, turn that off. Turn it off and stop comparing yourself to that perfect picture, the perfect scenery.
And sometimes it's okay to take a break from certain people that make you feel less than and make you feel like, hey, I'm not doing this right and they're always doing everything right. You know they're that perfect - the perfect team mom are the perfect, you know, they have all the arts-and-crafts. Their kids' homework is always done on time. The kids' hair is perfect when they go to school. Or they're always in the cutest outfits and they have the perfect family pictures and all those things. And they're always at all the little activities around town. Take breaks from them if you have to. You can unfollow people on social media for a while or I think you can even take breaks from them and stuff now.
(Or, you know, maybe you don't reach out to them, but reach out to other moms because I think sometimes we think that people have it perfect and that things are really perfect for them, but once we start opening up too and sharing our story, we find out that it's not as perfect as it looks either.)
So again get the support from the people that you do feel the support, but stop comparing yourself to all these other people that it looks so perfect. I hope that makes sense. I kind of went off on a tangent there.
Anyways, Okay. So the number two tip is check yourself. What are your priorities? What are your values? And let these kind of direct you in the the way that you want to go.
So if you're more about accumulating memories than having the perfectly clean house, but you've made Playdough and your kids have you made a fort and stuff is all over the place, like that's what's important to you. Let that be a thing. You don't have to have the perfect furniture and the perfect decorations and all those things. But if you're creating memories with your kids, like let that be - remember that. Remember that that is what one of your priorities are.
If you feel like there's things that you're supposed to do, right, you hear a lot of things that were supposed to do. You hear other parents saying that they're, you know, exclusively breastfeeding or they make all their own baby food or their kids never eat, you know, processed foods. There's, you know, they only wear cloth diapers. They babywear all the time. Like whatever the things are, like these are these are things I hear in my office that moms especially put a lot of pressure on themselves for, but it's not working for you, like it's too much, it's too hard. It's not comfortable in any way. Feeling like you're mentally healthy is way more important than if you are doing all of these things that you feel like you're supposed to do. There are alternatives. There's not one right way to do things, so find what works best for your well-being. And I can almost guarantee you your kid is going to be happy with a well-rested, mentally healthy parent, okay.
So do what you have to do to take care of yourself and then all these other little things. And then as you feel better about things, maybe you start adding in some of these other things that you want to do.
Number three is if you're feeling like you didn't get anything done for the day, like does that happen where you like had plans to clean the house and do all these things and then you got nothing done?
One of the things that I like to do because - and it's gotten easier, like my kids are older now. They are nine and five, so I have more time to myself. I'm able to get things done, but especially in the old days, I would make a list of things that I hoped to get done and then, even a lot of times I didn't get those things done. But I would start adding to my list because I really like to check things off.
So maybe I didn't have on there that I, you know, take a shower or change my clothes or, you know, fed my kids breakfast and lunch and dinner. I'll start adding those on, just so I can start checking those off. So I think it's acknowledging the things that you are doing and not just the things that you aren't doing.
Focus on the positive stuff, like did you read your kid a story before bed? Did you change them into, you know, pajamas and you gave them a bath? And like all those things that you are probably doing, all those caretaking things, acknowledge that you are doing those things because those are important things. And also make sure that you're adding some of those self-care things for yourself as well.
But then, also acknowledge like if there's certain things that you're like, "oh hey I wanted to do this" and it didn't get done, like why didn't it get done? Maybe your kid got sick. Maybe you were sick. Maybe your partner was working late and you weren't able to achieve certain goals, you know. Acknowledge that sometimes those things come up and so try not to be so hard on yourself. So look at that piece too and give yourself a little bit of grace. And focus on the things that you did during those times that were hard.
Like maybe you ended up taking naps because your kid was waking up through the night. Or maybe you cooked some meals and maybe you FaceTimed with your parents or whatever. And acknowledge those strengths that you have.
So my number four tip - and this is my last tip for today - is when in doubt, just run through the basics, you know, especially in that first year of parenthood, like we can be - I think we have a lot of expectations of how things should go and it can be very upsetting when we're not feeling like we're meeting those goals. So just acknowledge those. And acknowledge like, hey maybe you did get a few hours of sleep. Not as much as you wanted, but you did. Maybe you did shower more than once a month. Hopefully it's more than once a month - more than once a week for sure. And just kind of, you know, maybe you attempted to make some dinner and acknowledge the things that you're doing very well, guys. Because, you know, parenthood isn't easy.
We definitely need a support system, but we also need to acknowledge the things that we are doing right and our strengths. And our strengths don't have to be what somebody else is doing. So kind of the whole point of this video is definitely be gentle on yourselves.
I know I'm one of those people that can be hard on myself and feel like things have to be a certain way. That's maybe why this video wasn't done last week like I thought it should be done, like what I wanted to originally do and the procrastination there.
Acknowledge ways that you are succeeding because you're doing so much. You're raising this amazing little human or humans. And definitely give yourself some credit and some grace.
And I would love to hear what your successes are this week and so, feel free to post below in the comments. And until next time , you guys, take care of yourself.
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