Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oh, the Mom Insecurities - Guest Post

Hi there! My name is Emily and I blog over at The Winking of an Eye. I'm a new-ish stay-at-home mom to Caleb (10 months), wife of 3.5 years to Jon and a displaced Minnesotan living in San Diego. My passions (when I have time) include blogging, design, photography, cooking, Minnesota and being the best mama and wife to my two favorite men (but the last two I always have time for ;-)). 

My blogs typically involve honest mama moments, thoughts on daily life with a kiddo (whom I refer to as C), pictures and photos of said daily life, recipes and attempts at humor.

It's the plague of every mom woman. Insecurities. Self doubts. It's something I feel like we all deal with every. single. day. Anyone else find it exhausting? From completely ridiculous to deeply rooted, all these little things poke and prod at me in both the expected and unexpected moments — in front of the mirror, cooking in the kitchen, playing with my kiddo at the park, after hitting the send button on an e-mail. 

And, while I'm no stranger to insecurities, it struck me the other day how oddly they have shifted since becoming a mom. 

1) I, like most women, have always been concerned with my style. I'm talking about my "cuteness," what I'm wearing, making sure I'm relatively on trend (though I'm no fashionista...). Since Caleb was born, not so much. I've written before that my closet (or floors more likely right now) include jeans and Target-bought boyfriend Ts (which I usually wear over a sports bra). Heck, I've even done one of my "I will nevers" and worn yoga pants out to the grocery store.

A good example of my typical look, kissy face included.
And C looking rather scared and unsure of his mama's sanity.
What I am now concerned with is not how I look, but how my little man looks. From hats to jeans to baby sandals, you better believe that when we walk out the door, he's looking good. Even when I have to change him out of the very mismatched outfit the hubby has dressed him in (which with a mobile kid is no easy feat), C looks good and presentable. 

Does the baby care that he's stylin'? Not so much, considering he would just assume eat the sandals as wear them and he doesn't even bat an eye at barfing all over whatever he's wearing. But, I do. And, I love how cute he looks.

3) And speaking of appearance, let's brush the subject of baby weight. Before the kiddo, I was constantly concerned about how I fit in my jeans, how much weight I should lose and how unattractive or fat I felt. The story of every woman's life, right?

Now, as much as I'm concerned with "yeah, I should probably lose 5 pounds (ehem, more than that...)" and "Can you untag that photo of me on FB, please? My third chin is showing," I also spend about half as much time thinking about it as I did before. Chalk it up to spending more time thinking about C's nutrition or the fact that he's fallen on his face three times just this morning. I just don't have the energy to guilt myself over the fact that I didn't work out that day. My energy is spend so many other places right now.

A day where it was more a matter of being proud that
we both got out of the house put together than whether or not
I looked fat in my dress.
Does that mean I don't want to be healthy? No. But it does mean that while I respect the importance of taking care of my body, I also recognize that I'm at a stage in my life that maybe it's OK that it's not my prime focus. Getting down to a size 2 (cuz that's not gonna happen) is not my job right now. C is, and that's alright.

3) I feel like I've always been pretty good at controlling the urge to care about what other people think about me. While it's taken a lot of practice, I feel like I'm good at being myself without worrying about how it makes me look to others. But since I've had C, I feel like I'm always re-examining my behavior and how it's perceived by other moms.

The behavior doesn't even have to do with child-rearing. I mean, I find myself questioning what I eat in front of people for fear they may think I'm setting a bad example for C. I will worry about what I say for fear that people may think that I don't love C as much as I do or value my job as a stay-at-home mom. It's the unending pressure I put on myself and perceive that the world puts on me to be the perfect mom.

Hmmm... is my mom capable of handling all my shenanigans?
Is that ridiculous? Yes. But, aren't most insecurities? I guess when this particular insecurity rears it's head I usually just have to take comfort in knowing that C's a happy kid. He's a (relatively) healthy kid. He leads an amazing life with parents that not only adore him, but will do whatever they can to see him thrive and grow and learn. And, well, if people want to perceive my abilities as a mom differently… that's fine.
Living the life...
And usually that thought process gets me through… until the next time I feel inadequate. But, that's how these sorts of things work. 

I have a feeling that as C gets older and more children get added to the mix, these (and the rest of my ninety-eleven insecurities) will continue to shift and change. Never disappear. And, I guess that's just the nature of the beast.

Thanks, Emily! I am completely guilty of caring much more about how Carina looks than I look, for sure.

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