Why Parenting Is Confusing

Why Parenting Is Confusing

Feb 21, 2024

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I’m just gonna say it. Parenting is confusing! There are a lot of decisions to make, and you want to be an amazing mom for your kid. In this episode, I’ll explain why parenting is so confusing and offer some words of encouragement that I hope will make you realize that you’re already doing a great job.

As a parent, there are a lot of times when you don't know what to do. You think you should know, so then you feel bad because you don't know. You judge your confusion, and it's a whole messy spiral.

Especially in the beginning, you might think, “What is wrong with me? I have no idea how to do this. I'm so overwhelmed.” 

I want you to know nothing is wrong with you.


Why Parenting Is Confusing

The reason parenting is confusing is simply because you have never done this before. It's normal to feel confused in the beginning of doing something new.

Parenting is a long line of decisions and things you need to learn how to do, from when and how to introduce solid foods to signing your kid up for sports to teaching them how to drive.

There are lots of opinions out there, from friends, family and, of course, the internet, but YOU are the one who has to decide. It feels like you're flying blind. 

You make the best decision you can with the information you have and see what happens.

This doesn’t always feel great, but it’s the same with anything new that you’re learning how to do. 


Being a Beginner

I’ve taught three teenagers to drive (both of my sons and my nephew), and I was struck by how little the kids actually knew about how to drive. 

They thought they knew because they'd been in a car a lot. They'd watched their parents drive. But when they got in, they barely knew where the brake was and they had no idea how much pressure to use on the pedals or how far to turn the steering wheel.

Parenting is the same. You had parents or other adults who raised you. You’ve seen other people parent. Maybe you’ve even read books about it. But doing it yourself is a whole other story.

I want to release you from the guilt or the shame around thinking that you should know better and give you permission to be a beginner, especially in the first 7 or 8 years of parenthood. 

This is not something that you should be great at right out of the gate.

You’re already a great parent because you’re a wonderful human, but these unique experiences of parenting are new. You have not dealt with this before. 

For now, I want you to adopt a beginner mindset in parenting like you would with any other skill. 

Right now you’re looking for answers, figuring things out and deciding what areas you should seek out help with. 


Building Your Parenting Skills

Every time we want to we do something new, especially if it matters to us, we learn. We get help, we find a teacher. 

The cool thing is that as you do something, you learn the basics and start to get better at it. Some of those basic things that you used to feel confused about no longer feel so confusing.

You get to know your kid a little bit more. You make some decisions and build up experience and wisdom. You start to realize that you’ve already figured out a bunch of things, and you’re not necessarily a beginner anymore. You’re more of an advanced beginner.

Not everything feels so heavy and hard and weighted, and not everything feels like it's going to matter for the long term.

You realize that parenting is about making choices, and when they don’t work out, it’s not a problem. We can pivot. Not everything you or your child does at 4 years old is what will be happening at 14. 

And as you move into the intermediate stage, you use your beginner skills to problem solve and build even more confidence as a parent. 


An Instruction Manual for Parenting

Parenting isn’t confusing because you don’t have the intuition for it or you're not cut out for it or because something’s wrong with you. It's an actual skill gap.

Just like someone taught you how to drive and to deal with obstacles along the road when they came up, sometimes you need actual teaching in parenting. 

You need new skills and “advanced” level parents who have gone ahead of you, who've seen a lot of obstacles, who've gone through these scenarios and can give you perspective and can tell you what's coming down the road.

People often joke, “I wish this kid came with an instruction manual.” And it's not a joke. It's a legit desire. Because this stuff is hard!

That's why I have spent the last 12 years trying to create the instruction manual for parenting. A big part of what I teach you in my programs is what's developmentally appropriate at every stage, what parenting strategies work and how to implement them.

Your kids think you're an amazing mom. They love you to pieces, and they want you to teach them, guide them and show them how to grow up and be an adult. They need to believe you're capable, because that makes them feel safe. 

If you are struggling in your parenting and you are confused and overwhelmed, I want to say that's normal. Nothing's wrong with you. And I want to invite you to the skills and support you need. Learn more about my upcoming programs or book a free call with me here.

You’ll Learn:

  • Why parenting is confusing (it’s not just you!)
  • How parenting is like learning to drive
  • What it looks like to be a beginner and how to advance your skills in parenting

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