Posted by Fitz

It was finally time to leave the hospital and embark onto our new journey as parents.  We were getting The Bean all bundled up for her first ride home, and snuggled her into her infant car seat with a small, pink fleece blanket trimmed with satin ribbon.  It was a fairly warm day for October, and we were confident that The Bean would have a safe and comfortable ride home.

Then, we freaked out.

My husband had left our room to pull the car around, and re-entered with a panicked look on his face.  He was sweating, practically.  I asked him what was wrong, and he said, “I just passed another couple leaving with their baby, and the baby was wrapped in a really thick, Irish-sweater looking blanket!  Do you think we should get one of those before we leave?  Is our fleece one going to be enough?” 

Now, this was cause for concern.  Not because of the blanket, per se, but because my husband is the rock of the family.  Hardly anything freaks him out, and now he was wigging because of a baby blanket?  This could be the ominous forshadowing of a life second-guessing every single decision we make about The Bean, with the worst case scenario being years and years of intense psychotherapy (for all of us).  I knew that we couldn’t get wrapped up in the hysteria, and offered a bold suggestion.

“Sweetie,” I said.  “Let’s decide now how we’re going to do things for the rest of The Bean’s life.  Let’s say, here and now, that whatever decision we make is the RIGHT one.  This will apply to any situation from baby blankets to feeding to college.  It’s too easy to look at people who have done things differently and think we’re the ones who didn’t think things through, or who did it “wrong”.  Everyone is going to have a different approach, and that’s absolutely A-OK – as long as we have confidence in our decisions and know that ours are right for US.  Let’s choose to be confident, and be right for ourselves – and let others do the same.”

He looked at me, probably shocked since this was the most coherent thought to come out of my mouth for the past two years (pumping your body full of fertility drugs and pregnancy hormones will do that to you).  After double checking that he was indeed in the right hospital room with the right wife and baby, he agreed.  We tucked that pink fleece blanket in extra tight, and headed home.  That was that, and we were right.  For ourselves, and for our little Bean.

Now, I don’t want to give you the impression that we have never second-guessed ourselves over the course of the past nine months.  There were some times when I beat myself up (hello, breastfeeding!), times when we regretted a purchase, times when we had no idea if we were even close to doing the right thing.  But we always came back to our original decision, and bolstered ourselves with the phrase “Hey, we’re right about this – it feels right for our team of three.”

Confidence is a powerful tool, and I think that even women with the most unshakable self-esteem struggle to maintain it when they are new moms.  It’s important, though, to recognize when you’re flailing in deep water and have a strategy to get back to shore.  Our strategy is simple, but it has worked for us….so it’s right.  And that’s all there is to it.

Tell us: What are your confidence-boosting strategies?