Ouch! The Vicious Cycle of a Parent’s Confidence Crisis

Working Mom is behind the door on my right, trying to put Boobaby down to sleep. Boo is fighting. She’s been overstimulated all evening, and my wife hasn’t felt like she’s done the best job bringing her down.

Working Mom gets worked up a lot about her mothering skills.

  • Upset that she’s not doing a “good enough” job as a mother.
  • Which, of course, makes her more upset.
  • Which, of course, makes it harder to meet the baby’s needs calmly and head off tantrums before they happen.

That’s why they call those cycles “vicious.” Yah.

HS feed

If I can feed this thing without getting it or me upset, I can feed anything…

And it’s the worse for her because I’m good at this stuff. Not down to anything innate, of course: I’ve just had more practice. I was a teacher! My job for 15 years now has been to pay minute attention to groups of children and keep them excited without getting overexcited. And when I wasn’t working, I was doing almost the same thing with wild animals at a rehabilitation hospital!

And, it should be mentioned, I’ve also had a lot more practice with our baby, all thanks to the generosity of my wife.

So this stay-at-home parenting gig is the job I’ve always trained for; it makes sense that I’d be good at it. Why does my wife feel so bad about that?

And… why do I feel so bad about that?