The biggest issue facing mums is anxiety over whether they're any good at raising their children. I define this issue as ‘parenting confidence’. It affects everything from potty training to choosing a school, helping with homework or wishing your kids would listen to you. Mothers are brilliant at thinking or even telling others that they're not very good at parenting. They readily dismiss what is OK or even brilliant about their parenting ability.
We are surrounded by ideas and advice which can help, but it can also undermine our view of our own unique talent to raise our children as we see fit. The pressure we place on ourselves – and the pressure that society puts on parents to turn out bright, perfectly behaved and happy children – is huge. So it's not surprising that our confidence is easily knocked and our anxiety levels rocket. All the books, websites and parenting gurus can never be better than you because no one else will love your children like you do. The expert on
family is you.
I believe that mothers (and fathers too) are doing the most important job in the world: raising the next generation. And yes, it is a hard job, and to do it well takes patience, imagination and also some material resources. But your kids don't expect you to be perfect and the best things you can give them do not come with a barcode.
Ask yourself, what kind of mother do I want my children to have? Aim for qualities or values that you really want them to remember you for, and equally, that are achievable. Decide how you want to live out these values in your family and what you want your family to stand for. Most of all, turn off that critical inner voice that wrecks your confidence – tell yourself it's OK not to be perfect.