A sweet friend recently passed along a parenting article that beautifully summed up the mental struggle of feeling sufficient as a parent. It got me wondering why parents doubt themselves and their capabilities? Perhaps we don’t hear we are doing a great job often enough. Or perhaps we feel like a failure if we venture outside the lines of societal norms.

I often felt like I was doing something miserably wrong when my daughter didn’t sleep for the first 18 months of her life. The experts would definitely not be impressed! I would cry with jealousy when parents described their restful evenings and conversations with their partners.

Conversations? Restful? What?

While other couples might have mastered the Ferber or no-cry methods, we mastered none. After reading multiple parenting blogs and books, I felt totally overwhelmed and at a loss. By many standards, I was failing at getting my daughter to sleep. But the reality was our journey was different than others. It didn’t make me less capable, just a little more tired.

Parenting isn’t cut and dry. ItĀ isn’t about one method superseding another. It’s about nurturing your child to the best of your ability. We need to celebrate our struggles and triumphs and know we are going along this journey as best we can. After all, we are unique and bring our own experience to this adventure called parenting.

 

Caroline Lalive Carmichael moved to Steamboat with her family in 1995 and joined the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. After one season, Caroline was named to the U.S. Ski Team and competed for 13 years, attending two Olympics. After retiring in 2009, she returned to Steamboat as a coach. She and fellow Olympian Nelson Carmichael were married in 2012 and welcomed their daughter, Freya, in 2015.