Parenting: How to tackle self-doubt

Many times we beat ourselves up taking the blame and not conceding the influence of external forces and circumstances on the way we raise our children and they grow

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By Asha Iyer Kumar

Published: Thu 7 Sep 2023, 6:23 PM

Dear parents,

Let me briefly hark back to that incredible moment in life that signaled your upgrade from being a spouse and partner to a parent when the unforgettable first cry of a new life that carries your genes arrived in this world. That glorious instance when you pledged yourself for the little one swaddled in the muslin of your profound emotions and decided you will be the best parent in the world, no matter what.

These recollections are goosebump-worthy. But in time, as the reality of what parenthood truly entails kicked in, many of you must have floundered, unable to decipher what constituted being a good parent, what its quintessential rules were, wondering whether you were doing the right things, and often second-guessing your performance as a parent. These apprehensions are par for the course in the syllabus of parenting.

There is no such thing as a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ parent, only flawed methods, perhaps. Every parent is inherently loving, wishing the best for their wards, but many times we beat ourselves up taking the blame and not conceding the influence of external forces and circumstances on the way we raise our children and they grow.

We live in volatile times, and it is not easy to navigate through the warrens of parenthood in this quixotic world. It requires a lot more steeling up and resilience now than it did many years ago. The truth is, it is only getting tougher with the changes we are witnessing in the way our world currently operates.

But you know at the core of your heart that you will do what it takes to make your offspring happy people in their lives. It might just be that at times, you don’t know what it takes; you don’t know which way to turn; you wonder what the best way is; sometimes you feel like a failure because you don’t have a guaranteed roadmap in hand. Uncertainty is the name of the parenthood game. The challenge, therefore, is to grapple with the ambiguities you face and find ways to resolve issues that sometimes come at you like a massive dust storm. The visibility drops, the road ahead seems unnavigable, and you suddenly begin to ask, “Am I a bad parent? Where did I go wrong?”

These are questions that shouldn’t hassle you because the truth is you didn’t go wrong; things probably didn’t go as per plan, thanks to the dust storm. All you need to do now is take a detour in your journey. Reset your compass, find new ways to shepherd your lambs and steer them out of the woods when they seem to go astray.

As a parent, you will be prone to mistakes, for parenting, like every other human relationship, can be daunting and will demand your everything. You must invest a lot of time and resolve to make it work. There are no shortcuts in the path to building happy kinship. All you need to do is to remove self-doubts and start trusting your inner voice. You are a parent who has put your child’s well-being ahead of everything else. Your coveted dreams are made of their joys and successes, and when you stride with intent as immaculate as this, you can never fail.

It is a long journey. Once a parent, always a parent. The road will sometimes be pot-holed and at other times, pancake flat. The trick is to enjoy the ride, despite it all. Remember, you are the best parent for your ward, because the Universe chose only you for the job.

Happy Parenting!

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