Through my research, for the self-esteem program I have recently developed, it became apparent that for many Mum’s (and I’m sure Dad’s too) becoming a parent is a time when the self esteem can take a battering.
Pregnant women and new Mum’s particularly are bombarded with so many opinions from others that overwhelm in not uncommon. During pregnancy there are decisions to be made on what should and shouldn’t be consumed, how to manage the discomforts of pregnancy, choosing care providers and a place to have the baby, what products, clothes etc. are needed, whether to attend hospital based antenatal classes or other classes such as Hypnobirthing or Calmbirth and the list goes on…
Then there are all the choices and decisions surrounding the actual birth such as pain relief, induction, vaginal birth, caesarean etc. For many, although it may be a happy and exciting moment in their lives it can also leave them feeling like they have failed in some way. Unfortunately at times it seems that Mums compete to see who has the biggest birth horror story, which surprisingly can also leave those Mums who have had an ‘easy’ birth feeling guilty.
On top of this comes the areas set to cause the most controversy between parents;
- Breastfeeding vs Artificial feeding
- Cloth vs disposable nappies
Then comes other issues such as but not limited too; when to start solids, child development, stay at home vs working mums, childcare. It seems that no matter which choices are made parents can be left feeling guilty and as though they are bad parents.
Something I’ve realized over the years of being a Midwife and now as a Personal Success Coach is that I don’t have to agree with someone else’s choices in order to support them. A decision that is right or wrong for one person is not necessarily right or wrong in the same way for someone else. In many circumstances there doesn’t have to be either a right or a wrong choice.
Following are 5 tips on maintaining your self-esteem as a parent
- What you think of you is far more important than other people’s opinion of you.
- Don’t forget to take time for yourself. You can take much better care of others if you are taking care of yourself first.
- If you feel some of the choices you have made are wrong than appreciate the opportunity for learning. We learn more from our mistakes than we do from our achievements.
- Effectively expressing emotions is a fabulous skill to have. Most of us never learnt how to express emotions effectively and have been left feeling as though expressing them, particularly the so called ‘bad’ emotions of anger, fear and sadness is wrong.
Remember you don’t have to be a perfect parent, just a good enough one!!!
If you enjoyed this article and would like some further assistance in improving your self-esteem I invite you to join my 60 Day Self Esteem Challenge. Like the Facebook Page to find out more.
Jo Thomson is a Personal Success Coach with many years experience as both a Midwife and Single Parent. You can join her 60 Day Self Esteem Challenge at www.destinybychoicecoaching.com or via theFacebook page