Solihull Approach | Parenting


Good enough is everything

Published 5 March 2024

There is no such thing as a ‘perfect parent’, even though we may wish to be one. At times it can be a struggle. Being a parent isn’t easy, but it can be enjoyable and rewarding. To be a ‘good enough’ parent can take a great deal of determination, thoughtfulness and support.”

(Solihull Approach: The First Five Years, p. 371)

As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s natural to reflect on the journey of motherhood.

In a world where social media often showcases curated snippets of seemingly perfect parenting, we must acknowledge the stark contrast between the idealised image and the gritty reality of raising children. Furthermore, ‘good enough’ is what children need to flourish and develop ‘adaptive’ mental health. It’s the adjustments made to stay in tune and manage our own emotions that teach children about their own regulation.

Scrolling through Instagram, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to the impeccably styled photos of mothers effortlessly juggling work, family, and self-care. The reality, however, is far from the filtered images and perfectly crafted captions. Parenthood is messy, unpredictable, and demanding. It’s waking up at odd hours to comfort a crying child, navigating tantrums in public places, negotiating sulks and strops on the daily, and constantly worrying about whether we’re doing enough for our kids.

We can feel compelled to showcase our highlight reel while concealing the behind-the-scenes struggles (perpetuating the ‘perfect parent’ image). Or worse, we feel we are failing.

The truth is, parenting is unique to us and our families. Each mother navigates her journey with a unique set of circumstances, challenges, and triumphs. It’s your relationship, your ability to tune in to understand your child that matters. And, what is more, your imperfect behaviour and how you manage it helps nurture emotional health for your child, teaching valuable lessons in emotional regulation, relationships, communication and much more.

Research in psychology points often to the lessons of reciprocity and the ‘rupture and repair’ of our interactions as significant in the way we nurture hope and resilience as part of healthy emotional regulation.

This Mother’s Day, let’s take a moment to celebrate the joy in the messy, the funny in the bickering, and the deep love in the tensions. Let’s also recognise that the relentless responsibilities of parenting can take a toll on our mental and emotional well-being. It’s okay to ask for help, to seek support from loved ones, or to prioritise our own mental health. Talking through in a trusted relationship can be the best medicine. After all, we can’t pour from an empty cup.

Our work at the Solihull Approach is all about raising emotional health, for your whole family. Maybe you can find some time this week to take a look at inourplace to reflect on your relationships and where your emotional health is at.


Happy Mother’s Day.

Solihull Approach

Solihull Approach are a not-for-profit NHS service working to raise the emotional health of families

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