The more we do something, the better we get at it. And the better we get at it, the more confident we become in it. Motherhood (and fatherhood) is no different from any other role we fill. There will be times when we feel inadequate, which only contributes negatively to our level of confidence. And there will be times when we will feel like we have failed, which will only add to the discouragement that sometimes drags us down.
But we need to remember that no one is good at something automatically (well, maybe some people are at some things). It takes practice, hard work, and determination to improve in a skill. And parenting involves a myriad of skills.
So the next time you want to feel bad about yourself for something you feel you did poorly in your motherhood (or fatherhood) role, just remember that you will get another chance soon enough. With each chance to try again, view it as an opportunity to practice the skills you want to possess. Be mindful of what it is that you are attempting to hone, and give yourself encouragement each time you get to demonstrate your growth in the skill.
The thing about mothering (and fathering) is that many of the skills are invisible—you are the only one who knows what’s going on in your mind and heart. But just because some skills are invisible doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give attention to them. These invisible skills are some of the most important ones. Things like patience, meekness, kindness, peace, and self-control are all things that spring from within, and these sorts of skills are indispensable to effective mothering (and fathering).
While these invisible skills themselves are not outright observable like putting on a bandage, giving a hug, or making a meal, these invisible skills infuse the observable skills with the palpable love and care that parenting tasks are brought to life by. We want our children to feel our heart, to feel the love we have for them.
So with all of our mothering (and fathering) skills—the invisible skills especially since they fuel the observable ones—let us keep making a solid effort to become more fluent in them so that we become more and more confident the more and more we are parents.
What are some parenting skills/areas that you have confidence in? What are some parenting skills/areas that you could grow your confidence in?