Have you ever encountered mothers of young children who seem to completely have their shiz together? As opposed to moi who constantly seems to be winging it?
For example, there’s a mother of two in Mimi’s class who never seems to be in a flap, and always seems to have sorted words of advice for other mothers who are panicking about something? Or there’s Mimi’s friend’s mum, who though less in control, seems to know what the fuck is going on and her approach to things. I normally put this down to being more experienced, but then I realised I have a child who is older than them so technically I’m the experienced one! So how come I always feel like I going from crisis to crisis, but they seem to be calmly floating on the ocean of parenthood?
It reminded me of this time when I was at the maternal health centre with Mimi and the nurse said to me, you’re experienced now, you know what to do. And I thought: “Er actually I don’t know what to do. I was winging it through my first kid and I’m still winging it, albeit with a teeny bit more insight, but unfortunately the things that crop up with each kid are not the same.” Maybe because I had my kids so close together, I didn’t have the time to get to the “all shall be well” stage?
Then it struck me that the two aforesaid mothers are stay at home moms which means they have more experience in terms of sheer quantity of time spent with the kids which possibly accounts for their air of control of the situation or at least peaceable resignation to it. But then I remembered one of Nene’s friend’s moms who is a working mom who sports the same air, while I know other SAHMs who are as flustered as me. So it seems that it comes down more to personality than anything else.
I’m one of those people who cannot feel confident unless I’ve mastered something. I don’t think anyone (even the one’s that look confident) can say that they’ve mastered motherhood (if your kid is under seven). So while I chose to play up the lack of being in control, they play up the parts that are going well.
I don’t mean these people are annoying. I admire them. I really like the two mothers I mentioned earlier. I just cannot wrap my head around their confidence.
On the other hand, there are some people I find really frickin’ annoying. Like V’s cousin who thought she knew everything about motherhood because she even had a baby so you can imagine what it’s like now. I spent the whole conversation biting my tongue because I find her confidence jarring but also because we ideologically poles apart.