Overcome Parental Self-Doubt
In order to overcome parental self-doubt, we are totally confident, right?
Believe me, there are plenty of learning opportunities to navigate through as we overcome parental self-doubt.
It’s not always easy.
And I don’t know if self-doubt ever completely goes away.
Although, there is much research done that shows scientific proof on how to overcome doubt in general.
So many times I have battled doubtful thoughts that left me second guessing my judgement and decisions as a mom.
Doubt tends to slowly creep in when things are not going as we’d like. The kids seem to be going crazy. Or, once again you find yourself trying to figure out how to mange it all.
Before you know it, the voice of doubt starts getting louder and louder to tell us “we cain’t”. “We’re doing it wrong”. Or, ” that will never work”.
But, there are three strategies that I have found useful in my personal life as a parent that has helped me overcome parental self-doubt on my own journey.
The three parenting skills I had to learn real quick and still learning about are:
- Face your fears
- Walk in humility
I cain’t promise these will make it easy for you. But, I can assure you they will help you through the rough patches of parenting.
OVERCOME BY FACING YOUR FEARS
DON’T BE AFRAID OF MISTAKES
The fear of making a mistake as a parent can be crippling and almost damaging if not appropriately addressed.
It’s common as a parent to not want to do anything wrong and make every possible best decision possible.
But the reality is, that is impossible.
YES, YOU MAY GET IT WRONG SOMETIMES
Being a good parent doesn’t mean you never make a wrong decision for your child.
But, being a good parent means that when we make mistakes we recognize them, reflect and try to do things differently.
No matter what stage of parenting we find ourself in we will make mistakes.
Every stage of parenting is new and different with each child.
Don’t allow the fear of “getting it wrong” hinder you from adapting and growing with your child or trying something new because you are afraid of what might happen.
FACING MY FEARS ABOUT PUBLIC SCHOOL
Here’s a fear I’ve had to face with my own children just in case you’re interested in seeing this applied to a real life situation.
I have two teenage daughters (14 and 15) and we’ve just had a tough parenting season this past summer.
They were homeschooled for the past 6 years. But, as parents we’ve had to readjust and reevaluate our parenting strategy.
One major change we’ve made was putting our daughters in our local public high school.
I’ve homeschooled my daughters for the past 6 years because I believe so strongly in the strong foundations and opportunities that homeschool can provide for children.
But at this point in their lives, the best options is public school.
I had to overcome parental self-doubt and face my fears about public school for them.
All the thoughts about what if this or what if that happening still runs through my mind. But, my new strategy is if those scenarios do arise we’ll work through them and not run from them.
YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE
I hope what I am about to say will bring you comfort and not harsh correction.
You’re not the first or the last parent who will experience a challenging situation that you are facing now.
I had to realize that many parents were facing similar or the exact “teenage years” of parenting that I was facing and ended up with positive results.
And even though my ideal homeschool plans did not work out perfectly as I anticipated I didn’t fail as a parent either.
One reason I personally struggled so much as I was learning how to overcome parental self-doubt was because I believed the lie that I was the ONLY parent dealing with this issue.
Which made me doubt myself and believe I must be doing something wrong.
Isolation, and uncertainty is the perfect combination for a self doubting parent.
It wasn’t until I begin to open up and share my struggles with other parents did I begin to find the support, healing and encouragement that I so desperately needed to get through those difficult times.
And to my surprise, many parents within my circle either once faced or are currently in similar situations.
Having trustworthy family and friends you are able to get and give support to is such a benefit worth figuring out how to cultivate in your community.
You’ll find that no matter how much “you dot every i” and “cross every t” there are rough patches in parenting that you just cain’t explain why it happened.
But knowing you have support from loved ones right there with you in the process can truly make all the difference in the world!
OVERCOME BY WALKING IN HUMILITY
As I mentioned, opening up within a safe community is critical to helping you overcome parental self-doubt.
But, you have to be ready to be honest.
Start with being honest with yourself first.
Are there some parenting strategies you can tweak or let go of altogether?
Do you yell too much?
Are your expectations of your children unrealistic?
Are your children’s boundaries clear and easy to understand?
I think you get my point. Be honest with yourself first, then others. And allow honesty to begin the journey of humility.
A character trait I have cultivated over the years that helps me walk in humility is being quick to ask questions.
