08 January 2013

Are we too hard on ourselves as parents?

We all want the best for our kids, right? While thinking of ways to improve myself as a mummy this year for my resolutions and coming up with the idea that I need to spend more time outside with the Mini Mes, it made me think of other things that I could adjust too....

Read to them more frequently
Ensure they get their 5 a day every day
Go on more day trips as a family

the list went on

But then it made me think that perhaps not only was I being slightly unrealistic in my targets, there are only 24 hours in a day after all and I don't have an endless supply of money, but that I was being hard on myself and my expectations of being a good mum.


Is this something that we all do? 

I know thinking back that there has never been a time when I have thought to myself that I am a fantastic mum. I am far too critical and always comparing myself to other families, what they have and what they do, rather than focusing on the good things that I do, the fun we have and what I am able to provide for my children.

We have holidays and days out, lots of fun baking and making things, spend time outside and inside playing and they have lots of toys and books. I get them to have some fruit and veg each day and try to provide healthy meals. They are intelligent and happy children so surely that should be enough to show that I am doing a good job? Or is criticising ourselves beneficial?

Perhaps I should think more on how good I am instead of thinking too much about what else I can do. I think a lot of it roots back to when I had my first child, Minxy, and some other parents would comment on methods of feeding/dressing/weaning/toilet training/co-sleeping etc which makes you doubt yourself and your abilities as a parent and makes you wonder if you are doing things correctly - I imagine this is the case for a lot of us.

Are you critical about your parenting? 
Do you feel you are too hard on yourself at times?

5 comments :

  1. Parents need to give themselves a break and stop trying to live up to this elusive idea of how we should behave towards parenting.

    So many of us waste time stressing about trying to fit in an extra day out, story time or whatever; and sure for some they might be able to do it, but for others to do is to take time away from other things.

    Sometimes the boring and practical things are just as important; would I like to forgo all house work to spend time at the beach with the kids, sure! But soon hubs would be going to work nekkid and most likely put away, so sometimes I put my foot down, make the boys a little sad as they can't go out, and get on with the less glamorous side of parenting.

    I used to be ridiculously hard on myself, even considered giving them up as thought I was so bad at it, but eventually I realised I knew what my kids did and didn't need to be happy and that I was providing what they needed.

    I really wish parents would stop comparing themselves to others, you know what is best for your kids, and provide it as best as you can, sadly we can't do everything and just need to accept that trying our best is good enough.

    Phew, mini rant over, you can have your blog back now, sorry!!

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  2. My case is slightly different as I am not really a mum, "just" an aunt trying to play the role of the mum. But well - isn't that the same? I may not have brought them to this world but I am keeping them in this world now...Sometimes I hate it when people talk me down or ignore because I am not "the parent".
    And that is a vicious circle - makes me think I am something worse and I should try harder...But we are all people and we do make mistakes. As you said, the day has only 24 hours and we have one pair of hands and eyes so if we miss out on something it should not make us feel bad! The important thing is to try :)

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  3. It's funny, me and my OH were discussing parenting last night and I said that all the decent parents constantly question themselves and feel guilty on a regular basis. I think that's when you know you are doing a great job - because you care how you are doing it :)

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  4. I always criticise myself, and sometimes when I'm sat taking a much needed break from running around like a blue arsed fly, I think that instead I should be figuring out our next activity. I'm getting a lot better now though in realising that my girl is HAPPY and HEALTHY and that is all that matters.
    Your kids are beautiful and smart, you're doing a fantastic job x

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  5. Thanks for the great comments, nice to hear x

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