I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve had some major insecure moments in my life, and my husband would be first in line to back that up. I believe it has something to do with the fact I have always had an active imagination, “a dreamer” as my family says. So whilst I have the capacity to imagine all the wonderful opportunities that might come by, I am just as capable of envisioning what could go wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely an optimist, a glass half full type of person. I love new opportunities, I strive towards my goals, I take risks.
For my 22nd birthday, I jumped out of an airplane at 15,000 feet and actually laughed during the freefall (don’t believe me? I have a video to prove it!). This was definitely not an insecure moment in my life. This was an exhilarating, rebellious, living-life-on-the-edge moment. I had excited nerves, but not scared nerves. There was a split second of pure fear when we first jumped out, but that was fast forgotten. It was a major adrenaline rush that lasted for weeks.
Joining a new playgroup with my two girls however – now that’s a scary moment. With both feet on the ground the entire time, I’ve got a million things running through my head before I even walk through the door. Of course I know why I want to join playgroup, I want Miss 2 ½ to make new friends and enjoy interacting with other children. I want to meet other mums who live near us. But those opportunities are overshadowed by the daunting “What If’s”. What if Miss 2 ½ pushes another kid over. What if no one eats the shared plate I brought for morning tea. What if none of the other mums are interested in talking to me. What if they talk about topics I have no idea about. What if Miss 5 weeks cries the entire time we’re there….
It took a mountain of talking to my mum, my husband, and myself to build courage to go. The night before, I made sure our bag was packed, our clothes were laid out, our morning tea was ready, so I couldn’t make any excuses in the morning as to why we weren’t going. I have to admit, I was mega nervous driving into the car park, getting the girls out of the car, and walking into the room. But it was Miss 2 ½’s confidence and excitement that helped me keep my cool. Turns out the ladies were lovely, Miss 2 ½ had a fantastic time (so much so she was in tears when we had to leave), and although Miss 5 weeks didn’t sleep at all, she didn’t cry either, so all in all it was an awesome experience. And we’ve kept going back since. What was I worried about?!
I sometimes wonder how I wasn’t afraid of the “what if my parachute doesn’t open when we jump out of the airplane”. I mean – that seems a little more extreme when you compare situations, there was a higher “what if” chance I could die whilst skydiving, than there was attending a playgroup for preschoolers. Yet I put more energy, thought and lack of sleep into worrying about what this new group of people might think of me.
I choose to believe the reason for this insecurity is the level of desire for a positive outcome. I had a strong want for Miss 2 ½ to enjoy playgroup, to build her confidence, to have new friendships, to enjoy new experiences and learning opportunities. I don’t believe this insecurity is because I don’t value myself enough (my family will tell you with raging confidence that I definitely do). Remember I’m an optimist, so even in this insecurity, I will always look for a positive meaning.
It’s pretty daunting being a parent at the best of times, and often we find a reason to feel insecure and inadequate as a parent. But don’t let this fool you into thinking you’re a glass half empty person. You just care so much about being the best parent possible, and that’s a beautiful thing.