3 Easy Steps to Increase Your Momfidence and Reduce Your Mom Guilt
Have you ever stopped to consider how confident you are as a parent? Mom confidence, or as I like to call it, Momfidence, is an underrated topic in our world of parenting hacks for everything from potty training in 12 hours to getting more than four hours of sleep a night.
But why is that? Confidence as a parent is related to less stress, more feelings of calm, and more self-kindness. I don’t know about you, but I could benefit from a little bit more of all three of those in my life.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to be confident when there is no on-the-job training and the job itself is constantly changing. Even a highly efficient problem solver who specializes in change management and negotiation would have a hard time with a 3 or 13 year old sometimes.
I feel mom guilt for lots of reasons. Do I spend too much time on my phone or behind my laptop? Are my children engaged in enough stimulating activities? Am I giving them equal attention? Are they getting behind in learning their ABCs and 123s already, at the age of 3? Am I not doing enough? Mom guilt is a real killer of confidence.
Because I have a solid mom tribe, I know I’m not alone in these occasional feelings of inadequacy. We all have mom guilt sometimes, and that’s never going to change. But what can change is our level of confidence, which has the power to make us feel better about ourselves and about our parenting every day. Here are some things to practise to help make that happen.
1. Decide what’s important
When you have feelings of inadequacy as a parent, is it because you’ve compared yourself to a friend, to someone you saw on social media, or to preconceived notions you had about who you would be as a mom? I’m going to bet the answer to that is yes.
The key to success and happiness in many things in life is to “know thyself.” The same goes for parenting. If you pick your priorities about how you want to raise your children and feel strongly about them, you’ll be less likely to play the compare and contrast game.
So decide what’s important to you. Maybe teaching your kids a love for reading is a priority for you and enrolling them in swimming isn’t. Maybe teaching your kids to love the outdoors or love animals is what’s important, and having home cooked meals or perfectly planned birthday parties is at the bottom of the list.
It doesn’t matter what’s on your list, it just matters that you have one. Have one, and spend time focusing on what’s on it, not on the things you think you “should” be doing or the things you saw Jeannette Ogden from Shut The Kale Up do on Instagram (anyone else?).
2. Tap into your mom super powers
You have them, you probably just don’t know it. Why? It’s really hard for us to see certain skills in ourselves because they come naturally to us. The downside of having a natural skill is that we think it’s easy for everyone, so therefore it’s nothing special to us. But that’s just not true.
The best way to tap into your mom super powers is to pay attention the next time a friend reflects them back to you. You know when a friend watches you with your kids and remarks something like “Wow, you’re so good at calming her down” or “I wish I could be as relaxed as you are with little Freddy”, or even “I could never take a road trip with my kids, you’re so brave?” They’re reflecting your natural skills back to you – your innate ability to soothe, to remain calm, to be adventurous.
These are the little things that are natural to you, but harder for others. So next time a friend gives you a compliment like this, let it sink in. Remember it, and feel good about the fact you have these little advantages as you go through out your day as a mom.
3. Slay the dragons
If recognizing your super powers is paying attention to the little things that are easy for you, slaying the dragons is paying attention to the big things.
We all need to feel like we’re good at something to get fulfillment out of it, right? That’s why we choose the careers we do and put in the time and effort to get results. We want to bring in big numbers, make a massive change that increases efficiency, or resolve a conflict that could have ended badly. In the business world, these big wins are called your dragon slaying stories and they are key to being confident in the work place.
Likewise we need to have, remember, and share the big wins we have as a parents. The days or moments where we felt like we rocked this mom thing are so good for building our confidence and for helping us through the days where we have major mom guilt.
Maybe it was a time you planned a fun filled day at the park complete with a picnic and your kids were in good moods all weekend because of it. Or maybe it was when you taught your child to tell the time or write their name way before they would have learned it in school. Or, perhaps it was the first time your 3 year old recited every word to the book toot by Leslie Patricelli and you got it on video, basically guaranteeing yourself protection from future teenage rebellions.
By knowing what’s important to you and keeping both the big and little things in mind, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a more confident mom. Spend a couple of minutes thinking about what your priorities are, share this article with your mom tribe and be sure to tell them what their super powers are.