I recently wrote a post about why every child needs a more confident mom. This is a topic that I won’t stop talking about any time soon. If you haven’t read that article, I hope you’ll check it out. If you are going to put in the work that I’ve laid out here, you need to know just how much it matters.
I firmly believe that it is in the power of every mom to become the confident woman that their children want and need.
But it’s far from easy. It’s often unnatural, and it can seem like all odds are against us. Motherhood on it’s own is rarely celebrated and often demeaned. Our kids aren’t exactly the most gracious creatures. And we don’t exactly have a boss praising us for our hard work on the bathroom floor, for changing endless diapers, or for staying up all night to feed a newborn.
Regardless of whether our confidence comes easy or not, our kids still need it from us. Start doing what it takes to build your own self worth, and just watch how your children (and husband) respond.
Since it’s not always natural, I’ve laid out 3 simple ways to start building this confidence as a mother. There are so many things that can help, so stay tuned for future posts on this topic. But, I promise if you start here, you will feel different, and you will be able to give so much more.
You are doing all the mom stuff anyways. As a loving mom, you are there, with your sweet kids day after day after long day. And, you love the heck out of those kids. So start believing that what you have to offer is enough. Because it really is.
1. Start Envisioning and Talking About Your Own Bright Future
For some reason, so many of us get to adulthood and we believe that if we haven’t reached our goals by now, we never will. We stop believing that we can become whatever and whoever we want. We stop being driven by those positive affirmations of our own ability to achieve.
I think it all starts with doing what you are always telling your kids to do. “Believe in yourself.”
We put so much emphasis on this for our kids. They can do anything, and the future it as bright as they could possibly make it.
When we become mothers and stare at our newborn baby, we see the future laid before us. It brings tears to my eyes just remembering that first look. We see a million incredible moments laid out ahead of them. And we feel like we will explode with our pride in what hasn’t even happened yet. Isn’t it crazy how much we can believe in the future of our children?
How Do We View Our Own Future
Do we see that same type of future stretching before us in our own lives? Or do we get so caught up in the mundane and our personal failings that we forget to even consider what we can become? Why can we see a bright future for a tiny newborn baby, but not ourselves?
Here’s a secret. You are never too old to have a future!
I mean, let’s talk real quick about my 93 year old Grandma. She has more goals for her future than I do! I’m not kidding. She is constantly progressing and working on some project. Will she finish all her goals? Probably not (don’t expect her to admit it). But, her goals have her always becoming better, and that’s what matters.
You have a future. It’s not over just because you are a mom. You can become anything you want.
And I’m not talking careers here. In my book, and I’ll never back down from this, motherhood is a career! It’s a choice, a path, and can and should have a million goals tied into it.
Make a Motherhood Career Plan
If you were a doctor or a lawyer, you would have a 5 year, 10 year, and 30 year plan, right?
Well, sit down and make your plan. What do you want to achieve as a mother aside from the necessities? Apart from having all of the dishes cleaned, the laundry folded, and the kids alive, what are your goals.
What do you want your home to look like? How do you want to treat your children? What do you want to learn about? What do you enjoy? Or what do you wish you enjoyed?
I’ll tell you a few of my goals. Patience as a mother. Organizing skills. Gardening. Homeschooling. I’m not naturally all that great at any of these. But I’ve written them down and they matter to me. And in my free time I’m learning and progressing in each of these areas. The best part is, I’m in the middle of it all. I can start applying what I learn the moment the kids wake up for their nap.
So what are your goals? Sewing? Crocheting? DIY projects? Birthday cake decorating? (I’m not great at these either, but I just don’t see them in my future. No apologies. I’m not a DIY blog for a reason.)
When You Progress Towards Any Goal, You Will Find Successes and Feel More Confident
Whatever it is, start learning and progressing. If you are progressing towards your own goals, any goal, you will feel more confident as you see yourself changing into the person you always wanted to become. You won’t quickly cross your goals off your list. Stop comparing to the future and what you wish you were. When you compare to your past and where you’ve come from, you will be shocked, impressed, and happy with your progress.
