When the lines are first seen on the pregnancy test, nobody wishes to be a bad parent. They wish for something other than themselves– they wish the best for the child that they have created.
However, as we transition throughout pregnancy and/ or prepare to welcome a new child into the family, life can often become about the material things that a baby will need. We spend hours researching the best baby change mats and cover, and less time thinking about how our physical, mental and spiritual states can impact on our children.
To say that parent-child relationships are complicated is an understatement–with so many variables that can affect its course along the way. Those with mainly positive adult-child relationships are more likely to be able to be able to easily express warmth, care, patience and affection as they pass these experiences onto their children. However, these attributes tend to come less naturally for those who did not experience them as they were growing up.
It doesn’t mean that if a childhood was lacking in any of these key areas of emotional support, that it is impossible to pass this on to our own children. Parents whose goal it is to become the positive parent they desired themselves as a child will find it to still be the best parenting experience for their children.
To some, parenting comes as naturally to them as blinking, whereas for others it can bring significant challenges with it.
Becoming a better parent will often begin with the process of healing yourself. It starts with recognising how your child’s growth and development can be impacted by your own parenting skills. Some of the emotional baggage of your own upbringing can affect your parenting overall. Going through the process of healing may be one of the most important things you do to have the best possible relationships with your children ever.
For some parents and parents to be, the process of healing starts by learning the tools of effective parenting through classes. For others, seeking therapy may be the best option for them to be able to learn how to feel better about themselves, trusting themselves to make the best choices for them and their child(ren).
The key is not to see either of these options as a fix- you are not broken. Navigating the world of parenting is challenging enough without constantly battling with ourselves too.
You ARE a good parent
As with all challenges in life, parenting is about giving you opportunities to grow along with your child. It’s worth knowing that every parent will be facing challenges and finding solutions along the way.
However, some of the biggest challenges come as a result of clashes between out child(ren) and our past wounds from our own upbringing. As adults, learning to navigate the emotions attached to this trauma is what helps to heal us.
Witnessing the growth of your children, and the developing relationship between yourself and your child is one of the richest, most rewarding experiences of personal healing that anybody can go through.
Mama, you’re doing a great job!