Along with expectant parents, new parents, and parents of toddlers and young children, we have midwives, maternal & child health nurses, doctors, obstetricians, psychologists and several other perinatal health practitioners following our page.
Our aim is to provide sound and supportive information related to childbearing and parenting. Dr Renée Miller only selects and shares posts that have an evidence-base or that are psychologically astute and emotionally nourishing. A little humour and some heart-warming stories are shared too.
Topics covered include:
- pregnancy and postnatal depression, anxiety & stress
- mental health of dads
- assisted reproduction
- parent-infant bonding
- helping young children with anxiety
- recommended books for children
- parenting during tantrums
- fostering resilience in children
- postnatal psychosis
- teaching children about body safety
- managing tantrums, impulsivity, aggressive behaviour
- special needs parenting
- same sex relationship
- strengthening relationships after baby
- bereaved parents
- donor conception
- sleep difficulties
- managing parental anger
- managing intrusive thoughts
- helping children to express their feelings
- school refusal
- fun activities for young children
- premature birth
- 'good enough' mothering
- managing bed time difficulties
- dealing with infertility
- dealing with mother guilt
- managing sibling rivalry
- setting limits
- helping children through separation and divorce
- dealing with fussy eating
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Striving for perfection can seriously limit our capacity to enjoy life. Perfection-striving is often associated with all or nothing or black and whitethinking. For example, the mum who won’t go to mother’s group if she is going to be late, misses out on the building of relationships with other mums (who are often late themselves). The mum who won’t exercise if she can’t exercise three times per week, misses out on the benefits of some exercise and a little time-out. The mum who won’t invite people over unless she gets the time to make the house look immaculate, misses out on the fun and spontaneity of having other new mums and babies around for her own and her baby’s social well-being. The mum who won’t let her partner settle the baby because he/she won’t do it like she does, misses out on her partner’s support and her partner's growing bond with the baby.
The bottom line is that there is no one way, and there is no right way. When your hard and fast rules about how things should be, get in the way of the things that give your life meaning (i.e. the things that you really value) ask yourself if there is a middle ground?
The middle ground is a place where we strive for being ‘good-enough’ mothers. Perfectionists usually see this term “good enough” as meaning mediocre. However, ‘good-enough’ means good enough. For example, getting to mothers group late is better than not going at all. It can be a good laugh and a supportive environment. Exercising whenever possible (despite wishing to achieve three exercise sessions per week) is better than nothing, and is likely to become easier to achieve over time. Inviting friends over, even if the house is untidy, shows them that you are human after all (very comforting for most people), and demonstrates that you value friendships more than your domestic high standards. Letting your partner settle the baby even if he/she does it differently to you, knowing that this is their chance to discover what works, and to establish a good bond.
The middle ground is a much kinder place – a place of acceptance, and openness to experience. Try it. You’ll see. You might even find that not only can you be a 'good-enough' mum, you can be a great mum!
If these tips are not enough, and your need for perfection is causing you distress, it may be worthwhile to seek help.
Posted by Dr Renée Miller