There is always so much doubt.
Most often, the prevailing thought is, am I still wanted, needed? When I’m invited to do something, to participate in something, always I wonder, am I an afterthought? Am I the last resort? Maybe they’re just being polite. Maybe nobody else was available. Maybe they’re just being nice.
All people are plagued with some form of insecurity about one thing or another.
Before pregnancy, I had my fears and doubts. I had my panic attacks and crippling insecurity. But they were never so constant, so pervasive, so persistent.
Now I doubt, all the time.
Are you sure you want us to come over? Are you sure you want me to write? Are you sure you want to visit? Are you sure I can do this?
Can I still do this? Aren’t there other people who can do this better? Isn’t there someone else you want for this?
You don’t really want me. You don’t really need me. You’ve found other people who can do what I do, probably better. You can get someone else.
You don’t need me.
Written on June 13, 2017
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In July, I shared this with one of my mom groups:
One of the things I’m struggling with, now that I’m a mom, is crippling self doubt. I feel invisible, like everything I was pre-motherhood disappeared once I gave birth to Lucas. I feel like I’ve lost my worth as a writer, a builder, a manager, a performer, a lover, a friend, a drinking buddy, because it’s all been overwritten by my being a mother.
I saw this on my feed just now, and I burst into tears, because I realized that the one who isn’t seeing my worth is actually me.
Argh ang hirap. How do I find the mindspace, the time, and the energy to be all the things I was, when motherhood is so all-consuming? I’m sure I’ll eventually figure out a balance, but right now it’s still a struggle.
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I’m better now. I write pretty regularly. I get a little more sleep. I do yoga. I play games on my tablet. I read erotica.
I’ve been trying to treat myself to nice little things: a few new clothes that fit my new body better, some new makeup, new skincare products.
The doubt persists, but it doesn’t consume me anymore. Sometimes stress takes its toll, and I lash out at people I love. Sometimes I wish I could freeze Lucas in time so I can finish my deadline or sleep a little longer.
But mostly I’m better.
It helps to know that some of this is beyond my control, that I’m not the only new mom who feels this way. It helps to have people remind me that they love me, that they like my work, that I make valuable contributions to my family and friends and colleagues.
I still slip, sometimes. I feel twinges of envy when I see friends hanging out, building props and costumes, traveling. I worry that I’ve been forgotten. Then I remind myself of the people who have asked me to work with them on projects. I remind myself of the people who have invited me to movies and parties and events. I remember the ones who took them time to read my articles and blog posts, and even better, who bothered to message me or to comment, to share their thoughts.
I still slip, but I’ve gotten better at picking myself up. I still slip, but it’s okay. Most of the time, I know I’ll be okay.