For me, Episode 6 of Pregnant in Heels really speaks to the crisis in confidence that most mothers suffer from. It seems that from the very moment of conception on, nature has a way of riddling both our hearts and minds with fear and insecurities. Admittedly, these anxieties all rear their head to varying degrees, but I haven’t yet met a mother that hasn’t experienced this crisis of anxiety.
I certainly don’t mean to paint a gloomy picture about motherhood, but this is a topic I find fascinating – probably largely because I grapple with the anxiety and insecurities of motherhood every day. No matter how scary a boardroom can be, or shooting live segment on television, or even an overseas trip to a factory in Shanghai, somehow I don’t second guess myself in these situations. I go in there, guns a blazin’, spouting off what needs to get done with the utmost confidence.
With my children, on the other hand, there is a constant dialogue in my mind analyzing my every parenting move, from my play skills to what I say, how I explain things and, most significantly, the attention I pay to my children. It is a seriously a full onslaught of self-criticism, all stemming from my desire to do the very best I can at being a mom and raising my children. Simply put, complacency just isn’t a word I would ever use to describe my style of parenting.
The balancing act between work and motherhood doesn’t exactly help with this motherly anxiety, but instead gives me a whole other set of things to worry about. So what is all this about? It hardly seems healthy — just because I am terrible at concocting Thomas the Tank Engine adventures on Misty Island, I really shouldn’t take that to mean I should be concerned with my skills as a parent. But, to give it a positive spin, though I may take the worrying to extremes I do know it is a surefire sign that I am being a great parent (or at least trying to be!).
What is it that truly worries me though? At the crux, I think it is purely concern that I don’t get to spend enough time with my children and that, ultimately, this will negatively affect them. Even when my cheek is glued to my older son’s face as we clutch each other during the scary moments in “Toy Story” it still doesn’t feel like enough time.
Which begs the question: will I ever feel like I’m doing enough? Maybe this is the thing with parenting – your heart hardly feels big enough to house all that love, your time never feels long enough when it comes to being with your children, and your energy never seems quite high enough to keep up with all the things you want to do for our children.
Though I haven’t figured out a way to get rid of these mommy anxieties, I do know never to let perfection get in the way of good intentions. Because it is the good intentions, the hugs and the kind acts, the unconditional love and the pure, fun moments of tickling and singing that our children will remember, not our ability to have healthy, magazine-worthy meals on the table, perfectly on-time baths, an impeccably clean, organized house and a bounty of play dates scheduled through August!
So I’m going to try to live in the moments when I am dancing with my sons to “Karma Chameleon”, when I have turned off the running dialogue of anxiety and second guessing myself. Because, quite frankly, perfection is getting old and, even worse, it is getting in the way being a great mom which, after all, is the reason for all of this crazy anxiety in the first place – my desire to be a great mom.
Speaking of which…time to stop writing this and go home to play with my boys!