By: Susan Heid
Ever met one of those moms who seems like they have it all together, isn’t questioning her every move and decision and knows what’s for dinner? She is often the mom who’s children aren’t embarrassing her at the grocery store (well, at least most of the time!) she is wearing jeans and a t-shirt when she drops her children off at preschool rather than sweats and last night’s dinner on her t-shirt and has a positive outlook. Is she unrealistic? I don’t think so; in fact I know she is a reality for every mom out there! You can awaken the “Confident Mom” inside you too.
Let me share with you just a few traits that I feel are in every mom and sometimes they just need to be brought out and nurtured. I have a true belief that all moms have what it takes to be the best mom they can be, but unfortunately for us in today’s society – there will be messages sent to you everyday telling you that you are not doing it right, your kids will grow up warped, or you need “this” technique to succeed. I believe you already have what it takes; you just need to believe you do!
Here are a few characteristics/traits that I like to nurture when I work with moms I coach and who participate in my workshops.
1) She does not live by comparison
This is a biggie – if you are always looking at “supermom” next door and wondering about your decisions, second guessing yourself and questioning your ability who do you think this affects? It does affect you, but I can tell you that your children can see right through that insecurity or unsure persona. You know what is right for you and your family, so it is up to you to do it and make the right decisions without continuing to doubt or question your ability. This does not mean you do not seek other’s opinions at times or ask advice, but when you get set with a plan stick with it. Don’t act like a “wishy-washy” mom.
2) She displays Courage
Courage and confidence go hand-in-hand. When you feel confident in your decisions, it’s not hard to muster up courage to explore new things. Whether you are struggling with a new parenting challenge, need to find support of other moms, or want to try a new exercise program, taking the first step is a very courageous move. This is how you continue to grow in your journey as a mom, as a woman beyond who you are as a mom too. By not allowing yourself to get in a rut you will build new skills that will help your family but will probably be helpful to other moms in your circle.
3) She is Adaptable
Do you freak out when you get thrown a curve ball in your day? Or can you go with the flow and manage to change things fairly quickly to accommodate unseen circumstances? This has been a hard one for me to become more versed in, but I have made considerable progress! Being a mom means that you have to be willing or able to change to fit in with different situations, planned & most importantly unplanned! Change is constant and never ending, so by learning the best ways for you to “go with the flow” you will be blessing your family as well as helping to keep your stress level down.
4) She has a sense of Humor
Another really attractive trait that I’ve found in mom’s who cope remarkably well is a sense of humor. And let’s face it – study after study has proven the power of laughter is a healing aid to all sorts of ills – from cancer to grief. In fact, researchers say that because of all the facial muscles pulled into place when you muster a smile, physiological changes occur that provide a sense of well being. When your brain is happy, so are you. I have found that when I am struggling with a challenging parenting issue, sometimes I just have to use humor to deal with it, and wouldn’t you know – it usually works to get my kids to behave or cooperate. I think it is because they are often caught off guard and then find the fun in seeing mom have fun. Why wouldn’t they want to cooperate? So laugh – with and without your children – a little each day – it really does make a difference.
5) She takes care of herself
The topic of “self-care” is the HOT topic for mom’s these days – no question about it. The fact remains, if you are not taking care of yourself and filling yourself up – who will? It is certainly not your kids who have that responsibility and not your partner’s either, if you have one. It ultimately is yours alone. I use this term common to those who have taken my ScreamFree Workshop, “Putting on Your Own Oxygen Mask,” the airlines have it right, giving you great wisdom in their pre-flight briefing telling you to place your oxygen mask on first before helping others. The same is true for you - you cannot help anyone if you are out of breath! So find simple pleasures that will help boost your energy throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be the big elaborate day at the spa (although that works!) but how about a cup of tea and sitting down for 10 minutes, or lighting a candle in your kitchen while you prepare dinner, or taking a shower BEFORE your kids start running you ragged and you cannot find a minute to break away to do it later. Be proactive and create a space to nurture yourself so you can be the best you can be for you and your family.
Remember, you don’t have to be brave or funny or even wise all the time. But by adopting these five traits, you can organize your life around the realities and strengths that you have, and not around others’ expectations of who you are and who you should be. Becoming a “Confident Mom” is a reality for all moms!