In the world of parenting there is A LOT of information (and opinions) available to us.
to the style in which we were raised
to the choices our friends and siblings make
to our mothers' groups
to traditional media
to the wonderful world of google and social media...
Information, and opinions, are everywhere we look!
But it is not always helpful or useful, in fact, with so much (often contradictory and opposing) information available, the result can be frustration and confusion.
All this information can also then lead to a lot of "shoulding" and consequently, guilt...
"Shoulding" is the idea or thought that we "should" do this or "should" do that.
"Shoulding" is the perfect way to feel inadequate, to place guilt and to feel guilt.
Guilt can show up in the guise of "I am not enough" or "I am not doing enough" or "If I do X then I will be a good parent" or "If I was a good parent I would have done X" or just generally feeling like your best is never enough.
And... this is not exclusive to parenting. This is in the office, in our relationships, in our homes.
All of this "shoulding" and guilt takes away our personal power and our confidence to make decisions which we feel aligned with.
It stops us from feeling we are being the parent we want to be.
It is time to QUIT, and...
START being true to you...
... Speak your truth
... Live from a place which honours your purpose and the parent you want to be for your children
... Let go of cultural conditioning of what you "should" do and how you "should" live your life (including how you "should" parent).
Honour yourself by listening to the voice in your heart.
Yes, it takes courage to listen to your own inner instincts.
To possibly go against the grain and choose to do things differently to the people and information you are surrounded by.
There are more than 7 billion people on this planet.
You will never ever please everybody with your choices all the time anyway.
Fortunately or unfortunately, you will be judged and criticised no matter what your choices and/or actions...
So you may as well choose to...
Quit pleasing everyone
Quit seeking approval from everyone
Quit "shoulding" yourself
Quit placing guilt on yourself
Here are 3 easy steps you can take to help you step into your personal power, increase your confidence and be the parent you always wanted to be.
1. Change your language (both internal dialogue and expressed language).
Start by giving yourself more power by reframing.
So rather than saying: "I should do X"
Instead you might choose to say:
"I can (or I could) do X"
"I will do X"
Changing the word should for can/could automatically turns it into a choice.
Changing should for will moves you forward into action.
And... if doing X is something you really don't want to do and it isn't critical to survival (e.g. cooking dinner for your family) then simply let it go.
2. Create a process to check-in
I think there is a lot of value in reading, listening and learning from the experts and our community, but with all the information available to us, developing a way to do a personal check-in helps us to know what the right decision is for us and our family.
A couple questions you could ask yourself:
Does "X" information resonate with me?
- If yes, what about it resonates with me?
- If no, what about it doesn't resonate with me?
Have I made my decision from a place of ego (I'm right, you're wrong) or from intuition (I have done my research and my "gut" says "X is a good choice for my family")?
Often we undervalue the power of listening to our intuition, but being in tune with your intuition and being able to listen to what isn't being said (also known as the song behind the words) is in fact very powerful and important in feeling confident in our parenting choices.
3. Flex your muscles
A great way to get more comfortable and confidence to speak your truth and step into your personal power is to practice speaking up.
Begin by sharing your perspective on something little or something you think is valuable. If sharing verbally is challenging, start first by writing it down so you can get clear about the message you do want to share.
And one final word...
You already have all the skills to be your best parent, trust yourself and step into your personal power.
As a coach, I work with parents to help them to release any feelings of guilt and to step into their personal power to have the confidence to support their children with the style of parenting which resonates with them.