Does being a psychologist make you a super-mum?

by | Jul 12, 2023 | Child Psychology, Children, Parenting | 0 comments

As a psychologist much of my work has focused on helping children and adolescents cope with life’s challenges and changes. You would think my clinical experience and knowledge would make me an expert parent. A super-mum, with a well-behaved child. The reality has been far from it.

My profession has helped me to understand how children and adolescents work, what they need, and how to respond to them. What it didn’t do is prepare me for the ongoing juggle of responsibilities of parenting, working, and keeping home life functional. All the while being simultaneously sleep deprived. I have been the far from perfect parent. I have gotten frustrated, used screens as a distraction, forgotten to praise for positive behaviour, yelled instructions down the hallway, and on some days been caught up doing jobs. all the things that are part of normal, everyday parenting that I know don’t work.

Becoming a parent has made me truly understand that parents are doing their best with what they know and what they have. They are just trying to survive, and at times to make it through the day. As a psychologist though, I often stop to think how can I survive and help my child thrive?

For me this has been focusing on my relationship with my child. I try, and I say try as I do not always succeed, to start and finish the day well. I see these routine tasks as a chance for us to spend time together and connect. We sing songs and march around the house as we get ready. Or she sits on my lap when I do my hair and make-up. At night I sit by the bath and play with her, then read some books before heading off the bed. Being a psychologist has helped me make the most of the little things, knowing that over time they make a difference.

How can you make the most of the little things to help your child thrive?