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  • Michelle Carstens

Myth-buster: Being a parent comes naturally

Because it’s something people have been doing since time began, parenting is regarded as something we should just know how to do. It’s part of our biology, so it’s a natural phenomenon, right? And of all people, of course we will get it right.

So, when reality hits and we encounter the hardships of parenting, we suffer.

It’s time to give ourselves a break. It is quite unreasonable to expect parents to instinctively know what to say, what to do and how they should feel for their children in any given moment. It’s equally mistaken to imagine that parenting is something that’s easy, fun, and rewarding. While parenting can be all those things, these widespread cultural ideals put so much stress on parents.

Being a good parent has nothing to do with how nice or good we are as people, it is a skill that takes years to acquire. Building a foundation for connection and learning how to love takes time, can be messy, involves emotional ups and downs and many hair-raising moments.

Our children don’t come into this world to make us feel good about ourselves - in fact, they’ll often do completely the opposite. This is what breaks many of our fantasies of how we thought parenting would be. It is humbling. But if we can accept the messiness, embrace a learner’s mindset, focus on growth over perfection, we take a whole lot of pressure off ourselves.

Conscious parenting gives us the tools to learn and grow, alongside our children.

For our children. For ourselves.

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