I asked myself this question the moment Maci wasn’t latching on properly. It was a simple question in my head. I sat in the hospital bed at 3am as I did everything I could to maneuver her gently and adjust my position. I had been a mother for a few hours and was already asking myself the question. Am I doing this all wrong?
And now it’s always seemed to hover.
I sometimes worry about this lingering question. I wonder why I don’t know everything I need to know and if I should have maybe read more about being a mom. Maybe I should have prepared more. I wonder why other moms seem to know what they’re doing. I compare myself and get so insecure about just how good of a mother I really am.
For the last few months, as Maci has grown, I’ve felt myself asking this question more and more. But it’s no longer like the first time I asked it at 3am in the hospital. It isn’t a simple whisper in my head. It’s a scream. A sometimes violent cry that echoes throughout my entire nervous system.
AM I DOING THIS ALL WRONG?!
I doubt myself a lot of the time. I mean, so often that it kind of terrifies me.
These feelings have bottled up as time has continued to push forward. The new challenges of motherhood are ever-changing. There is always something new. And in comes the self-doubt. It’s been weighing heavy on me and I finally feel ready to say it out loud and open up about this because I know it’s just not true. What is “right” for someone else won’t always be “right” for me. What is “right” for another child won’t always be “right” for Maci. But sometimes, it’s hard to get this out of my head. Sometimes I really do feel scared that I’m doing everything wrong. That I’m making decisions that aren’t what is best for us. My thoughts go back and forth and it’s this tug of war in my brain that never takes a break. Am I doing this all wrong?
Everyone will have their own opinion about what “right” looks like. And it’s that much harder when you scroll through social media and see so many harsh comments directed at a mother for making a “wrong” choice in her motherhood journey. My heart sinks anytime I read something like that, not just towards me but towards any mother in general. Because I know how it feels to question every little thing and doubt all that you are doing and trying. The self-doubt already lives inside some of us and eats away at our confidence even without those comments. So when those are added, the doubt becomes fear, pain, and sometimes even anger. Motherhood is so hard. The last person that should make it harder on ourselves is us.
Last month, I sat in our Vegas hotel room, not long after I met three of my amazing mama friends for the very first time that I’ve gotten to know through the Instagram motherhood community. I sat there talking to them, filling up with tears, because I was opening up about this for the first time. These overwhelming feelings of doubt that over time have made me question myself as a mother. The moment they reassured me that it wasn’t just me, that I wasn’t alone in these feelings, changed everything for me. I realized this wasn’t something in my head. It wasn’t just me. And I also realized it’s something worth saying out loud and discussing instead of bottling up. This is the side of the motherhood community that needs to be seen and heard. The support, the encouragement, the nonjudgemental acknowledgements of our most difficult moments.
Over the next few months, I want to share my heart about this through different topics that have been some of the hardest for me. All of this has been weighing on my mind and heart for far too long.
And even though I don’t know if I’m completely ready to dive in, I’m going to.
New Series: A Doubtful Mama