Sustaining Mommy Confidence
Over the years, my confidence as a mother has run the gamut from “I am the best mom ever” to “oh no, I am the worst mom ever” to “okay, Rachel, get a grip, you got this.” I wonder how many of you can relate?
When my daughter was about a month and a half old, I was getting up in the middle of the night to feed her. Still half asleep, I got out of bed and stumbled straight into the bassinet where she was sleeping. I knocked it to the ground. Lucky for me, my Spidey senses kicked in and I caught her just before she hit the ground! I remember thinking to myself “I am the worst mom ever, I could have really hurt my child, how could I do such a thing, how could I be so stupid?” I wondered how she and I would survive if I couldn’t even keep her safe? In one action, one accident, the little confidence that I had was shattered.
I am happy to say that we both made it….and you will too! Have you ever felt your confidence wane during times of increased stress? Maybe you have some guilt after following the advice from someone only to say to yourself “I knew I should have just listened to my gut.”
YOUR MOMMY CONFIDENCE
I can recall times when I felt that I did know what I was doing. I knew my baby’s signs of happiness, tiredness, when she had an upset tummy, when she wanted to cuddle and, most importantly, when I needed to communicate what was best for me and for her. I had been told by friends, family, medical professionals, and preschool teachers what I needed to do for and with my daughter. But, no one knew what she needed like I did.
It turns out that mommy confidence is as important for mommy as it is for baby! When moms are confident, they have less self-doubt about their capabilities to manage multiple things like work, home life, extracurricular activities, parenting, and self-care.
BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE
So, how can you develop, sustain, and continue to build your confidence as a mother and a woman? Here are a few tips:
- Change your self-talk. One of my favorite sayings is “What you think about, you bring about.” This has been true in my own life. As a mental health professional, I have seen women struggle to acknowledge all that they do well. Slow down and take a moment to get grounded. Take three deep breaths. This will allow you a moment to remember what you are doing well and what you know to be true. According to one article featured by Harvard Health Education, deep breathing reduces the stress response, therefore decreasing the body’s reaction to stress and increasing the immune system and relaxation response.
- Trust your intuition. There is something called the vagus nerve that runs directly from your stomach to your brain. A study conducted in Switzerland notes that “Visceral feelings and gut instincts are literally emotional intuitions transferred up to your brain via the vagus nerve.” I call it my divine knowing and it’s your body’s way of saying “Listen up, you know what you need to do.” Trust your gut ladies!
- Don’t allow motherhood to be the be all end all. This can be tricky and calls for balance. There will be times when you are knee deep in poop just trying to make it through the day. There will be other times full of baby smiles and laughter. It is important to recall that first you were a woman and then a mother. Taking care to not lose yourself in the daily grind of motherhood is important for you and your child. Make time to explore, discover, and do things that enhance your life outside of motherhood.
Remember this: If there is one thing that I have learned throughout my years as a mother,
when you feel like you’re “sucking” at being a mom, you’re not!
QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS
Thanks for reading #womenswednesday with Rachel Freemon Sowers. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences and techniques for building and sustaining your own confidence. Leave a comment and share your experiences and I will answer! Like I always say, you never know who you will inspire by just being you!