Parenting Courses: The Gift of Confidence

6 Jun

I was a single mom with my first child. I didn’t know parenting courses even existed; and if I did, I certainly wouldn’t have gone to one. I wanted to be an amazing mom and have that “Gilmore Girls” relationship with my daughter. I wanted to do it all by myself.

As much as I believe in natural instinct, I soon realised that I was out of my depth. No, I don’t know why my baby is crying. I can’t always tell the difference between my baby’s cries! And no, my baby DOESN’T want the boob even though you insist she does Aunty Martha! [cue scream]

Although I eventually did learn the difference between my baby’s cries, I had major insecurities about what to do at times. Asking for advice was like admitting I was a useless mother with no motherly instinct. I didn’t want other people to think of me as incompetent. I was a great mom; I knew that. I just wasn’t as confident on the inside as I may have appeared on the outside. Every decision was double-checked and second-guessed until my brains turned to coleslaw. And at times I felt attacked and exposed when friends and family kindly offered suggestions. As much as I LOVED being a mom, I hated the indecisiveness and insecurity I was feeling.

I wish I had known what I know now!

When my daughter was 18 months I married Kegan – an amazing man who gave me a gorgeous step-son! Friends of ours raved about Growing Kids God’s Way, a parenting course geared for parents with kids between the ages of 2 & 8. We tried it. And I recommend it – whether you are Christian or not! It gave us fantastic tools to add to our parenting bag of tricks! So when I fell pregnant with my second child, we eagerly took their advice to try the Preparation for Parenting course – even though Kegan and I had both had babies before.

Desiree Haakonsen with her 2 children, Callum and Jaime

Me and my two beautiful children, Callum (left) and Jaime.

I don’t want to give away any details of the course…not now anyway! But I will tell you that it was life-changing in the way that my husband and I became a solid team. We had a game plan and we were in it together! As a couple (or a single parent), you gain a confidence that literally makes people stop in their pram-tracks and ask “how did you do that?”

I still believe that every mother has an amazing natural instinct, and I don’t for a second think I “got it all wrong” with my first child. I think I did pretty well in fact. The parenting courses just gifted me with a confidence in myself that I had clearly lacked before. It is a gift that should be shared with everyone. I would like to pass it on to you! I’m positive that when you have tried one, you will try them all. And when your friends ask you, “How did you do that?” you can pass the gift on to them too!

To find out more about available parenting courses from the Growing Families International curriculum, please contact Andrea at Baby Guardian Vaccination Clinic.

Please note that Andrea and Alastair de Wet facilitate courses in the Centurion/Midrand area in Gauteng, South Africa only but may refer you to other facilitators in the greater Johannesburg area.

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