Well Woman Confidence Series, Part II: Mind Games
Ever heard the tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Well that’s me, except I’m Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde. There are moments when I love being a mother and there are moments where I just wish for one minute I was 22 again with no responsibilities; moments when I long to be free of to-do lists, laundry, cooking, cleaning, pumping, diaper changing, planning, and sleepless nights. It’s all so much, and some days it’s amazing I keep it all together (even when I feel like I don’t). Yet, the feedback I get from my husband, friends, and family is that I am “such an amazing mother.” Wait! What? How so? For me, it’s a constant challenge to separate internal thoughts vs. the perspective from the outside world.
Internally I feel like I could always be doing better. After spending three hours at the zoo so my 3.5-year-old can run around with her friends, I realize my 5-month-old has just been sitting in the stroller all morning and nursed on the fly in front of the petting zoo. I mean, I guess that’s me “doing it” but I still feel like I should be doing more. I don’t have as much guilt as I did with my first-born — thankfully, because that is a whole can of worms in and of itself. But still, it surprises me when people comment on my confidence and ability to seemingly do it all.
A bit of insight into my life: My husband travels a ton for work and when he is in town he’s often entertaining clients at cocktail hours or dinner meetings when he’s not working late. A typical day for him is leaving at 7:30 in the morning and getting home around 8 in the evening after the kids have been fed and bathed. I am fortunate to have help two days a week (although I have quickly realized that’s not quite enough). Of course, like so many other Bay area residents, we hail from the East Coast, and family is far away. I am juggling two kids, a dog, and a household and I feel overwhelmed most days, like many moms.
The positive feedback is great and very much appreciated. It encourages me to keep on plugging along, and lately I’ve noticed it makes me strive to do more. We recently went berry picking and I made my own strawberry jam! Even thinking about it seems like an out-of-body experience but I did it (and I enjoyed it).
The outsiders’ perspective that I am some kind of a “supermom” (even though I know that doesn’t exist) has me embracing the fact that I am doing it and although it’s not easy, we are getting somewhere. It’s ironic, because usually we struggle with so much negativity from the outside world — I’m so used to filtering out thoughts and opinions from others because they bring me down. The fact that this time those outside perspectives are lifting me up has been a mind game.
So instead of hushing people up or instantly negating compliments I’m actually listening, and not feeling bad about saying “Thank you!” I'm allowing positive comments from folks to act as a buffer against my own negative thoughts that sometimes seep in.
Call it age, experience, or just life with two kids and no time for BS, but mentally I am becoming more confident in my role as a mom, wife, and businesswoman. I take time for myself without the guilt, I enjoy time with my husband, and I believe my kids are happy and that I am a good mom. Wow! I feel great. I have hit my stride and know that confidence is the key to defeating any negative thoughts that try to creep in.
Anyone else understand what I’m talking about? If so, leave a comment below. I can’t wait to read them!
Be Well Woman,
Phyllis of Well Woman
Certified Holistic Health Coach and Founder