May 31, 2013

Confidence in mothering

Where to begin......I write so little it's tough for me to spill my thoughts sometimes. But most recently, I've been realizing something about my confidence, or lack thereof, in mothering.

As a young girl, I always struggled with insecurities and have always had an overwhelming need to please people and win their approval. It wasn't until graduate school, that these tendencies began to dwindle away. The feedback from excellent mentors, from teachers, the good grades earned with hard work, the experiments that went well, published papers, etc. all gave a sense of gratification that seemed to take the place of the nagging insecurities. I love research and teaching, and they gave me a sense of well being I hadn't known before.

Since the twins were born, I have the privilege of being a stay at home mom. And a privilege it is. I am truly grateful. But I must be honest, my insecurities have returned. I need more approval from my husband and mom in particular. I worry daily if I am failing my children, making a nice enough meal, keeping my house as clean as it should be, doing enough crafts, using my mind enough, being a good friend and sister......the list goes on. And for most of these insecurities, the feedback is my self. And lets face it, we are all our worst critic, particularly perfectionists. The days my children don't have a fit, don't cry, eat well, I think to myself, I've done it right today! The days my house seems clean, my husband is satisfied, and my friends able to carry on a conversation with me, I think to myself, my mind is intact, I've had a good day. But in reality, I need to move past these insecurities, and realize the feedback isn't perfection I need, the feedback is contentment. I am truly content in being a mother. My children are loved and know they are loved unconditionally. I can have confidence in my mothering, because I am doing my best.

Steve Wiens on his site "The Actual Pastor" wrote something I could really identify with.
( How many of you hear "enjoy these year, they pass so quickly," with respect to your little ones. And how many of you think to yourself "Am I doing something wrong, because all I want to do is FAST FORWARD!" I don't know about you, but I would feel guilty for thinking that, and it circles back to those insecurities about mothering. Stop beating yourself! Just start being......all we can do is our best.

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