By Erin, adopting mama blogger
I would normally describe myself as a fairly secure, confident person. I have my hang-ups, like anyone, but I usually don’t run around worrying about what other people think or having negative thoughts about myself. Lately, though, I am feeling more insecure, and questioning myself more than ever. Even writing this is making me feel insecure!
Just the other day, after I threw on clothes (ok, I changed shirts 3 times because every one that I tried on made me look too round) and a tiny bit of make-up to barely make it on time to Isaac’s morning gymnastics class, the insecurity monster took over. I was sitting on the bleachers, trying to read a book and watch the kiddos do gymnastics, when it happened. Two women (perfectly nice women, by the way), walked in and sat down. They both have two to three kids (I know this from previous conversations), and yet they manage to show up to gymnastics looking absolutely perfect in the “casual mom-on-the go” way. No yoga pants, no fat jeans, no t-shirts, and no messy pony tails – these women look like they should be in a magazine – hair that looks great, make-up fully done (but totally casual and not over done), jewelry that goes with the outfit, SKINNY jeans with the trendy boots tucked in. There I sat in my thrown-on jeans, and my 4th try shirt that I still was not happy with, a tiny bit of powder and mascara on my face, and I started to feel so insecure. I could not get over it – how could these women look so good? How could they be such perfect size sixes, with such beautiful clothes, and such great hair and makeup? I am heavier now than when I was pregnant, my hair is a wild mess, my face goes between pimply and crackingly dry every month, and my clothes are a hodge-podge of Old Navy, Target, and whatever fits . . . As I sat there feeling bad about myself, I could not help overhearing part of their conversation. They were talking about their spring break vacation plans – plans to travel to sunny places and do fun activities with the kids. Plans that did not involve staying for free at a family’s house on a major holiday, or staying at home and worrying about money! I had just been going through our money situation in my mind – trying, unsuccessfully once again, to shift categories around to make the insufficient funds add up. Knowing that we have not been on a real vacation in years and years, I started drowning in self-pity and jealousy. By the time I walked out of gymnastics, I felt like a fat, frumpy, poor, insecure mess!
I can come up with a half-dozen examples like this lately. I’ve been catching up with old friends on Facebook. Rather than remembering those times fondly, I find myself going over the past with a fine-tooth comb to figure out if it was how I remembered –did they really like me? What was I really like? Maybe they think I’m an idiot for contacting them? Oh, I am not as successful as them . . . Looking in the mirror, and instead of seeing a strong, attractive woman, I only see wrinkles, or frizzy hair, or too much fat, or whatever. Worrying about money, and judging myself for it – I have not worked hard enough, I have not saved enough, I am too smart to be so unsuccessful in the financial arena . . .
Where is all of this coming from? When I carefully look at my thoughts and feelings, I know that I do not want someone else’s life. I do not want to trade places with those well-dressed women at gymnastics class, even if they have expensive clothes, skinny bodies, and a house keeper! I want MY life. So, why have I been feeling this way? I have thought about it a lot, and I think I have it figured out. It all comes back to this adoption. We have now been waiting for nine months. I always thought we would have our baby by now. I know, logically, that adoptions usually take 6-12 months, but that does not stop my insecurity. I am worried and I have no control over it. I cannot help but wonder what is wrong with us? Why have we not been chosen yet? Maybe our profile is not good. Something is wrong with us . . . wrong with us . . . wrong with ME. That’s it. I can’t have a baby, I have not successfully been chosen as an adoptive mother, and I am feeling like, forgive me, shit about it. That’s it — plain and simple. I am not quite sure what to do about it. Writing about it probably helps – more yoga, more activities that boost my self confidence, more time with friends and family that make me feel good – all of those things will help. In my monthly check-in with our agency, I got the standard reply – nothing new to report, but our profile remains active. I am torn between giving it another month, and calling them to make sure nothing is wrong. Even that makes me feel insecure – they might think I am being too pushy or too needy! There I go again . . .
In the meantime, I’m curious – what makes you feel insecure and what do you do about it?