Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Becoming a Confident Mother--Confessions of Confident Women

When I was pregnant with JaiseAnn, I experienced a range of emotions. There were days that I couldn't wait for her to arrive and looked forward to being a mom. There were also days that I would get really nervous and unsure of myself. On one such day, I found myself taking a bubble bath. I was pretty well pregnant at that point and my big belly bobbed just above the surface. She was nestled in there pretty tight and I could always tell where her bottom was. I would always pat that part of my belly when talking to her. That day in the tub I had a little conversation with her, "I'm kinda freaking out, baby. I am really worried that I am not quite ready for motherhood and I am nervous that I won't do a job as I would like. Please be patient with me." As I finished our short conversation, I wiped a few tears away from my eyes.

I can honestly say that JaiseAnn has been so patient with me from the beginning. From the beginning I struggled with first, I struggled physically--nursing, recovery, and sleep deprivation. I just didn't always have the energy I wanted. Then as I got better and more adjusted, I noticed that my struggles were more emotional. I got frustrated when she cried for an entire car ride. I felt defeated when I couldn't take her on walks without a fit. I felt like I was in over my head as I tried to navigate early motherhood feeling very alone. I felt like I lacked intuition as we struggled with sleep and schedules when nothing came naturally.  Through it all, JaiseAnn has been very patient with me. She loves me like I have never been loved before and I am her whole world. She doesn't remember my bad moments and she makes my good moments feel like a winning lottery ticket. 

mothers instinct

But I haven't been as patient with myself. I have had moments of losing my cool with her. I have had moments where I told Zach in tears, "I don't know how to do do so many people do this so many times?" (Definitely a conversation about sleep).  I have had moments where I wondered if I'd ever find my groove or comfort zone as a mom. Would I ever have moments where I started to feel secure and comfortable in my choices? Would I ever be the mom I always imagined?

Every time I had a less than stellar moment--every time I was far from the mom I always imagined--I would dwell on it. I would think about it. I would see it as a set back. One day, though, JaiseAnn was having a meltdown over something and I handled it well. I bent down, scooped her up, and explained why she couldn't do whatever it was she was doing. I wiped her tears, I comforted her, and I sat down with her on the floor to play. "I just reacted the way I want to always react." I thought to myself. I want to see her perspective and be sensitive to her little heart. I want to be understanding, loving, and comforting. And today, for one moment, I was all of those things. I was the mom I always imagined." I am sure I have had many moments of handling things well, but this was the first time I had actually acknowledged that moment and thought about it immediately after it  happened.

celebrating small victories

I thought about that all day. How I had taken a moment to dwell on something I was proud of, something I did right. How often do we do that? How often do we think thorugh a good moment over and over? Do we share it with someone? Do we say a prayer of thanks when we realize we just had a good moment? We just acted the way the pereson we want to be would act--do we take the time to celebrate that?  

I almost always pray for forgiveness and help changing when I do something I'm not proud of. I always tell Zach or my mom, or maybe everyone when I'm struggling or not doing my best. But until then, I hadn't really done the same for the good moments. I hadn't ever let them simmer on my mind and in my heart throughout the day. But I've found, as I take time to think, "I handled that well!" I've found more confidence in myself as a mom (and a woman in general.)

joy in motherhood

I've started setting a goal for myself. I try to dwell on the good moments--either as they're happening or at night when I pray. At the end of the day, while I think about the events that took place, I try to create a highlight reel instead of a regret reel. I visualize our good moments and I bask in the joy that those moments bring me and the happiness that maybe I made a few choices that day that got me a little closer to the woman I want to be. 

Do you ever take the time to dwell on your good moments? 

*If you'd like to feature your story or experience in this series, please comment or send an email to [email protected]

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