I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for here, but I feel a little adrift and lacking in confidence. I'm currently visiting my parents with my two little people, my marriage is pretty much over, and I'll be going "home" to sort out the rubble and figure out how to move on. My parents are fairly supportive. My family is a Christian one, and I was concerned that I was going to be turned in to the "poor parents, did you hear that their daughter got DIVORCED?! It's so shameful!" part of the family as a result of how things have worked with my marriage, but they have been supportive. Sad, but supportive.
Anyway, the other night, my mom said, "Honey, you CAN'T be a single parent. Um, I mean, I can't picture you as a single parent!". As in, she doesn't think I'm going to be able to do this on my own. I acknowledge that I'm going to need some help, or, you know, that I will certainly appreciate some help, but I HAVE been doing this mostly on my own for the past three years. My husband has definitely been the primary financial contributor since our children have been born, which I know is not a little thing, but the day to day life? That's been me. I know I can do this on my own. I'm scared to death, but I know I can do it. I'm feeling totally cut down though, at the lack of confidence coming from my parents. Why do mothers continue to have this much power even when we're grown up mothers ourselves?! How do you build yourself up again when people cut you down like this? I just feel so incredibly vulnerable and my self-confidence is in the gutter, but the one thing I have never doubted is my ability to be a great mom. Flawed, no doubt, but still, a great mom. It's a pretty big blow to hear that my own mother doesn't think I'll be good on my own.
This is spilling over in to other things too - I have wanted to work in health care forever. I somehow studied arts instead, and even though I found midwifery in my first year, I was very much encouraged to finish what I had started with my BA and to move on to midwifery afterwards. I started, but didn't finish my midwifery degree after I got married. I ended up taking a leave of absence to deal with infertility and then officially withdrawing when I miraculously managed to have babies. My heart is still midwifery, but it is just not something I can even contemplate doing as a single parent to small children. So, I've decided to attempt to get in to a fast-track nursing (BN) program (2yrs). My parents are very against the idea. They think I should fall back on my first degree and get a real job and put the kids in full-time daycare and just move on with life. While I see where they're coming from (they don't want me to incur any more debt), I am really, really resistant to the idea. I'm having trouble feeling confident about my decision though, because I feel like I obviously am not very good at making big decisions and that my parents must be right about this too. I'm a disaster! Any ideas for looking inward for your confidence as a new to this whole adventure mama? Or, at least, advice for responding to this sort of criticism in a healthy way?
(as an aside, I have almost never even lived on the same continent as my parents over the last ten years. I don't feel that we actually really know each other beyond the people we were when I was in high school. They're great, but think attachment parenting is totally idiotic.)