What if it is not good enough for my child?
What is ‘enough’?
Who knows what ‘enough’ is for a child? Enough of what? Enough food, clothes, toys. Enough love, discipline and education? Enough tutoring, extra murals and exposure to everything out there? Just enough in general? Once again the mommy guilt kicks in. We all want the best for our children, but what is the best? We think we need to race them from one extra mural to the next, they need to eat organic foods from expensive shops and have play-dates with influential friends. All of this is a race against the wind.
What has Covid-19 taught me?
Firstly, it has taught me that I can never be all that was required of me to be 100% and 100% of the time. I am not able to be the teacher, home maker, loving mommy and disciplinarian all the time and at the same time. I found myself believing that I was not enough.
The second thing that I have come to realize is that children really don’t need much to thrive. My kids are not being rushed from one activity to the next. They are eating what we can afford to give them. They are interacting with friends online and with each other. They are doing homework and asking the right questions. They are learning new skills like using zoom, google classrooms and how to game online safely. We are building great connections at home and teaching foundations for interpersonal relationships in future. My kids are loving lockdown!
The third thing is that I will struggle to be enough if I don’t look after myself. An emotionally stable mom can be emotionally available for her child. it is OK not to know what enough is, but to remember that I am enough and that I have my kids best interest at heart.
Learning as we go
There is no book telling us how to raise our specific little person who we were blessed with. Yes, there are lots of books on parenting and how to raise an awesome child, but none of them would be perfectly suited to your specific child. Here I am with a degree in Occupational Therapy and numerous post graduate qualifications like ‘Problem behaviour in children’, ‘Play therapy’, ‘DIR-Floortime’ etc. and I still catch myself with my hands in my hair, wondering if I am doing the right thing for my child.
What I think is so important though, is that we have to remember that we do the best we know how to do at the time of doing it. When we learn better, we will do better. Do not ever look at your parenting as and judge yourself negatively if what you did at the time was your best. Be proud of your efforts, because if you knew better you would have done better.
On that note, it is important to gain as much information as possible and make informed decisions regarding your child. In the end we need to be mindful of our judgements of other peoples parenting skills, because we do not know the temperament of their children and do not understand the frame of reference they are parenting from.
If you can be anything in the world – be kind.
Let me tell you what is enough
The bible tells you so: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” – Psalm 139:13
As long as you are trying to gain as much information as possible, specific to the needs of your family and the temperament of your child, you are enough and what you are doing is the best for your child. Believe that you will do better if you know better and that at the moment you are doing your best.
Lots of love and prayers. Jeanè