On Monday night while watching my children in their swimming lessons, I did something I don’t often do. I took off my glasses. Not my real glasses – I don’t wear those. I mean my glasses of self-doubt. The glasses of self-doubt that obscure the truth and cover the world in a gray haze, tainting my view with insecurity making me doubt my abilities to raise happy, healthy confident children.
You see I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I will never be satisfied with anything I do – I always think I could have done that better, put more effort in it etc…. I’ve ran a few full-marathons and instead of being proud of finishing, I whine and complain about how I should have trained harder, pushed harder in the race, and walked less to beat that 4-hour mark that I’ve set as my goal. I came very close once and I’ve promised myself that one day I will qualify for Boston.
When I took off my glasses Monday night, I was absolutely amazed because what I saw differed very much from what I percieve. I saw two very confident, happy little girls. Sierra (my oldest) was confidently jumping into the water, putting her face in and coming up giggling. Brooke (my youngest) was swimming with my hubby in her parent & tot class and joking and laughing with him. Before me were two very well cared for little girls who quite obviously have many of their physical and emotional needs met by their parents. Being their primary care giver, I was shocked when I realized that those needs are being met by me – I’m not the failure I perceive myself to be.
My glasses obviously have been tainting my visions of my children and probably my life too. Because I doubt myself and my abilities, I honestly believed my children were suffering. I thought that shuffling them to daycare, school and babysitters has been bad for them – that they think mommy doesn’t care about them. Like I’m copping out on parenting by working instead. Thinking this way has made me unhappy – and I’ve been focussing on my failures lately rather than my successes, so I’m glad I took my glasses off on Monday night – because I now see my children for what they really are. They are strong, confident and independent because they know that they have to take responsibility for themselves. No one is going to do things for them unless they ask. They know that the world does not owe them, they know that they need to make things happen for themselves. They are turning out to be the strong confident girls I want them to be and for that I’m very proud.