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Good Enough is Good Enough

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Hands up who has ever felt the parent guilt?! Who has ever fretted that they are not doing enough by their baby?! Worried over working too much, being too tired, being too impatient, not spending enough quality time with their little one, not stimulating them in positive ways, allowing too much TV or too many snacks?!

Hands up who has ever doubted their parenting decisions, been influenced by the parenting of others to change yours, who has ever compared themselves to another mum or dad who seems to have it together and perceived themselves as

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lacking?!

Hands up if these thoughts have ever left you feeling inadequate, like you’re failing somehow, made you feel indecisive in your choices, low in mood and self-esteem!?

Well I have done all those things on my parenting journey. Even now, two little girls along, if caught at the wrong time in a seemingly harmless chat with mum friends on the subject of sleeping, eating, bedtimes etc. I find myself flung into self doubt as soon as someone shares a way of doing things that isn’t my own. I will automatically assume that my way must be wrong

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and I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

Do you want to know an AMAZING statistic I recently learned though? Mothers of securely attached babies misattune to their baby 70% of the time!! 70% OF THE TIME!

What that means is those babies who know they’re loved, are confident to explore the world, know their needs will be met, who have a positive happy relationship with their parents, who will be able to form good relationships with others as they grow, have mummys who get it wrong 70% of the time.

So how can this be? How can a mama get it so wrong

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so much of the time and yet have a secure attachment with her baby that will be the building block of all great things to come in that baby’s life?

Well the answer comes in a simple phrase: ’good enough is good enough’.

You see, what that statistic doesn’t say but which is super important to this whole thing is that even though a mother may misattune 70% of the time on her first attempt, that doesn’t really mean she is getting it wrong. Instead what a good mama (or papa)  is doing is trying to reattune, adjusting, trying again, trying

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harder, figuring it out. THIS is what makes the difference.

So it isn’t about being the perfect parent. In fact, that person doesn’t even exist. Instead it is about just doing your best. You will get it wrong, you will make mistakes, you will misattune. All your baby needs, however, is for you to keep trying to figure it out, keep trying to get it right, to be good enough, not perfect.

So the next time I am filled with self-doubt, or find myself worrying that my little ones are eating too much pasta for dinner, I am going to remind myself of

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this and try to see the bigger picture. If I am doing my best and trying my hardest then that really is all I can do. And if that’s good enough for my babies and what they need from me then it is good enough for me as well.

(Stat from Ed Tronick, Infant Researcher)

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Abigail Gerrard

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- 29 Apr 19

Hands up who has ever felt the parent guilt?! Who has ever fretted that they are not doing enough by their baby?! Worried over working too much, being too tired, being too impatient, not spending enough quality time with their little one, not stimulating them in positive ways, allowing too much TV or too many snacks?!

Hands up who has ever doubted their parenting decisions, been influenced by the parenting of others to change yours, who has ever compared themselves to another mum or dad who seems to have it together and perceived themselves as lacking?!

Hands up if these thoughts have ever left you feeling inadequate, like you’re failing somehow, made you feel indecisive in your choices, low in mood and self-esteem!?

Well I have done all those things on my parenting journey. Even now, two little girls along, if caught at the wrong time in a seemingly harmless chat with mum friends on the subject of sleeping, eating, bedtimes etc. I find myself flung into self doubt as soon as someone shares a way of doing things that isn’t my own. I will automatically assume that my way must be wrong and I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

Do you want to know an AMAZING statistic I recently learned though? Mothers of securely attached babies misattune to their baby 70% of the time!! 70% OF THE TIME!

What that means is those babies who know they’re loved, are confident to explore the world, know their needs will be met, who have a positive happy relationship with their parents, who will be able to form good relationships with others as they grow, have mummys who get it wrong 70% of the time.

So how can this be? How can a mama get it so wrong so much of the time and yet have a secure attachment with her baby that will be the building block of all great things to come in that baby’s life?

Well the answer comes in a simple phrase: ‘good enough is good enough’.

You see, what that statistic doesn’t say but which is super important to this whole thing is that even though a mother may misattune 70% of the time on her first attempt, that doesn’t really mean she is getting it wrong. Instead what a good mama (or papa)  is doing is trying to reattune, adjusting, trying again, trying harder, figuring it out. THIS is what makes the difference.

So it isn’t about being the perfect parent. In fact, that person doesn’t even exist. Instead it is about just doing your best. You will get it wrong, you will make mistakes, you will misattune. All your baby needs, however, is for you to keep trying to figure it out, keep trying to get it right, to be good enough, not perfect.

So the next time I am filled with self-doubt, or find myself worrying that my little ones are eating too much pasta for dinner, I am going to remind myself of this and try to see the bigger picture. If I am doing my best and trying my hardest then that really is all I can do. And if that’s good enough for my babies and what they need from me then it is good enough for me as well.

(Stat from Ed Tronick, Infant Researcher)

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Abigail Gerrard

Co-founder of Gerrard & Grace who sell thoughtful and practical parent-to-be and new baby gift boxes and which is home to #payparenthoodforward (see link in bio). Mother to two little ones. Often feeling the strain and always winging it. Wife to Bradley Gerrard (find him over on The FMLY Man).

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