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.

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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