I write this blog not because I know what I'm doing as a mom, but because I'm learning. Uncertainty is my constant companion. At each stage of parenting I'm uncertain about different things, but it's really all the same.
When my kids were babies I was uncertain about why they were crying and how to get them to sleep (among many things), but really I wasn't so sure about being a good enough mom. Now I'm uncertain about how to help them with struggles in school or with big decisions, and really I'm not so sure about being a good enough mom.
Sometimes I fall into it, obsessing mentally about specific issues (sleep, money, grades, friends, chores, etc.). I can get rigid and demanding as I try to control things. I can avoid the confusing nature of human relationships by distracting myself with my work or other interests (social media, wine, Netflix). I can pretend to myself or other people that I get it, I really know what I'm doing.
At my wisest, I understand that feeling uncertain is okay. I don't expect to know everything or to be a perfect mom. I respond to the nervousness that comes with uncertainty by grounding myself in the present moment and pulling my attention back from the past and future.
Over time, I've gotten more able to feel the uncertainty and accept it and myself. This helps me feel stronger and more vulnerable. I'm less dependent on certainty for my peace of mind and more secure in my ability to be present with what happens without trying to control it. How about you, how does uncertainty affect you?
As a mom (to 2 teenage sons), wife, and person in the world, I have been on a long imperfect journey. I have made many mistakes, but with mindfulness, emotional reflection, and lots of support I have learned enormously from those mistakes.