Why do I think I can’t, when I know I can?


I find us human people a tad odd.  I suspect that we all do this to some degree or another, but my first reaction when confronted with any new situation is “I can’t”.  Not, I don’t want to, or I don’t know how, or I don’t have the time, but rather I can’t.  I remember my art teacher in primary school saying, “there is no such thing as can’t, everyone can – you just have to try”.  Oh, how I wish those words had made the long trip from my brain to my heart.

You may think I have mommy issues, and perhaps I do in a way, because so many of my posts have been a tad negative about mommy dearest, but the truth of the matter is that I love my mom very much.  I think that in becoming a mommy myself, a few issues have surfaced that I need to face head-on and deal with.  And the person who laid the foundation for those issues to be prevalent in my life is my own dearest mommy (one can only imagine what foundation I am laying for Baby Girl, but I hope through open communication, and honesty, that she will learn to be true to herself).

You see, my mother tried to turn me into her – even way into High School she told me what to wear, how to wear it, what shoes to wear, how to cut my hair, what to eat, what not to eat.  It was only after college that I found my voice and could finally put my foot down and start being true to myself (and yes, my mother would admit to this).  It was very difficult to be in matric and still have your mother choose your clothes for you, or tell you how to cut your hair, or what your bedroom should look like.  I suppose my one regret in life is that I didn’t learn to fight back sooner – I was too scared, too.  Anyway, going away to college was the best thing I could do – I learnt a helluva lot about me, who I am and who God intended me to be.  And after three years away, I was then strong enough to go home and still be true to myself.

But it is a constant battle.  Even with Baby Girl, my mom constantly tries to tell me what to do and how to do it.  If my mom had her way, I’d have Baby Girl in the bed with me every night.  The fact that I get even less sleep like that, or the fact that I view our bed as a place where hubby and I can be adults, and therefor not the place for a 15 month old Baby Girl, is clearly besides the point.  And also to be honest, I think Baby Girl prefers her cot – she just wants me standing there the whole night.

Anyway, I digress, but I had to give you some background.

My mom has this thing – her first reaction is “I’m sick”.  Its her excuse for getting out of any and everything she’s been invited to or asked to do.  We will invite her and her hubby around for supper and cook a delicious roast chicken, and her first gut reaction is “I can’t eat that, I’ll be sick”.  And then she does eat it and she’s fine.  Go figure.  Anyway, I think I have learnt this negative trait from my mother and that it is so ingrained in me that it is difficult to see the woods for the trees.  My first reaction is always, “I can’t”.  But, what I have realised is that I can, and sometimes I can quite well actually.

Allow me to give you an example, my first reaction when we’re invited out for supper with friends, is that I can’t and I’ll be sick (sound familiar?) and yet, we always do land up going and I always land up having a fantastic time.  So the truth of the matter is that I can and I’m fine.  It would be nice, however, to have that first reaction be, “wow, that’s sounds great, let’s do it”.  But, for me, its first fear, then panic, and then I go and enjoy myself anyway.

Isn’t that a tad odd?  I get myself so worked up and nervous about the tiniest little things that I am sure most people take for granted.  Years of being kept at home and not allowed out?  Or just a personality trait inherited from my mother?  Who knows, but I am going to keep reminding myself that I can, I have and I’m fine.  Perhaps that journey from my head to my heart will eventually take place – I have read that sometimes it can be the longest journey to take.

Anyway, Baby Girl has been sleeping much better and I hope to continue this new regime and slowly wean her off the med’s and get her to continue to sleep – no bottle, no water, just her dummy. 

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3 thoughts on “Why do I think I can’t, when I know I can?

  1. Ah mothers! I have some what of a love/hate relationship with my mother! It has gotten loads better since I have moved out but there are still issues!

    Suppose all we can do is try make sure we dont make the same mistakes but love our mothers regardless?

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    1. I totally agree – I love my mother dearly, and wouldn’t change her for anything, but I have become painfully aware of the issues at hand and what needs dealing with. That’s life, though, I suppose… :). With Baby Girl I won’t make the same mistakes – I’ll make a whole new set, because at the end of the day, we’re all just humans doing the best that we can.

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