Sunday Keaton turned three months old, or another way to put it, Matthew and I survived the first three months of Keaton’s life! As I like to say, the days have gone by so fast and the nights so slow.
It really is amazing we all survived. Neither Matthew nor I had changed a diaper before September 15 and although we had both been around lots of kids, not many babies had crossed our paths.
I knew there was no way to be prepared for the last three months. I knew each day would be an adventure full of challenges and amazement all at the same time. I also knew I was going to say goodbye to sleep (this coming from the woman who never pulled an all-nighter in 11 years of college)!
What I didn’t know would happen was how much Keaton would help my self-confidence… something I have struggled with my entire life.
When I got into a top ten counseling program to complete my PhD (go UNCG), I thought the admission’s committee had just been “nice” by letting me in the program. As I was introduced as Dr. Bigbee the first time, I downplayed what I had accomplished. One of my favorite mentors once told me my biggest obstacle was my lack of confidence in my self.
Because of this lack of self-confidence I don’t like doing things I am not really, really good at. I in no way want to risk not doing something “right.” I stick with things that are known and comfortable… until this last year when we decided to have a baby.
As I said before, I didn’t even know how to change a diaper before September 15. I for once was in a situation where I had no clue what to do! My fear of not doing things “right” was in front of me and I had no choice but to face it.
I admit the first few weeks were horrendous on my fear of not doing things “right.” I questioned each of my actions and was self-critical beyond belief. I googled questions throughout each night trying to find the exact thing I should be doing. This was the most important thing I have ever done in my life and failing was not an option. I was driving myself crazy trying to figure out what I should be doing.
Loved ones around me would constantly encourage me and tell me I was doing so good… but I knew I had to believe these words in my heart not just hear them. I never wanted to be confident in something so bad in my life.
About a month ago when Keaton started smiling so much and learned to laugh, I realized I am confident in what I am doing. Each time Keaton looks at me and gives a huge smile or when he giggles at me being crazy I am confident in being a mother. Keaton has taught me it is not about being perfect it is about being present. For the first time in my life, I am confident in what I am doing.
Being confident in no way means I have all the answers or solutions to each challenge that comes our way. Being confident means I trust myself to find answers and work towards solutions. It means I feel like I have the ability to be Keaton’s mom!
Do I think I am doing it “right” or “perfect”? I really don’t have an answer for that question.
When I was a counselor I told clients often there is not a right or wrong decision, there are just decisions that have to be made. I encouraged them to make a decision and live into it. I am finally taking my own advice and living into the decisions Matthew and I make regarding Keaton each day.
I know there will be many times as I mom I won’t know what to do, but I hope I continue to be confident in my ability to be a mom and live into the decisions I make.