Friday, July 12, 2013

Am I good enough?

I expect that there are some people out there who sail through life just knowing and feeling supremely confident that they should be headed on some upward trajectory. That yes, they totally deserve that pay rise, or yes, they are totally capable of coping with whatever life throws at them.

I'm not really one of those people. Despite my outward appearance of being bubbly, outgoing, extrovert, confident, I'm not those things. Well, maybe a bit bubbly.

In so many areas of my life, I doubt myself. I wonder "am I really good enough?".

I think a lot of homeschooling parents often wonder "am I doing enough?" and "am I doing a good enough job?" People ask me how it's going, and I bubble "oh great, it's really working for us!" and on the whole it is. But I continually second-guess myself if I'm doing "enough" or if I could be doing it better.

I love my little blog. I have core readers and commenters who I adore (even though I haven't met most of you), so I know it resonates with at least some people out there. Is it good enough to go on blog hops and be linked to by other people? Is the content good enough for others to read? Does anyone really care about my kids and my family and my existential woes?

I'm a pretty competent employee. I know lots of stuff (teaching stuff, environmental stuff, business stuff). I can do lots of things (teaching, guiding, computer-ey things). But am I good enough to step up - to take on the bigger, better roles? Do I even want to? Is it too self-centred to even consider at the moment?

I'm a reasonably good writer. I have experience that I could share with other people, that could make their lives easier. Would people actually pay $$$ for my words and ideas?

Maybe I should lose some weight, dye my hair, eat less junk so I get less pimples (what is with that BTW? I'm 44 years old, for goodness sake!).

OK, I don't even pretend to be a competent housewife. I get us by. We (mostly) have clean, folded, ironed clothes to wear. We (nearly always) have something to eat. My house is (almost never) clean enough if someone "pops in" (please don't).

Sometimes I think it's just me who feels this way - insecure, unconfident (is that even a word?), unsure. Sometimes it feels like everyone else is happy in themselves and it's just me being a worry-wart. But I'm sure it's not...

Do you think you are "good enough"?
Do you suffer moments (days, months) of self-doubt?
Is all this just a pile of doo-doo and I should just suck it up buttercup and get on with cleaning my house?


  1. Ooh, Ingi, you are hitting a little close to home there!

    I know what you mean. For real.

    I feel like my house is never clean enough, I feel like a decent wife and mother would spend more time cleaning and less time whinging on Twitter, I feel guilty that it's not clean, I feel resentful for feeling guilty and cranky every time I clean toilets...

    It's a whole thing. And that's just the cleaning. I could carry on about school, about cooking, about my own interests that fall by the wayside and how annoyed I am that they fall by the wayside even though I don't succeed enough at the other things to feel it's worth it...and furthermore I should cut out sugar and learn to like Kale and teach the kids how to do their own laundry and maybe develop a skill in case I need to support my family, and manage the finances better, and look into music lessons and swimming lessons and try to care about things like Artist Studies and other crap that sounds so boooooring.

    Look, now I am just becoming incoherent. Well. There you go. I understand how you feel. I think. Maybe I just vented all my own insecurities and they aren't the same as yours. Maybe I am a horrid narcissist and this is the worst comment ever.

    I guess I'll stop now. And hunt out some cookies.

    1. Deb (and you are one of the people I adore) - that is it, baby! Maybe we just to SHUT UP the voices in our heads that bang on and on about what we should be doing?

    2. Oh and "Artist Studies"? Bahaha!

  2. I do relate, I do understand. Though I'm finally more comfortable with myself than I was in my 20s and 30s, I still have my doubting moments.

    1. I feel less comfortable now - but I think it's just a phase. Applying for jobs doesn't help. Lots of "stuff" happening. But it's nice to know I'm not alone :-)

  3. We are all pretty much the same. I look at your brilliant kids and think OMG, how clever is that woman teaching her kids that stuff!

    As for housework, ahem ... I live in CHAOS ... "can't have anyone over syndrome". I have friends who have spotless homes ... I mean how do they do that? Surely they don't enjoy it, yet they tell me they do ... weird!

    I agree with Erin too, as you get older you seem to worry a little less about some stuff. I am nearly 46, so have sooooo many years on you and therefore feel I can share this wisdom with you. xx

    BTW, I am not entirely sure but I think a young man nearly helped me off the bus the other day; I must really get to that dye bottle!

    1. I dream of a spotless home, but not the work that goes with achieving that! Think how wise I'll be in 2 years time ;-) And I feel MUCH better after having gone to the hairdressers last week!

    2. I just dream of being an *owner occupier* in my own home, and doing what I see fit (as far as decorating and stuff is concerned) :)

  4. Been suffering 'self doubt' for most of my life, so I am not alone :/

  5. Hi Ingi (another sidetracked-home-executive finally introducing myself over here after a LONG time enjoying your adventures!),

    For me the key is remembering that WE ALL FEEL LIKE THIS. It's hilarious when you think of it, really. Every single one of us secretly afraid we're not good enough/lovable while everyone else is effortlessly competent. I used to work as a cognitive hypnotherapist and believe me, this was at the root of every issue every client brought through my consulting room door.

    And I see it in my kids - even though I go out of my way to make them feel unconditionally loved whatever their "achievements". So, like I said, I just fall back on reminding us all that everyone feels like this - even though many of them really don't seem to!

    Loved reading about your recent travels to Beijing, btw :-)


    1. Hi Lucinda! Thanks so much for commenting - otherwise I have no idea of your existence! And thanks for making me feel normal - it's funny how we all think we are are all alone in this, when everyone else is feeling the same way.

      Missing our Beijing travels, btw :-)

  6. Ah! Such a hard-hitting post - love it!

    So much self-doubt: we all share it, do I have enough?, what do you have?, it is normal? Possibly the product of a Catholic upbringing!

    The old grass is greener gets me through quite a bit, and also I tend to worry less about what YOU think of me (in the nicest possible way of course). I don't mean that we should go out and make others unhappy, or live with arrogance (what I detest about the modern world), but when our self doubts are generated internally, or what we THINK is the truth, then we really need to rethink our strategy and get back to basics. The only thing that REALLY matters when we get to the end of our lives is YOU.

    You can't affect too much more. Live your life with good values, but don't become a slave to those things that give you anxiety. There's too much to do in the world.


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