I’ve spent so much of the last 9 months feeling inadequate and overwhelmed as a mum. What I’m realising is feeling like that doesn’t mean I’m falling apart or failing. It just means I’m human. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts about motherhood on the blog despite my fear of becoming a ‘mummy blogger’. Today I wanted to explore something I’ve been thinking a lot about. Doubt. (Yes I’m a poet and gosh-darn do I know it!)
Going along on this journey of motherhood exposes you to a lot of challenges. For me, the biggest challenge is that it’s impossible to feel completely confident as a mum. Confidence for me comes from knowing I can ABSOLUTELY ace something. Anything less than being super bad-ass at something is just not enough. With a baby, life is full of “maybe” and “probably” and “who knows” and “I don’t know” and “there’s no right way to do that” and “just take a stab in the dark”. No one can tell me if I’m doing this thing right. No one can confirm that I’m doing the best I possibly can. I can’t be sure I’ve made good choices or, heaven forbid, the RIGHT choices (whatever they are!). And all of this leads to the ‘D-word’… DOUBT.
How do you live with Doubt? He’s such a horrible companion. Doubt takes your shoe soles and turns them to soap. Doubt fills your mind with booby traps and hides monsters in your cupboards. And the worst thing about Doubt is that he rarely flies solo. He’s super social and constantly invites his friends Fear and Self-loathing to every occasion. Ugh.
I’ve found that mummy life is a big old magnet for Doubt and keeping him out has become my full time job. Only problem?… my full time job SHOULD be to care for myself and my daughter!!
So much of my time now is spent asking everyone and their dog and their dog’s fleas about how I should be raising my child and caring for myself. I convince myself that if I get the right affirmation or advice, it’ll help me ace this mummy thing i.e. See ya later Doubt! Then, when I get said advice, I still feel the same. I’m trying to take things on board and accept the help people offer but it’s hardly scratching the surface of how I’m feeling.
Why am I struggling so much when I’m surrounded by love and support? I’m not sure I have a bullet-proof answer but I’m getting the gist. Here’s where I’m at with this whole thing…
I’m just going to put it out there and say maybe being ‘not ok’ is perfectly ok. Maybe not knowing whether I’m kicking butt as a mum is ok too. Maybe my inner feelings are just that – feelings. Maybe Doubt is just that friend who means well but kinda sucks at being a friend. Maybe confidence is not about being great at stuff. Maybe I can live without confidence. Woah. Did I just type that? Overachieving, perfectionist old me?! Know what? Yeah. Confidence is overrated and I just don’t have time to keep up this dead-end search for the holy confidence grail. For now, I’m trying my best to just ‘be’.