Mom guilt. We all know the phrase and we all know the feeling. Many moms, including myself, feel the tinge of guilt from time to time (or always). Have my kids eaten enough vegetables? Are they watching too much TV? Did the baby do enough tummy time? Wait, when do I start taking them to the dentist? Does he/she need speech therapy? Did I not do enough?
Sound familiar? One encouraging truth is: you’re most certainly NOT alone.
The narrative in our heads can not only be gut-wrenching, but it can also be keeping us stuck and feeling defeated. If your goal is to move past mom guilt and move closer to growing in confidence, then check out these three preliminary areas of focus.
1. Develop Self-Awareness and Positive Self-Talk.
Understanding who you are, what’s working out well for you, and what you may need to improve or change are all a part of being self-aware. Taking a personal inventory of life can help us develop a more confident approach to life. An easy way to start this process is by listening to self-development or topic-specific podcasts. I’ll list some of my favorite podcasts at the end of this post.
Positive self-talk is the ability to give yourself grace and speak to yourself with kindness. Sometimes we can unknowingly fall into the practice of speaking really harshly to ourselves. That internal mental monologue is really key to either developing healthy habits and facilitating positive change or staying, as I mentioned before, stuck.
Self-awareness allows you to really understand what is at the root of your lack of confidence and positive self-talk will help you change the way you both see and speak to yourself.
Man, I really suck at this mom-thing. I just don’t have the patience for this. I must be a horrible person.
I am name and I am a good person. I’m good at identify a good trait, habit, skill, etc. I need to work on identify something you want to improve, and will come up with a workable plan to manage this area of improvement and begin by educating myself in this topic [again podcasts are great for this as are audio books].
2. Practice Radical Acceptance.
Radical acceptance is a big key to growing in confidence. It’s a mental framework that encourages acknowledging reality. When we stop playing the negative narrative and start to accept our situation as is, then we can begin the process of finding a workable and realistic solution.
How could this happen to me? Why me? I don’t deserve this.
Ok, XYZ happened. Now how am I going to handle this? Who should I talk to? How can I heal or move past this? I will get to the other side of this and learn something good from it.
Again, ending the cycle of negative self-talk and moving towards acceptance and solutions are practical and actionable steps to take in order to develop our sense of confidence in motherhood and in all areas of life alike.
In alignment with that, please remember that comparison is the thief of joy. Therefore, taking a proactive stance in eliminating that kind of thinking will help you in your journey to grow in confidence.
I know that there are some incredibly hurtful and difficult things many moms are facing. However, a key part of growing in confidence is also moving away from a “why me?” mentality. This is often termed as victimization and is nothing but self-serving. It creates and maintains a victim mentality that keeps us stuck in our circumstances and doesn’t allow us to grow or learn from the inevitable hardships of life.
3. Have Realistic Expectations.
If you, like me, have noticed that you tend to have very high expectations of yourself and others, then you’ll know the feelings of disappointment and frustration all too well. Now before you go off on an internal rant about how you or someone else in your life needs to GET IT TOGETHER, please consider thinking about how these thoughts serve you. Odds are your internal arguments with yourself or said person are keeping you frustrated and with little or no patience to spare.
This annoyance leads to a general sense of unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. Its a vicious cycle and isn’t a fun dwelling place. Once we realize, however, that we may be placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves or others, then we can begin the process of finding peace with our circumstances. This is also a part of radical acceptance as well.
If only my husband would pick up his clothes, stay on top of the budget, workout, eat well, help more with the kids and their homework, and manage his emotions better than I could feel less stressed and I’d be in better physical shape.
My husband and I both have shortcomings. How can I use my gifts or strengths to help balance out my responsibilities and my need for activity, rest, and self-care?
All these examples and skills seek to illustrate the importance of having a solution-focused mindset while understanding we can’t change anyone but ourselves. Have you heard the expression, when you point a finger at someone else you have three pointing back at you? This is a perfect illustration of our need to reflect inward with love and care in order to grow in confidence and joy.
So, what are your thoughts? Let’s have a conversation in the comment section below. For more content like this, check out my archive here.
My Favorite Podcasts
- The Chalene Show Diet, Fitness, and Life Balance
- Focus on the Family: Parenting Podcast
- Focus on the Family: Marriage Podcast
- The Naked Marriage
- Wellspring on the Air (Miami Based Counseling Center Podcast)
- Insight for Living Daily Broadcast
- Hope in Struggle