Some women slip into motherhood like it's a 500 dollar pair of Dolce & Gabbana jeans. They look fabulous and together, even more so than when they were footloose and fancy free. It suits them in a way that draws out their authentic beauty. They carry on, baby in tow, emanating confidence and self worth in their new role. I have met these women, although my time with them is limited because quite frankly, they make me feel bad about myself.
Then, there are those of us who step into it like a gawky 7th grader in a training bra and her mother's 3 inch heals, stumbling awkwardly around our new territory. I have spoken to 3 other women this week, each of whom shared feelings of being uncomfortable in her own skin post motherhood. I don't believe any of us were speaking of our mothering capabilities or feelings around our children, but more of our lack of grace in relation to the rest of the world. For example:
Yesterday’s exchange with the handsome Trader Joe’s Employee-
Me- Hi! How are you
Handsome gentleman- Good! How are you?
Me- Good! How are you? ....(Awkward laugh) Um...where do you keep the toilet paper?
Is there a lost and found box in the labor and delivery ward at Cedars Sinai containing my charm?
I distinctly recall someone telling me that my 30's would bring confidence and assuredness. Well, for me this has not yet been the case. And from what I understand, nor has it been for these women whose honesty, not only served to squelch the fear that I am alone, but also inspired this entry.
While I have some ideas about why this might be, I feel I need to clearly formulate them before sharing. But, I find the whole situation troubling, as I know how important it is to instill a strong sense of self in my children. Not only for their emotional well being, but for the promise of their success as contributors to society. After all, I find that with many successful people, their steadfast belief in their gifts is often stronger than the actual gifts themselves, and the rest of the world is captivated by such convictions.
So, it should be as simple as believing in my children, telling them I believe in them, encouraging them, and offering constant positive guidance, right?
Check. Check. Check. And check.
But, I have a sneaking suspicion that, especially when it comes to the most precious values, our children are more likely to mirror us than follow our instruction. In that case, mamma's gonna have to get it together and enroll in some sort of self esteem boot camp! Must begin daily affirmations tomorrow!!!
"Because I'm good enough…
I'm smart enough…
And Doggone it, people like me!"
.....um.....do you? Not sure....could you just affirm this every 47 seconds, please?
While I do want to teach Isabelle that I find it more than slightly gluttonous to spend 500 dollars on a pair of jeans, my real goal is that she would wake up every day, no matter what she puts on, feeling like she is dressed in Dolce & Gabbana.