Written by: Joanne Lowe
Being a parent has never been easy, and it seems like the pressures on men and women are growing. It seems like there’s a perceived notion of success which leaves you feeling short of the mark if you don’t at least try to hit it. Have your children, lose your baby weight, and hold down a job while caring for your children. Have a show house for a home, get that perfect car, do your nails, don’t forget the make-up, fight the wrinkles. Take one child to dance class, one to swimming, bake, cook, and sew because everyone on the telly is doing it. And of course leave time to be energetic, witty and sexy. Is it any wonder that self doubt enters our minds at some point? Here are six things to stop doing in order to believe in yourself!
Know what matters
I think people need a purpose in life. Whether it’s travelling the world or raising a family. Identify yours and you’ll work out what really matters. You’ll pinpoint what you need to make your life work, not what the media says you should be striving for.
Take the knockbacks
Learning to accept a ‘no’ sometimes and realise ‘it’s not the end of the world’ is a very valuable lesson. It will keep your self-belief intact and enable you to try again. Polite rejection letters were the norm in my early journalism career, but it hasn’t stopped me achieving my goal. It’s also a good attitude to teach your children. Not give up, but to try again.
Don’t talk yourself down
I am the classic example of someone who will rebut a compliment with a quip. “Your hair looks nice today,” is usually met with, ”yes, I’ve washed it for once”. I’ve always done it, but accepting a few compliments here and there actually leaves you feeling better. Small things sometimes do wonders for your confidence so take the praise.
It’s easy to look at what every other person, parent and child is doing to gauge your own success. Try not to. If the kid next door can back flip fifty times while singing the national anthem and yours can’t, then this is not a failing. They just have different skills to your child and their mum and dad will parent differently to you. So often I hear people comparing their child’s development even as babies. I hear women questioning themselves and their parenting abilities. Does it really matter if Bobby walked at 10 months and by 15 months Timmy is shuffling on his bum? It’s good to be keen on developing your child and help them to reach their full potential, but it is impossible for every child to be the best, quickest, fastest, or brightest at everything.
I think I can
I’m a great believe in the power of positive thinking. Negativity is a killer, it stifles thoughts, desires, achievements and doesn’t lead to anything worthwhile. One of the most inspirational books I was shown as I child was by my mother. It was The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. It’s about a small train who agrees to try and pull a larger train over a mountain and by reciting his motto, “I think I can, I think I can,” he does it. Simple, but to this day if I start to doubt my ability I think of that story and that motto.
You’re doing okay
If you’ve got your children happily through the day, they are safe, warm, and you have given them your time you’ve not done a bad job. Forget the size 10 figure, forget that you can’t cook like a Master Chef finalist and run 10k every other night. You don’t have to, and you have done alright!