The Challenge Of Parenting Without Fear
It’s a terrible thing, fear
Fear has the ability to rob us of joy in our parenting. At any time as a parent, the road ahead can seem uncertain. However, for some parents, a new stage in the journey can be exciting and invite fresh hopes and dreams.
Unfortunately, other parents may feel inadequacy rise up from within and get an overwhelming sense of the enormity of the parenting role. Depending on the circumstances we are in or the people around us, this thing called parenting can have a dramatic effect on our confidence.
It’s all about perspective.
There is a great scene in the film ‘Father of the Bride 2‘, just after Nina and George Banks discover they are about to become parents again. As they drive on the road, they both notice other parents on the sidewalk with their children. Through Nina’s window, she notices the beauty, the embraces and the delights of being a mother. George, on the other hand, only notices all the stress and upset. They’re both travelling the same road, but their perspective is very different.
And so it can be for us.
We carry this collective title of ‘parent’ and yet can experience very different emotions in relation to this role. Some parents seem to blissfully sail the seas of parenthood, displaying a picture-perfect demonstration of family life. Others, however, can feel more like they’re clinging onto a boat in the middle of an unrelenting storm.
As a result, some parents can harbour deep feelings of inadequacy and their perspective of themselves and others can be unfairly biased. During challenging times, our concerns can be easily dismissed and attributed to the season we’re in, for example, during the toddler or teenage years. If we confess we’re struggling with something during these times, others can also be quick to write this off as just normality; “Toddlers are a nightmare!”, or “Teenagers, eh? Who’d have them?’
In many cases, this can leave a parent feeling judged. These generic responses are often unhelpful, only serving to further feed feelings of inadequacy.
Letting fear take hold
As the cycle continues, the inadequacy grows and, inevitably, fear gets a hold of us. Before realising it, our default setting can be to focus on the negative circumstances, pushing us towards all the potential possibilities for things to go wrong.
Fear is a thief. It robs us of seeing the potential in our family and our situations.
Fear draws attention to what might go wrong. It tangles us up in a web of ‘what ifs’ that rarely become reality.
To stop this fear taking root in our lives, we need to be intentional about creating hopes and dreams for our family. As we raise our expectations of what our family life might look like if we pursue our hopes and dreams, we push away the potential for fear to grip us and undermine our family’s happiness.
Taking control of your perspective and choosing to follow hopes and dreams instead of fear could be a game changer in your family.
As a mum myself, I know there will be challenging circumstances that come our family’s way. Sometimes, we are pre-warned and feel prepared, but all too often challenges arrive in sudden and dramatic fashion.
But life’s like that, right?
So why would parenting be any different? If it was, there would be one single manual for all of us and we’d be able to work our way through it, step by simple step. But how dull would that be?
I don’t want the circumstances I’m in, now or in the future, to dictate to me how I feel about my family, so I’ve learned (and still am learning) that perspective is the one thing I CAN change.
Whilst learning good parenting skills is important, I have come to recognise that feeling supported as a parent has less to do with equipping and more to do with a parent’s wellbeing. The title ‘parent’ applies to so many people that one size can never fit all. Far too often, our experience is one of being put into a box of the wrong shape. We can feel ‘done to’ rather than valued for who we are. On the contrary, when a parent believes that they are the best person for the job in their family, all of those amazing and individual qualities in them are awakened and can help a family to thrive.
Let’s be honest; as parents, most of us are pretty adept at recognising our own faults. We don’t generally need help to notice them. So let me ask you 3 questions …
- Do you feel content with your current view of yourself and your family life?
- Do you feel confident that you are doing a good job as a parent?
- Would you benefit from a confidence boost that puts you on a firm footing for your future as a parent?
If you answered yes to any of these three questions, you will love my FREE 5-Point Ready List to know if you’re ready for a confidence boost in your parenting. Enter your details below and I’ll send it to you immediately.
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