The judging eyes. As parents, we’ve all felt them. Our kids are too loud, they’re crying in the supermarket, they’re bottle fed, they’re breastfed, they’re using a device of some description, or they watched seven and half minutes of In The Night Garden because you were simultaneously trying to unpack lunchboxes, make dinner, respond to an urgent work email while reciting Llama Llama Red Pyjama from memory, and something had to give.
When you feel those judging eyes, take a moment. Stop, breathe and congratulate yourself. Every minute of the waking day, and throughout the long nights, you are running a constant priority check. Taking in all the information, assessing urgency, ranking actions against outcomes and striving to meet everyone’s needs. And you’re doing a damn good job.
When facing situations like this at work, we demonstrate our ability to choose the right course of action based on our experience, role, title and knowledge. But for some reason this fails to copy over to parenting where others think they know best and are quick to provide impromptu performance reviews.
If this happens to you, it’s a good idea to go back to your personal key values and factors for success. These are individual to us all and are shaped through experience, interactions and a multitude of internal and external factors.
Be clear on your values for your family, kids and yourself, and know that the decisions you make are guided by these, either consciously or going with your gut in the heat of the moment. Try, also, to clarify what success means to you in relation to your family and situation. Constantly trying to measure up against someone else’s markers for success can leave you feeling frustrated and like you never quite measure up.
Understanding your personal values and success markers will give you confidence in your parenting, and decision making in general. It will also help to make those judging eyes and snippy comments become little more than white noise as you go about your daily life.
If you’re struggling with clarity around your values, or your personal and family goals then see how Balance After Baby Coaching can help.