The idea for this post came to me one evening as I stood hunkered over the kitchen sink, stealing the last three bites of ice cream from the tub before my kids could discover me.
It was in that shining (!) moment, one in which I realized my standards have dropped considerably since motherhood engulfed me six years ago. Don’t pity me though – needs must and all that. Plus, if you don’t move fast and with a certain level of stealth in this house, you don’t get lucky in the ice cream department. Facts are facts.
It did get me thinking though about said standards, and about all of the self-imposed expectations moms tend to collect and trade throughout the rollercoaster years. These expectations and my confidence (or lack of), certainly have shifted with the parenting life. To be frank, I’m six years and three kids deep now, and I’m still not sure I’m a confident parent or person yet.
And I’m wondering why.
College educated, well traveled, socially capable (for the most part), an entrepreneur even…blah, blah, blah. There aren’t really any reasons why I should find myself facing a crisis of confidence at 32. Yet, here I was, hunched over the garbage disposal, shoveling in small amounts of sugary relief from the stressors of the day.
There can only be one answer; momfidence and confidence are two different things. While I can handle the day-to-day stresses of functioning in the world of finances, social engagements and self employment, they don’t come close to the pressures of mom-life. Apparently, that is where my real under-confidence lies.
Every time I raise my voice unnecessarily, have to ‘check out’ to another room just to mentally escape the onslaught of my offspring, or simply don’t know how to handle a parenting situation without first consulting my mom tribe, my mother/mother-in-law, my pediatrician, or the sinkhole that is Google, I feel like I’m failing. In this season of life, with littles who are both finding their own voice and imitating mine (including all of it’s excruciating, eye-roll inducing shortcomings), it’s painfully obvious to me that I don’t really know what I’m doing still.
I can’t help but feel both encouraged and insufficient with every ‘day in the life’ YouTube video or bragging social media post from moms who appear to be naturals and thriving in what I often consider to be, frankly, soul-crushingly mundane. It’s got me all churned up wondering if at six years strong I’m ever going to find my feet at this mom thing or will I always carry this unsettled feeling of never quite ‘nailing it’?
For now, I suppose we just soldier on. Each day is a new day and all that. And of course, I’ll never stop trying as their mama. Never leave, never stop loving them…I could just use a little more self love along the way too. For today, it’s grace by the truck load and over the sink ice cream binges, and on we go.