Being Confident in Yourself as a Mother

img_2476As a woman, I struggle with being confident. Many of us do. It’s hard to be confident in ourselves when we are bombarded with images of beauty, perfection, and let’s face it–unrealistic expectations. When I became a mom, a whole new pressure was placed on me. I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to be the mom who knew what she was doing with my newborn. With my toddler, I wanted to be the mom who never had a child out of control in a store. Now, here I am with almost three little ones, and I find myself wanting to be the mom of three who has it together. I don’t want to be a hermit and hide from the world. I want to nurse confidently in public while taking care of two toddlers. I want to be able to go to stores and Starbucks with my little ones and get a latte without causing a scene. But most importantly, I want to be confident in myself as a mother.

I’ve heard before that you are the perfect mother for your children. There is a reason why you have the children you have with the personalities they have. Johanna, who is 4, has been a strong-willed little thing during her toddler years. However, as she is 4 now, I am starting to see a sweet, sensitive, and independent little girl. It makes my heart swell to know she is growing up. Could I have had something to do with that good stuff?

Moms are constantly judging moms. When your baby is born, you are judged for where they sleep, whether they are breast or bottle fed, and even how much weight you lose. It never ends. Did your little one meet milestones on time? What about any challenges? For us, we had some speech issues with Johanna and Levi had to wear a helmet for several months as an older baby. Did any of this make me a bad mom? No. Did any of this cause me to be insecure and feel unconfident as a mother? I have to say yes even though that’s hard to admit.

What about you mom, who do you want to be? I know I have found myself apologizing to my children on days where I fall short. I want them to see me as a confident person, not as someone who can’t keep it together. Now, don’t get me wrong, there will be days where you cry and say the wrong thing or teach your little one something you wish you could reverse.

When we are confident and calm, things just seem to go smoother with our kids. Take a grocery store trip. When I am calm and collected, I am less worried about how the trip will go. When I feel insecure I am pretty sure the lady at the checkout pities me. I definitely prefer the first feeling.

I think it’s important as moms to focus on the positive in our lives. Don’t dwell on bad advice or buy into the mommy comparison game.  Do what’s best for your family and focus on that. Pat yourself on the back occasionally.

Take the time for yourself, too. We are still women. Take a bubble bath or drink some tea. Go to dinner or a movie with a friend. Go get out in nature with your baby and get away from the distractions. Surround yourself with people who make you feel valued and loved.

I firmly believe being a mom is a gift. It’s not something to take lightly. So will I fail? Yes.  Does that mean I’m a horrible mother? No.

Karyn Meyerhoff lives and writes in Northeast Arkansas where she needs to be playing with her daughter and not working. 

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