As a parent you may often feel overwhelmed with the sea of information available at your fingertips, often finding yourself falling down a wormhole questioning if you’re being a good parent. Well I can tell you the answer to that question.
YES YOU ARE!
Parenting isn’t an exact science yes there are so many experts out there saying you must do this and you must do that; I remember when I read about the ‘yes’ parenting technique, this is just one of many ways a parent can raise their child yet so many experts swore this is the only technique any ‘good’ parent should follow. My parents raised me differently and I turned out more than OK. So if there’s one thing you take from this post, let it be that you are doing your best and that is enough.
So where do our fears of being bad parents come from? False beliefs, confidence shattering false beliefs. False beliefs are often created by society and are instilled in us from birth which then become our core beliefs, beliefs we hold to be absolute truths, which impact how we interact with the world around us. These can change over the years from generation to generation; in the 70s you wouldn’t find a parent encouraging their little boy to play with dolls, and although many parents still hold that belief that dolls are only for girls, we do see there is now a change with some parents believing that children toys, much like children, are gender neutral. Elon Musk and Grimes recently announced their child’s name as the gender neutral X Æ A-12 which 20 years ago would have been highly frowned upon.
False beliefs don’t only come from birth however, society is constantly providing these by the shovel, and parenting is a subject where many false beliefs are instilled. We’re often told that if we don’t follow someone’s else’s beliefs and techniques we are bad parents. I recently had a concerned parent come up to me saying she felt like a bad mother because her child’s sleeping habits were different to those of her mum friends, different to what the experts said a good parent does. She was putting her baby to bed an hour and a half later than the recommended 7pm bedtime but still getting 11 hours of sleep a night, would you really call her a bad parent? Her mum friends did because of their false beliefs, and this then became her own false belief which was taking away the beautiful experiences and feelings that come with being a mother.
you are doing your best and that is enough
Let me tell you about my own false belief experience. I am a qualified zumbini instructor, when I first started Zumbini with Sofia in January 2019, I was told by many parents that they didn’t want to take their children to my classes. Why? Because I look ‘too young’ to know anything about children. I’m 23 years old but I understand I look younger, with people estimating anything between 16 to 18, and I take that as a huge compliment. But I often find myself having to work twice as hard as my peers. Parents wouldn’t wait to see my qualifications in childcare nor do they want to hear about my experience, they would often look at me and think I am too young to know what I’m doing. These false beliefs were not only affecting my business, but also my self-confidence. Was I really too young, too inexperienced for this? Was self-employment the wrong move for me? I was doubting myself constantly, what could I do to change these false-beliefs and turn things around?
The simple solution I could tell you is trust yourself. But…that’s easier said than done. Instead, I’m going to remind you to never give up. Let’s try a quick exercise, grab some paper and a pen, and continue reading. Great, now on one paper I want you to write down all the false beliefs you hold about yourself. Fold it up. Think about what you could say differently; for example, if your false belief is that you’re too old for that career change you can remind yourself that you’re never too old to pursue what you want. Rip up that folded piece of paper and throw it away. They’re called false beliefs because that’s exactly what they are, false.
If you have a little more time, write on little pieces of paper things you value about yourself, what makes you great, and fold them before placing them in a jar until it is full. Whenever your self-confidence starts to shake, or you face face beliefs, take one out. Read it. Repeat it. And repeat it again. Keep repeating it to yourself because you are not these false beliefs, you are who you make yourself. And personally, I’d like to make myself brave, persistent, the expert. The expert.
And that’s what I did. I made myself the expert and I showed it. I made some changes to the original music and movement class program zumbini offers and adapted it to the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). I spoke to parents and childminders, invited them to £5 trials, and showed them my worth. I have six children who always show up to my class rain or shine because parents started seeing the worth of my classes. I am holding classes at different locations, events, and childcare settings. During COVID-19 I am offering virtual zumbini classes, offering lessons for those who otherwise would have been in school so they can continue to get an education, and I am growing an email list for parental courses for first time mums. Mums who feel like they’re lost in all the politics of bringing up a child, who don’t feel like they get to enjoy motherhood the way they initially thought they would, mums who feel overwhelmed about choosing childcare, mums who are debating whether they should go back to work.
They’re called false beliefs because that’s exactly what they are, false
My parental courses are for mums in all sorts of situations, whether they are looking for a summary of all the important information in one place, or are completely lost and are looking for extra help. With direct access to myself and lifetime access to the course, you can easily find the help and information you are searching with just 15 minutes a day (an easy fit into nap time!) so imagine if I hadn’t persisted, if I had given up listening to those false beliefs? What if you listen to the false beliefs? You’ll miss out on too many opportunities. A support network was important to myself whilst I was rebuilding, and you will have a very important support network by signing up to our parental classes. Like-minded mums.
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