Last week I had a conversation with a friend about how parenting blogs make her feel. Her response was they make her feel inadequate. Surely, she was in the minority. If that’s how parenting blogs make people feel, why would they follow them? I conducted a poll on my Instagram stories.
Over 100 responses said they also felt inadequate.
That is 100 people that felt confident enough to say that to my face, how many more feel this way but don’t express it. There are two main underlying issue. First, the role of parenting blogs, but second, and more importantly, our confidence as parents.
I tried to address the first issue directly on my Instagram stories. In my opinion, a parenting blog serves an ideal, best case scenario. It is the theoretical study of parenting, not the practical. To me, a parenting blog is the goal, that may or may not even be achievable. However, the parents behind the parenting blogs (i.e me) are not ideal. I don’t adhere to my own advice even 50% of the time, because the practical simply isn’t as smooth as the theory of anything! I hope this helps shatters whatever image of the “perfect” parent that anyone has. There is no such thing as a perfect parent.
But outside of that, there is another underlying issue. Are we losing self confidence in our ability to parent?
There is a popular saying: “You can’t pour from an empty glass”. We have all heard it, especially in reference to parenting. To raise children who are confident and have high self esteem, we as parents must first have that confidence. But how do you even begin gaining that confidence? How do you fill that empty glass?
Self confidence is not a passive attribute. It takes work. To have a healthy self confidence it has to be our priority that we work on regularly. Self confidence is tied deeply with having a healthy self esteem.
Self esteem is defined as “stable internal happiness.” – Marth Heinemann Piepper.
In my opinion, stable internal happiness refers to being satisfied. However as parents we are dissatisfied. We are dissatisfied by the outcome of our parenting, be it a misbehaving toddler or junk food eating teenager. But, if we measure our success instead by the efforts of our parenting we might be happier. If we focused instead on the podcast we chose to listen to, or that after school program we researched, we might find that we are satisfied with ourselves as parents.
That is how we can re fill our empty glass: by switching our focus. Instead of criticizing yourself for not following the advice on that parenting blog, pat yourself on the back for educating yourself! For showing up, for trying. Start to reward your efforts!