Being a parent is hard.
Not that I have to tell you that. If you’ve been a parent for more than 5 minutes you know this.
It’s been a long time since families went to a nuclear family structure from the community based structure that many of our parents or grandparents enjoyed. To make it even more difficult parents often feel criticized for every decision from “experts,” (aka grandparents, randos) who just love to tell any new parent that they are a failure. It makes even the most self assured among us doubt their abilities.
Bottom line is that parenting is difficult and the people we often look to for help are only making it worse.
So, what can you do? Here’s a few tips that might help you find the support you need.
- Change the subject any time you see criticism starting. Or suggest they clean the messy diaper while you go take a shower. Get creative
- Don’t answer the phone or texts for those being unhelpful
- Have an adult conversation and ask that they cease to criticize. If you are successful here please tell me how you did it.
- Remind yourself daily that you have a hard job and are doing your best.
- Stop second guessing yourself. Decisions are hard. Don’t let your brain keep revisiting the decision. You made the best decision for your family with the information you had at the time. It doesn’t help to beat yourself up over something a random person said was wrong.
- If someone is critical of you in a call, give the phone to your cat. Their advice is just as valuable to your cat as it is to you. In other words: not at all.
- Ask for help when you need it. You don’t have to be at your wits end to ask for help.
- Find friends who are dealing with similar stages of infant development and spend time commiserating or staring at them.
- Remind yourself that you are the expert in your baby. No one knows your kids like you, even if you only met them a few minutes before.
Your baby thinks you are a total rock star. Let yourself bathe in that glory. You earned it.