You are not just a mom, and it’s time you stopped thinking that. I hear that phrase way way too often, and I’m over it. It’s time to revolutionize how we think about ourselves and our children and our lives. Take control of it and own it. That’s the first step to loving your life and loving yourself, regardless of what anyone else thinks and what anyone else is doing. This is where true confidence comes from.
2. Cut Yourself a Well-deserved Break
What is it that you are constantly beating yourself up about? What causes your confidence to wear thin by the end of the day? We’ve heard the phrase mom-guilt, and it seems to resonate with quite a few women. Do you feel guilty that your house is a mess? Does it feel like everyone else has it together? Does getting dinner on the table feel beyond your abilities?
This tip is to help you break out of the mom-guilt mindset. Because it hasn’t gotten anyone, anywhere. If you have time, check out this article on how mom-guilt can make you a worse parent, and 10 things to keep in mind to overcome it. The ideas are helpful, realistic, and simple.
Recognize That You Are In New Territory
So, here’s the thing. I’m not a perfectly patient mom. I’ve said it before and I know I’ll have to say it again. I know those moms with endless patience. I feel like I am patient to a point, and then I get super frustrated all at once.
I always look back at how I expressed that frustration, and the mom-guilt sets in. My image and ideal of motherhood is to teach gently and with love – as Jesus would. But the bottom line is, I’m just not there.
Everytime Henry gets in trouble, we will take a few moments and “talk about it” afterwards. He is so used to the routine, that he now insists that we talk about it before moving on. I used to explain to him what he did, and why it was wrong. But he’s gotten quite good at laying it out for me. He even tells me about the things that I didn’t know about. (Yesterday he got in trouble for screaming and complaining when he didn’t get a cookie. When we talked about it I found out that he also pushed Annie and pulled her hair. Lots of points for honesty there.)
I realized that if I wasn’t proud of something I did as a mom, such as losing my patience, I could do the same thing with Henry that I expect him to do with me. Talk about it.
Honesty With Where We Are At Can Help Us Get to Where We Want To Be
So I told him, “I’m super sorry I got so mad at you. You know how you’ve never been two before so sometimes you don’t share and you have tantrums? Well, I’ve never been a mom before. We are both learning, huh?”
My mom-guilt literally disappeared. I wasn’t proud of my actions, and I recognized something the need to improve. But suddenly, with that simple mind-set shift, I was able to recognize that I’m in new territory here. I have to learn skills of dealing with a child, just like he has to learn skills of dealing with other children.
This allowed me to cut myself a small break. Instead of spending time berating myself for being the worlds meanest mom, I could spend that time envisioning how to do it differently next time.
With all goals, we can always be improving. Remember that your whole experience of motherhood is not defined in one moment of weakness. Allow yourself the opportunity to start changing. You are not your worst moments. Just start creating better moments going forward. You’ll be amazed by how empowered you will feel the second you start to believe this.
3. In Order to Be More Confident, You Need To Focus on Your Strengths
I don’t care how you do this. You could write it down, record a video, or say a mantra to yourself once a day. But it’s time to stop focusing on the negatives, and do the hard thing. Focus on what you are good at.
No woman is all that great at focusing on her strengths – especially when she feels like a failure. Motherhood has a way of bringing out all of our weaknesses and putting them on display.
I remember right before I became a mom thinking I had matured a lot over the past few years. I rarely ever lost my temper, I could get along with anyone, and most people listened to me. It was good to feel like an adult!
Then I had an 18 month old. He never listened, we couldn’t seem to get along, and I lost my cool daily. This continues as that 18 month has turned into an almost-three-year-old. He’s so strong-willed, stubborn, obsessive, and determined that I feel like I’m talking to a wall much of the time. It’s not easy to remain patient, and it’s not easy to feel like I’m doing a fantastic job, especially when he turns all sweet and perfect when Dad comes home.
Seeing our Weakenesses is the Easy Option
But, here’s the thing. Focusing on our weaknesses is SO EASY! It’s natural to fall in to it, and we all do it at some point. So do the hard thing – ignore your weaknesses and focus on your strengths instead. I guarantee that the confidence you feel as you notice your strengths will naturally edge into those areas of your life you aren’t so proud of. Without even working specifically on those weaknesses, they will start to turn into strengths.
