Many parents today are full of fear: first of all, the fear of even becoming parents, then after children are born, fear of doing something wrong, making a mistake, irreversibly hurting a child, and fear of not measuring up to family members, friends and neighbors. Our parents and grandparents didn’t have this fear. What is causing parents to be so nervous and so stressed? Is there a solution to help moms and dads enjoy their roles as parents and to feel comfortable in making decisions around child-raising?
PARENTING IN EARLIER DAYS
In past generations, parenting was a no brainer. There was very little confusion about what to do or when to do it. Guilt was a rare thing and there wasn’t much information about child care that couldn’t be obtained from moms or grandmothers. Often more than one generation lived in the family home, providing answers and hands-on help when needed.
To state it simply: daughters parented much like their mothers and grandmas and, often, other family members were close by to answer questions or give advice (whether asked for or not). Babysitting wasn’t an issue either, as some family member was usually available to step in when needed. A built-in support group was always at hand.
TODAY: PARENTING IN ISOLATION
These days, many parents live far from their families. I remember bringing my first baby home to an apartment in a city where we knew no-one. When the door closed, my husband and I were on our own. It was terrifying! I was tired, breastfeeding wasn’t going well, and the baby developed colic that lasted for a full three months. He cried for four hours each morning and four hours every evening. I sat on the bed and cried with him, as I didn’t know how to help him. Luckily I had a good pediatrician who we saw regularly for shots, weigh-ins and information. Googling hadn’t been invented yet. It was a lonely and scary time. I missed my mother so much!
Flash forward to the present: more and more parents are living far from their hometowns. Not only that, there is such mobility, that their family members often leave hometowns and are scattered about the country and the world. The family travels to your wedding, then you’re left on your own. Parental confidence is shaky, and parents search for answers from their peers and from social media. These answers often cause confusion.
Because of the immense amount of information that can be found in parenting books, and on the internet, there is a myriad of answers to questions that people are asking Google. There are Facebook groups for young moms, older moms, working moms and dads, where anonymity allows the posing of even the most sensitive of questions. Advice and opinions are freely given by other well meaning parents, even when they aren’t fully informed about the facts behind the questions. There are all kinds of “experts” on Facebook and Twitter who post advice. Much of it is conflicting and can increase confusion.
Then, there are the community moms’ groups at your local church or library where issues can be discussed in hopes of finding solutions to nagging problems. Many moms hold back, feeling uncomfortable about baring your “incompetence”to your peers. Parenting courses are available, lasting for a few weeks of increasing confidence, but soon leaving you on your own again.
Should you put your baby in his own crib or baby-wear? Should you let him cry it out or rush to pick him up? Moms and dads have many questions and find such a variety of answers! You might try an idea and give up on it before it works. Often a suggestion can be misinterpreted. As well, confidence doesn’t grow when others’ situations seem so much better than yours.
A POSSIBLE SOLUTION FOR YOU:
If you’re needing help, don’t have parents or relatives you can depend on, you could get to know a “virtual mom” who would be there to support you and answer your questions. This person would be an experienced parent who has raised children herself, who has strategies that have worked for her and that could work for you.
Imagine having a resource you trust at your fingertips right now! Someone who cares about you and your family. Someone who will listen patiently, without blame or judgement. Someone like the ideal mom or grandma who has years of experience raising her own kids plus a background in helping other parents deal with their challenges.
I WANT TO HELP YOU
I’m applying for the position of your “virtual mom”. I’d like you to get to know me. Research my blog posts, my downloadable parenting report: “How to Raise Respectful Kids Without Raising Your Voice”, or have a look at my book at www.parentwithconfidence.com. (Read the comments on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Parent-Confidence-Power-Tools-Bringing/dp/0994746709). Then try me out.
I’ve raised four kids who have turned out to be great adults and have children of their own. I have helped hundreds of parents over the years in parenting support groups and I’ve written a parenting column and a parenting book. I’m available to help you to become more confident, to enjoy your parenting experience to the fullest. All you need to do is ask! Just click on the “Ask Me a Question” link on my website and we’ll connect to discuss whatever subject you choose, in complete confidence.
Just trust me and reach out to me. I’m here for you!
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