Have you ever taken time to think seriously about what type of parent you want to be?Most parents I work with haven’t, strange when you think about how important the answer is.Being clear on who we want to be as parents helps us to show up with confidence and be present for our children. It means that when things get difficult (sadly for most, a regular occurrence!), we have something concrete to fall back on instead of trying to wing it, which often doesn't bring out the best in us.
Often what feel like impossible practical challenges of the bonkers experience of childcare combine with mindsets and behaviours developed pre-parenthood to create tension between what we think we should be doing and what we actually do,This leads to feelings of overwhelm and guilt, impacting our mental health, feelings about our parenting and children, and the rest of our lives.
Too many parents I speak to only realise after years of parenting what they were aiming for, and the huge positive difference that makes. This breaks my heart as this eats into our precious and irreplaceable time with out childrenSo give yourself some space to answer the following three questions - the answers to these often come naturally and are uncomplicated, but there is so much power in saying them out loud
1. What impact do you want to have on your children?
Making them feel loved, secure, confident, seen and heard comes up a lot. The key is knowing what feels right for you so you can structure your parenting around it and not get dragged off course in the moment as emotions run high.
2. What experience of parenting do you want to have?
Everyone hopes to enjoy being a parent - but what does this actually mean to you? We all have different needs and preferences, and figuring out how these play into “enjoying being a parent” is critical, as one thing you can be sure of, whatever your ambitions, the little ones will have other ideas!
3. Given the answers to 1 and 2, what type of parent do you want to be?
This is a critical question and it requires the most self-awareness. We are all unique, so it's important to think through how our strengths, weaknesses and current circumstances might impact the way we show up as parents, and if this is going to serve us and our families, or if we need to do something different.