Meet the Sullivans: One Year & Beyond - Feeling Confident in Motherhood

August 28, 2014

One Year & Beyond - Feeling Confident in Motherhood

Hey! This is the final week of our One Year & Beyond series. It has been a great experience getting to share some of my experiences, feelings and lessons learned. We hope to be back in October with another series, so please stay tuned.

This week's topic is about feeling confident in motherhood. The biggest challenge, in my opinion is the "mother's guilt" so many of us feel. It comes as naturally to a mother as the instinct to care for their little one.

When I was a new mom (O is on his way to three, so I don't consider myself a "new mom" anymore) I doubted everything I did. Things are much different these days -- I feel confident in my ability to parent, but with a newborn I worried about things like "Am I feeding him often enough?",  "Is my child thriving enough?", "Am I doing enough to enrich my 2 month-old's life?" and "Why is he crying? I must be doing something wrong." And then there was always the worry about going out in public and thinking someone else is going to think you're doing it wrong.

The best advice I ever heard was a woman in the Nordstrom bathroom who told me "You're doing a great job!" That was the greatest thing a new mom could hear. She saw me struggle with soothing Owen after nursing him, and probably saw the worry and anxiety on my face. Her words were what I truly needed to hear that day, not the usual "Why do you think he's crying? Is he hungry? Time for a nap! You shouldn't be out with him in this rainy weather!!! etc., etc., etc.

In truth, those are all ways of questioning a mother's ability disguised as concern. Ways of saying, "You're obviously DOING it WRONG, let me tell you the way IT SHOULD BE." To be good moms we all need a little encouragement every once in a while. A few kind words can go a long way in improving someone's day.

There is no should be, all moms and all children are different. You don't know what the morning has been like, or what the hours and minutes before have held for them. Trust that she is doing her best and loves her baby. Give all mother's a little bit of trust. And trust yourself. YOU"RE DOING IT RIGHT!

So now it's your turn to share! How do you feel confident as a mom? Check out the other mama's blogs for even more on this! And be sure to link up with us below if you also have a post on this.


Courtney B said...

Love this! I do my best to go out of my way to compliment a mom and let her know that she is doing a great job, because like you, I remember how those words pretty much changed my life. Ha ha! Sounds dramatic, but its terrifying caring for a tiny human being and wondering if you're doing it right!

Jenny said...

well said!! just very well said!

WinterBenson said...

Love this!

E Hayes said...

This almost made me cry. Everything you wrote I feel so strongly, even if the person asking "are they tired?" isn't using it as an insult, it's always taken that way. I'm over sensitive and paranoid of judgement so I'm super defensive. I hope to use that line on a new mom soon and hope it makes as big an impact on her as it did on you and now just hearing it on me. We need to support each other!