This article on the power of focusing on strengths talks all about this and says “Great leaders know they can accomplish more by concentrating on their strengths—rather than always correcting their weakness.“
In the home, we are the leaders. We are teaching our children through every move we make and every word we say. And what if we took this approach? What if we stopped talking ourselves down because of our obvious weaknesses, and remembered that we are good.
When We Are More Confident About Our Strengths, They Overshadow Our Weaknesses
I know many moms who don’t always have a clean house (including mine!) Most everyone with a messy house is aware of it, and perhaps they would all call it a weakness. I’ve seen some moms flush with embarrassment when I’ve come to the door, while others embrace the chaos and launch into a conversation about the myriad of projects they have been working on as a family that day.
Within moments I’m either awkwardly offering to help clean up, or totally jealous that I haven’t been there all day, simply based on their approach to a “weakness”. Consider children growing up in this environment. Do you think that they really care that their house has clutter everywhere? I firmly believe that how their mom responds to the mess will have a far greater affect on them in the end.
When we focus on our strengths, they overshadow our weaknessses. Think about this example with the messy houses. In both scenarios the house was a mess, and both moms probably wish it had been cleaned up. But the difference is the response to the strength. Our attitude about our strengths can completely change our personal reflection about a weakness, which in turn can help our strengths to become magnified to others – especially our children.
Focusing On My Strengths Can Instantly Help Me to Become a More Confident Mom
I talked about how I can lose my temper in a moment. I’m kind of like a two year old like that. I’m totally aware of this weakness, and hardly could say I’m proud of it.
But, guess what.
I. Am. Obsessed. With. My. Kids.
I love being a mom. I love snuggling those guys. Getting out and exploring and doing fun things comes naturally to me. I love sneaking into their rooms late at night and feeling their hearts beating. Reading books, playing games, and getting messy doesn’t bother me, because we are having a great time.
I know this about myself. And I’m proud of it! When I get to love on my kids, I’m living my life’s dream. Because I can recognize this strength, I can own every moment of motherhood – even the not so great ones.
I’ve been told I come across as a confident person. If I had to say one single reason why that is, it would not be because I’m unaware of my weaknesses. I’m plenty hard on myself and definitely have my insecure moments.
But, probably more than most people, I am aware of my strengths, and willing to focus on those. I feel I can do this in a humble way because I know that all good gifts come from God. He allows us all to have strengths, so I am willing to recognize mine. I’m grateful for this quality, because it helps me to be happy for others successes. And, it allows me to focus on the good and feel good in my every day life, even in the midst of improving the not so good.
Find Ways To Recognize Your Strengths
After being around lots and lots of women, I recognize this does not come easily to many or most. That’s why I wrote this post, and why I shared this about myself. I don’t know who is reading this post, but I can guess more of your strengths than you probably see in yourself. Something good that comes from seeing my own strengths, is that I can see others as well.
Leave a comment or shoot me an email about your blind spots when it comes to your own life. If you are struggling to recognize your strengths and you feel overwhelmed by your weaknesses, I would honestly love to chat. I guarantee by the end of a conversation I can find a million strengths.
Practice seeing the good in yourself. Make this an intentional conversation with yourself, your journal, your husband, or your mom.
Do the hard thing. See the good about yourself and say it out loud. You will notice that you will be capable of doing more and offering more of your best. In the process, you will offer your children the greatest gift they could ever have – a complete and happy and more confident YOU!
Becoming A More Confident Mom Is Intentional
I know you may feel like your battle to feel good about the work you do and how you do it is too overwhelming to fight. And I know there are and will be legitimately discouraging moments.
But your potential and your abilities are better than what you think. Don’t allow your life to be defined by your weaknesses. Allow yourself to work on those over time. But right now, today, allow yourself to thrive in what you’ve already become.
You have a bright future. Work for it, own it and love it!
And you are doing the best you can. Remind yourself that you are still in the process of becoming.
Most importantly, your strengths are overwhelming. If you don’t know it, find someone around you who will shower you with some reminders. Then do the hard work – and believe them! Start living to your strengths, and offer your children and your family everything that you are capable of. I promise – it’s more than you would believe.
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