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Attachment, Good Enough, Life, Self Awareness

Feeling ‘Good Enough’

D.W. Winnicott talks about the ‘good enough’ parent.

“In my terminology the good-enough mother is able to meet the needs of her infant at the beginning, and to meet these needs so well that the infant, as emergence from the matrix of the infant-mother relationship takes place, is able to have a brief experience of omnipotence. (This has to be distinguished from omnipotence, which is the name given to a quality of feeling.)” (Winnicott, p.57)1

This allows the child’s ego to begin developing where the child is forming “primitive mental mechanisms” (Winnicott, p.9) 1

All my life I have battled with not feeling good enough to those around me. That’s not to say my upbringing was terrible, I think I turned out ok, I personally don’t think anyone can raise a perfect child. What is this notion of ‘perfect’ anyway?

For years, in my own mind, I had this picture of my ‘perfect’ life, following a ‘perfect’ timeline; and doing everything ‘perfectly’.

I use the term ‘perfect’ in this way as it took me a long time to come to terms with the fact perfection is merely a figment of my imagination. A concoction of my fantasy to be living this ideal life that doesn’t exist, but has been created through a mixture of social construction and family pressure.

Don’t get me wrong, I still battle with this a lot of the time, with lots of should’s running through my mind on a daily basis, but I do my best at the time and try to remember that what I am doing is ‘good enough’ in that moment.

Being self aware this way can be very difficult, as I constantly end up questioning myself and thinking about my actions. It’s just one of things being a therapist I guess.

I digress slightly from the topic at hand, but it felt important to think about my own battle with feeling good enough.

I see a lot of mothers around me lately, trying to be the ‘perfect parent’, it’s curious to me as all their ideas are so different. I even do it when out and about, if my little one cries, I look around, feeling judged and mouth ‘sorry, sorry’ to anyone who looks over. I guess the question I ask myself thoughtfully is ‘what does a ‘perfect parent’ mean?’

There are so many ideas of what we should be doing, this post could be endless thinking about it.

A very amusing video I saw on YouTube was about a message from women, which you can here. (Please note it has swearing in it)

There are lots of different ideas in there. It just makes me wonder if everyone did think the same then what might the human race be like? This video shows that no matter what you do, judgement follows, but is this also part of human nature?

Is perfection a socially constructed idea that the masses have put out there for something to strive for? Or is it something the individual has constructed in their own mind as to how their life and thoughts should be?

Will there ever be a time where who we are and what we believe will just be, good enough?

I’ve always felt like I have had something to prove to others, as I said earlier. I’ve always felt I’ve needed external validation. Whether that be for who I am or my career choice. It’s incredibly difficult for me to internally validate myself, as honestly, I don’t really know how. But, I work on this element of myself every day, especially now I have a child.

I worry that he may not feel ‘good enough’ growing up, but I’m hoping my awareness of this will enable me to provide him with the he confidence that, if you try your best, then you are definitely ‘good enough’.

References:

  1. Winnicott, D.W. (1965) The Maturational Processes and the Facilitating Environment: Studies in the Theory of Emotional Development. The International Psycho-Analytical Library, 64. London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis. pp. 1-276.
Attachment, Good Enough, Life, Self Awareness

Attachment – My experience

Bowlby’s theory of attachment always plays on my mind since giving birth. It’s a deep emotional bond that connects a person to another person (SimplyPsychology). An adults attachment to a child is to enable them to respond sensitively to the child’s needs; with this important relationship helping to enable social, emotional and cognitive development. Attachment I think is the relationship formed with one person to another. In this case, the child’s attachment to the primary care giver.

I decided to talk about attachment as my journey to becoming a mother wasn’t easy. In fact, I struggled bonding with my son in his first month due to suffering from a traumatic birth experience, but luckily I had the time and support to process this and move forward to build a relationship with my son.

It still niggles at me though. I wonder and worry as I was emotionally unavailable to respond to my child’s needs in his first month; and how this might impact his development. I still sometimes have nightmares about it. But I do my best to be present for him now and hopefully help him thrive and develop his autonomy. Besides, the theory also suggests that if a child hasn’t formed an attachment in the first 5 years of life, then things may be a little bit more difficult. This reminds me of my own issues of feeling good enough, but I will save that for another post.

As I said I was lucky. My partner took the reins for the first month of his life; my son totally adores his daddy today; and I feel it is because of that early care he received from him. He gets super excited when daddy comes home from work; and even wakes up from a sleep when he hears the cats miaowing as he walks in the door! I wouldn’t change that for anything.

I feel our relationship is a lot better now. On the days I still struggle to want to get out of bed, I make myself get up as I have a child to look after. Hovering over his bassinet, to be greeted with a huge smile and a wave of excited arms flailing and legs kicking makes every trouble I have melt away as all I want to do in that moment is pick him up and give him the biggest kiss and cuddle; and begin our day.

For both of us attachment is a learning process. We both continue to learn about one another in our relationship and attune to each other. I can only hope I am a good enough mother for him.

Attachment, Good Enough, Life, Self Awareness

Welcome

Welcome to my site, which offers counselling services for children.

I should probably start by telling you a little bit about me.

My name is Seetal Udeshi (most people call me Sea) and my journey to becoming a counsellor took a very long time.

It started back when I was choosing my A levels, taking a keen interest in Psychology. However, as life would have it, it wasn’t my destiny to study this at university; and my life took a very different path for a few years. A Masters degree in Creative Writing, and a very different career for nearly 10 years.

I have lived abroad in Australia where my journey towards counselling had begun, however, as again life would have it, it didn’t seem like it was the right time for me then either.

Moving back to the UK, I was more determined than ever to become a therapist; and would you know it? I finally fell into the path that I truly feel I was destined to be in.

My studying journey was not an easy one either, lots of thoughts and feelings emerged on my journey which needed much thought and processing. Then, in the midst of my course, I became pregnant and my life was to be changed forever.

Since giving birth to my first child a few months ago, it’s been interesting reflecting back on the last 10 years of my life. The choices I made all those years ago; and thinking about the what if’s or what could have been.

Processing the regrets and thoughts of what my life could have been, has been very difficult. On the one hand, sometimes I wish things could have been different, but on the other hand, being here, in this present right now, with my little one, I wonder how I could regret anything?

My life is still a journey for me, and one I hope to move forward with my new family and learn many new things and have lots of adventures.

I hope to share some of my journey, thoughts and feelings with you all, as well as some thoughts others have made in counselling.

If you have any questions, do send them in, I’m always open to thoughts and queries.