4 Ways to Be a Confident Mom and Continue Mothering Your Way
Want to keep rocking your parenthood journey? Whether you’ve had kids before or motherhood is uncharted territory, keeping these things in mind can help you best navigate the new demands and challenges that an amazing new baby can bring.
Keep Mothering Your Way, Mama - It's Exactly What Your Baby Needs!
Whether you’re a first-time mom or you’ve had children before, it’s not always easy to feel totally confident in your parenting abilities. While becoming a parent is a natural part of life for many people, the transition into motherhood – becoming a confident mom balancing the demands of parenting with work, a household, and/or a brand-new routine can sometimes be an intimidating feat to take on. That’s completely okay, mama! Even if your transition into the role of “confident mom” has had a few challenges along the way, know that you’re doing a great job. If your little one is mostly happy and appears to be thriving (and remember, all babies and toddlers have fussy days and nights!), then look to that for the reinforcement you may need to know you’re doing exactly what you should as his or her adored mama. Just as all babies are different, every parenthood journey is equally unique – what may work well for others might not be the best option for your family and vice versa.
Though motherhood might be previously uncharted territory for you, sometimes a little time, patience, and self-love is all it takes to quickly become a confident mom who can navigate these new demands and challenges while being totally assured in her parenting abilities. Here are a handful of ways to continue rocking your unique motherhood journey:
- Slow Down. Really. Slow Waaay Down.
The idea of “slowing down” may seem ludicrous when life has just sped up really fast – After all, now you’re balancing a growing baby with all the other, previous demands that your life had before. Whether that includes a career, older kids, a busy household, extended family responsibilities, various hobbies, pets, or other things, it’s easy to have the mindset that everything must be taken care of right away – which usually just results in busy parents becoming stretched even more thin.
It’s no secret that when the day is rushed and/or you’re overly stressed, things start to fall apart – which usually affects everyone, because things like stress and upset can be contagious in their own way. Remember, mama, it’s not a race, so take a deep breath and hit the pause button. Not everything has to be done immediately and it’s not a matter of how quickly or completely you can attend to everything. Your baby is number one – and we bet he or she thinks you’re pretty great too! – and other, lesser responsibilities like housework, hobbies, and sometimes even lower priority work responsibilities – can all be addressed in due time. If the dinner dishes sit in the sink for the night, that’s okay. If cleaning out the garage, running that errand, or finishing that DIY project doesn’t happen until the weekend, that’s all fine too! That’s not to say that self-care and/or your own interests or needs should be de-prioritized – taking dedicated time for YOU is essential to being your best, most refreshed self and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
Instead, it’s a matter of learning how to best balance your time and being unafraid to ask for help when needed. Using an app like Expectful, which features a huge library of meditation and sleep content for parents like you, can also give you a support boost while helping you learn to slow down and be more intentional when needed.
Once you and your little one feel good about that, then you’ll be well on your way to becoming a more confident mom!
- Be Realistic.
…Otherwise known as knowing – and owning – your limitations. As you’re already aware, life changes a lot when you have a baby. As new routines are forged, some things are naturally de-prioritized – which may be anything from margaritas every Taco Tuesday with your friends to simply understanding that your house or yard may not be the spotless and totally decluttered space it was before. This may involve working to adjust certain expectations, becoming less of a perfectionist, and learning to save some of your precious energy for new priorities like balancing work and motherhood, developing a nap and sleep schedule, or nursing and pumping breast milk for your little one. Remember, there is no such thing as perfect – as long as your baby is happy, healthy, and thriving and you feel good too, that’s what matters most.
- Don’t Let the Guilt Creep In.
It can often seem like every stage of parenthood brings with it new feelings of guilt – whether it’s returning to work; leaving your little one with a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or other trusted caretaker for a “parents only” weekend; or even a minor mistake like forgetting the daycare bag or snoozing through a pumping session. Having a good support system in place is important, whomever that may consist of (your partner, grandparents, aunts and uncles, close friends, neighbors, or anyone else who you’d consider a solid support person). Occasional bouts of guilt and anxiety can shake even the most confident mom, so try your best to minimize it as much as possible. We know that’s easier said than done, but your little one already thinks you’re a superhero – just as you are!
- Trust Those Mama Bear Instincts!
Whether it takes a little time to fully tune into that “mom intuition” or you’ve felt it since your pregnancy, trusting those instincts – and essentially your own ability to mother – is an important part of becoming a confident mom. Friends, colleagues, family members, and even acquaintances all may have opinions or tips on how you should mother, but sometimes even the most well-meaning advice can be outdated or flat-out wrong.
While it’s important to heed advice and guidance from your healthcare providers and your little one’s pediatrician, the non-clinical people in your life don’t necessarily know what’s best for your family just because they may have had a baby before. In these cases, trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to run any advice that you’re unsure about past your baby’s pediatrician for a professional opinion. By now, you know your baby very well – and much better than an extended family member, the neighbor across the street, or a colleague – so stay in tune with that mom intuition, listen closely to those feelings in your gut, and use your parenting instincts as often as needed!
Being a confident mom is all about figuring out the balance that works best for you and your family; allowing yourself flexibility when it comes to challenges, changes, and even the occasional mistake; and knowing that you are mothering your way – the right way for your little one. Take a deep breath and remember that you’ve got this!