No matter how nurturing, loving, caring and attentive we are towards our children, when it comes to parenting, most of us will say we have felt inadequate, anxious or simply imperfect.
The truth is we’re all in the same boat and do brilliantly and other times a little less perhaps, but we manage to push through the challenging moments.
Chances are if you sought advice, gone through checklists, read entire baby health care books and spent hours on Google, you’re probably a problem-solving parent.
Unforeseen and unpredictable situations will occur. It is how you manage, learn and grow from these situations that will help you become a better version of yourself.
When it comes to parenting, you don’t have to become an expert in order to succeed but rather have the willingness to practice, and trust that you are doing the right thing. Naturally, your parenting abilities will always prevail.
Undoubtedly, parenting is as much an acquired skill as it is an innate ability, that simply improves with time and practice …
Find solutions along the way
Sometimes, being a first-time parent can be rather overwhelming. Everything is new, exciting, scary and magical and so special that we want to capture every moment and bottle it. I can still remember all of my three children’s first everything — their first smile, their first laugh, their first step and sadly, I can also remember their first injury.
It all started when I was routinely clipping my newborn son’s fingernails. I never could imagine injuring my little one but that day, sadly, I accidentally cut the tip of his finger with conventional baby nail clippers. I began to confess my feelings of guilt to other parents and I realised I was not alone in feeling this.
There is simply no such thing as a perfect parent. I know this for a fact, because on that particular day, I felt terrible!
They say “seek and you shall find” and that’s exactly what I did. I came across a problem that required attention and needed to be solved. I took matters into my own hands and decided to design a safer baby nail trimming tool, one that would altogether avoid the risks of harming my precious little one.
To be honest, most parents out there should accept the information and medical advice provided by a qualified health practitioner. However those who we seek the most information from, are usually our closest friends and family.
It’s only natural to seek comfort from those who know us best and have been parents for longer than we have. When I fell pregnant for the first time, my closest friends patiently reassured me and supported me all the way through. I cannot recommend it enough to have a network other mums and dads to seek advice and reassurance from.
Instinct can be a voice of trust
There will be times when you have to trust yourself to be able to provide the best care for your baby.
Nobody knows your baby like you do. Although, there will always be someone to suggest otherwise, or mislead you into thinking that your way is the incorrect way — trust your instincts and follow your heart.
It is important to consider information and to value other opinions, but not everyone will see eye-to-eye when it comes to parenting. Sometimes you simply have to trust yourself.
Practice makes (almost) perfect
Truthfully, you will make mistakes and most likely you may even feel like a failure once or twice. Unfortunately, that is part of the parenting journey. It’s also about how you learn to deal with situations and avoid their recurrence. At the end of the day, what matters most is that you’ve done your best and are being the best parent you can be.
For me, being the best parent meant I had to become a problem-solver. With every new day came a dilemma or situation that required attention, understanding and even fixing.
However, this did not happen overnight. It took a lot of research, testing and of course, trial and error to find the safest and healthiest solutions that would work for my family and for my baby.
While I would never consider myself to be the perfect parent, it makes me so happy to share this adventure with my loving husband (who will also admit to not being so perfect all the time). Together, we work continuously to improve our parenting skills.
Cool calm and collected
Being a parent doesn’t come with an instruction book or manual. No matter how much information we gather and compile or how hard we search, there will often be times where there will be no right or wrong answer to your existing question.
As parents, we have to make difficult decisions, especially when it involves our children’s health. When it comes to our little ones wellbeing, we feel 100% responsible and if they are ill or injured, we then feel guilt — even when we’ve done all the right things.
Unfortunately, when our children are unwell, we most often partake in a relentless cycle known as the “what ifs?”. It can be so damaging morally to go through this and in a way, it is counterproductive. While dealing with an illness or injury, more often than not, our fears and emotions will get the better of us.
When it came to dealing with my son’s fingertip injury, I knew I had to take deep breaths and coach myself through the situation. I realised that staying calm for my baby was the best way in dealing with the situation. I can honestly say that I usually handle tricky situations with a sense of calmness and patience but on that day, something inside me enticed me to be cool, calm and collected.
From one parent to another …
This is why I am here to reassure you, my fellow parents. Whether you are a first timer or long-time parent, an expecting mother or single father, please trust that you are doing the best you can.
Cherish the wonderful moments and give yourself a good pat on the back — yes you deserve recognition.
Most importantly, please value your not-so-great parenting moments too, as they will be you best teacher along the way.
Happy parenting to you