We all own the rights to our own story and are free to write it as we wish. That sounds like a given and something most would agree to, but what does it actually mean?
How easy is it to know what is right and what is wrong, where my personal limits lay and what road is mine, in a world full of cues and information?
Just as difficult as it is to find your place in the world, the same struggle occurs when becoming a parent. Being thrown into a situation that has more to do with who you and your child are rather than reading the right books for a well-defined parenting role changes your life in a thousand ways you would never be able to expect.
There’s an image of whom you are supposed to be before becoming a parent. Accomplished, in some way. As if a feeling suddenly appears: “Now I know” or “Now I’m allowed”. That image is naturally far from the truth and might have resulted in a loss of faith in ourselves – faith that we can handle parenting with only those tools we already possess: ourselves and (almost always) the will to do good.
To read up on, talk to others, trying to understand or seek help and support are not in themselves bad. But in a world where accomplishment often weighs heavier than feeling, the most important factors are often overshadowed by the belief in everything outside of ourselves: that someone else can solve our situation, have the right answers or show us the way.
But do we really need to strive to become experts?
To become a parent is to become a new person. Or at least a new version of who you are. In this, we all stand nearly equal. Having to further navigate an unending sea of guidance that our society naturally imposes on us, whilst also believing in our own ability is, of course, an impossible task.
Maybe it is within the acceptance of that impossibility that you can find your role. You cannot be everything and it is perfectly human and acceptable to feel your way forward. To grow alongside your child without the pressure of accomplishment. To be present with tiny tools, finding your way. To say stop and admit what does not work for you. By daring to acknowledge those limitations also shows your child that they too have the right to their own story, to express what they feel without approval, and by that learn: who am I and who are we?