ASK FOR HELP
I’ve never shied away from picking the brain of another mom in an area where I know I need help.
It has been through my asking that has opened doors of knowledge, wisdom and insight.
Books are great. Videos are awesome. But there are times you just need to sit down and talk with a trusted friend and freely share your heart without judgement.
And if you’re wondering what’s the best way to ask for help without sounding weird. The truth is…just ask.
Just plainly ask, “how do you _____________”? Or, “when your child does _________________how do you handle it”?
I promise you, a real friend will never make you feel ashamed for asking for parenting help when you feel stumped.
Any time I’ve asked for help about a parenting issue I’ve been struggling with, my friends often say “why didn’t you ask me sooner”?
Even the bible says, “where no counsel is the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety”. (Proverbs 11:14)
So, there you have it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
RECOGNIZE YOUR MISTAKES
More recently here in this season of parenting, I have learned more than ever how to overcome parental self doubt.
But, that comes with a price. The price you have to be willing to pay is a six letter word spelled C H A N G E. Change.
Although some mistakes are more costly than others, I personally believe that no parenting mistake is beyond repair when accompanied with a change of heart.
You are much more confident as a parent when you are able to admit you have areas you need to improve in. And then allow yourself to be open to new ideas as you parent your child.
PERSEVERE YOUR WAY THROUGH
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines perseverance as continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure or opposition.
This is the divine definition of parenting in its finest.
Persevering in effort, love, and prayer. For the long haul. When it’s glamorous and when it’s not.
GROW WITH YOUR CHILD
It is impossible to learn how to overcome parental self-doubt without being willing to grow with your child.
The strategies that work when they were 10 may not work so well at 15.
I’m a true testimony to that!
Whatever it takes to gain understanding to learn how to grow with your child is paramount to your parent child relationship.
This can definitely be a huge balancing act if you have children of multiple ages.
But knowing when to be a “teenage mom” instead of a “toddler mom” is important.
Whether you’ve been parenting for three days, three years or 13 years you have gained some level of wisdom and insight that you have to trust and follow within yourself.
Trust the love you have in your heart as a parent to inspire you to do what’s best for your child even in difficult moments.
After you have got all the advice you can get. Read until you’ve almost memorized parts of the book. You have to actually make the decision and trust yourself.
And when things don’t feel “right”, or begin to feel “off” trust your judgment and trust the process of figuring out the best adjustments you need to make for your child.
REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR SUCCESS
There is no way you can overcome parental self doubt without this last pointer.
You have to remind yourself of your success as a parent.
We work so hard at trying to do the right things, that we forget to pause and celebrate the decisions we chose that actually worked out great!
And I guarantee you as a parent you have plenty of successes to celebrate big and small.
You have to remind yourself of the times you did get it right.
The recipe you tried that your family loved.
The times you see your child voluntarily pick up a book and read after you’ve spent countless hours instilling in them the importance of reading.
When you overhear your child telling another child a valuable lesson that you have imparted into them over the years.
Or one of my favorites, the times you didn’t yell although you really, really wanted to.
Parenting sometimes feels like a massive forest that when we look at it we can only see the huge giant trees.
But just like the beauty in nature, there are countless small marvelous wonders that we easily and quickly overlook.
This forces us to stop and slow down. Pull out our cameras to capture the moment. Or sometimes, after being in such awe and fascination that we cain’t help but take a piece of nature with us back home to add to our collection.
My daughter once owned a rock collection filled with tons of beautiful and unique rocks that she collected overtime while outside. She kept them tucked away and would occasionally pull them out as each rock reminded her of her special adventures outside.
When we remind ourselves of our success while on our parenting journey it’s like keeping a personal rock collection.
Remembering to pull out our collection of memories as each thought reminds us of the good times along our parenting journey.
LET’S DO THIS!
I do agree that parenting is tough. But I also agree that it can be fun and one of the most learning experiences you’ll ever have.
When we gather the courage to face our fears, walk in humility and persevere this helps us to remember our purpose as a parent.
And if that purpose has gotten a little cloudy it’s never too late to pause and pray and ask God to help you with your purpose in your child’s life as their parent.
What has God given you as your child’s parent that only you can give.
Wether that answer comes immediately or takes a little time to figure out, one sure place to start is knowing we can do this and we can start by learning how to overcome parental self doubt.
Until next time.