Reclaiming My Confidence.

When I became a mother, I had no idea what I was doing and I used this blog to document my stupidity.

I asked questions, voiced concerns, and was genuinely thrilled when people offered their advice.

I was like a sponge — trying to learn as much as I could, trying to do the “right” thing all the time.

I was confident — confident I was clueless — but confident to try new things and figure stuff out.

But somewhere in the last year, I totally lost that.

My confidence as a mom was just…gone.

I cannot tell you exactly why, because I’m not sure, but I think I just started to realize how many “right” ways there were out there and it got to be overwhelming to me.

On Facebook, I have friends who post strong opinions about parenting.

Honestly, that doesn’t bother me.

I usually find it interesting.

But what I think started to happen is that when I would read conflicting articles, I started getting scared to voice an opinion at all.

I didn’t want to start an argument, or make people think that just because I chose differently, I thought they were wrong.

For instance, I think working mothers have incredibly hard jobs.

I think they are amazing.

Some of the closest people to me in my life are working mothers — and I planned on being one myself — so I certainly don’t think it’s bad.

But I started to feel like I couldn’t say anything about being a stay-at-home mother, in case someone felt like I meant that being a working mother was wrong.

And I would never want a working mother to feel that way about something I wrote or said.

But then it just started to affect me all over.

I just…stopped having an opinion.

I just listened to what other mother’s were saying or doing, and then I just started to think that’s what I should be doing or saying too.

That sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

I know.

But it was happening.

I agonized for MONTHS about whether to put Tom is school 3-days-a-week this year or 4-days-a-week.

I wanted him to do three, but all of his (and my) friends were doing four.

And I started to think, “He should do four.  Four would be fine.  He likes it.”

But I wanted him to do three!

(He is doing three, by the way, but I was so crazy close to switching him at the last minute.  It was kind of nuts.)

If I had my confidence, I know I just would’ve gone with 3-days and moved on.

But no.

I agonized.  Talked about it. Asked opinions.  Said, “Maybe…” when our friends asked.

Apparently I had gotten to a point in my thinking that by me having a different opinion, or having made a different choice, automatically meant I was hurting someone’s feelings.

I was scared to say anything about anything!

Not only on my blog, but in life.

I felt like I took “go with the flow” to a whole new level.

And what was worse?

I wasn’t just laid back going with the flow.

I was worried and stressed about it.

I started going to playdates just so I wouldn’t hurt people’s feelings by not going.

Even if that meant I didn’t get planned errands done so I’d have to find a less convenient time to do it.

It started off innocently, and then pretty soon — my whole week was taken up with things I felt I “had to” do — when I really didn’t.

But I didn’t know that.

In my little world, it really felt like I “had to” do all these things.

And then one day I called my sister crying.

I couldn’t keep up with everything.  I felt like I was letting everyone down.  I was stressed all the time. I didn’t think I was doing a great job as a mom because I was tired and cranky.  I couldn’t please everyone.  I just felt…defeated.

And I said to Rachel, “I feel like I’m not making any choices without everyone’s opinions weighing on me.  I just feel like…I’m not confident anymore.”

And she said, “You’re not.”

I think hearing someone like my sister confirm what I was thinking — actually putting a label on what was making me feel out of control — changed everything for me.

And it was like a light bulb went off.

I wasn’t confident.

And I didn’t like it.

So…I changed.

I really don’t know why just telling my sister, and her agreeing with me, changed my whole outlook — but it did.

It changed in that very minute really.

I’ve started to say “no” more.

And that has helped a lot.

I can feel my opinions now — not losing them in others.

And here’s the other thing — she said if people didn’t like me, so what.

Okay, this was a hard one for me.

I am a people pleaser.  I want people to like me.

And not that I would ever go out of my way to hurt people, or not care if I hurt them — but — if they don’t like me because I say “no” to a playdate, then they just…don’t.

(And for the record, I don’t know that this would even happen with anyone I hang out with.  I’ve just been scared of the possibility I guess.  Nerd!)

I really want to reiterate — it was nothing that anyone was doing *to* me — it was the way I was handling things, or the way I was feeling about them.

I just wasn’t really being honest with myself — or others — about what I could or couldn’t do.

And I wasn’t confident enough in my opinions to handle all of the opinions that are out there about everything parenting.

And I really think it all went back to me not being confident in myself.

But now it’s back.

I’m back.

Hello, confidence, it’s nice to see you again.

I’ve missed you.

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This entry was posted in Motherhood, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reclaiming My Confidence.

  1. waymel says:

    Aww. Hugs, my friend. Enjoy your renewed friendship with your confidence. 🙂

  2. redkeeney says:

    I’m glad you found it. You are super cool.

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