Some women slip into the role of a confident mom more easily than others. It’s not that they are better moms, it’s just that they are more confident in their abilities.
I’ve been told I’m one of those confident moms. Truthfully, I feel confident in my role as a mom. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, and from the moment my fresh, sweet boy was placed in my arms, I knew this was who I was meant to be. Each sweet baby I’ve carried and birthed has only affirmed that.
I attribute my confidence to my support system. I have an incredible family who is so supportive – they will help me without hesitation or judgement. My boys idolize their grandparents, uncle, and great-aunts.
My family is a constant pillar of support, reaching out to me and offering to help. Family dinners weekly? Yes please! Rainy day drop-ins just for a change of scenery? OK! Don’t mind if I do! A phone call just to say hello? Let’s chat!
When I was pregnant with my oldest, I asked my mother-in-law to come to stay with us to help me to navigate being a new mom. She came shortly after Robert was born and helped me adjust to being responsible for this sweet, sweet boy. Being able to get some rest in those early days was so beneficial.
I also have a group of friends who I can turn to for commiseration – some live 6 hours away, and others live 600m away. Regardless of the distance, these friends are always there to offer empathy, a listening ear, or to build me up after a tough day.
And there are tough days.
Our “public self”, as we all know, is not the complete picture. There are days where I text my husband asking him when he’ll be home because I am not doing OK and need support. There are days when mommy needs a time out because she’s losing her cool and not modelling the behaviour she expects. Because let’s face it, I might be a confident mom, but I’m not perfect.
I have an idea of what kind of mom I want to be. In my mind’s eye, I created a vision board of who I want to become as a woman and a mama.
I want to be a mom who offers her boys a safe place to be, even if they’ve made mistakes. Robert might only be 6 years old, but the foundation for this safety net is being built and reinforced daily. I might not love the choice he made when he took out the acrylic paints and slathered it on himself and his brothers, pretending it was sunscreen…. but, I love him. And while he knew that he didn’t make a good choice, he also knew he is loved.
I want my boys to see a mom who placed importance on community connection. As parents, we get to know our neighbours, look out for them, and check in on them.
I want communication skills to be learned at home, including how to speak with each other even if we are upset or angry.
I want my children to feel celebrated, to strive to be great and to not be afraid to try new things.
I want them to see a mom who models being kind (to herself and others), and who recognizes the importance of making mistakes as a way to build yourself up. Like most parents I know, some of these things I learned in my own home growing up, and others I wished were present.
Sometimes I watch Robert and I see so much of myself in him. He is the typical eldest child (as am I). He’s achievement-oriented, and he wants to be the best in what he does. He can also be cautious, and I see him looking for ways to set himself up for success. Sometimes this means he doesn’t even try because he doesn’t want to fail. He wants to do things “right” and “perfectly” on his first-time attempts at something new. And, boy, does that ever resonate with my personality.
When do we learn that failure is so horrible?
Failure teaches us so much. We know that we have room to grow when we aren’t successful at something on the first try. We don’t expect a baby to be able to walk without stumbling as they take their first steps, so why do we expect of ourselves perfection from the gate?
Failing teaches us resilience, growth and empathy. Giving up isn’t the answer to failure. Moving forward is.
And the same can be applied to motherhood. When we have an imperfect day, we need to remember that moving forward teaches our kids so much, and it gives us strength as parents. Those imperfect days allow us to reframe what is important to us. And when we invest the time into focusing our energy on what matters to us, our energy will flow in that direction. We will show our kids that it’s ok if your day or week didn’t go as you planned. We can accept that, and adjust our focus accordingly. We can fail and still be great.
I am a confident mom.
I am a confident, imperfect mom.
I advocate for my boys, especially Robert. I model a growth-mindset whenever possible. Rather than look at my friends with envy – you know, the ones setting up amazing sensory bins or literacy activities, or the ones baking homemade bread with their kids and successfully implementing a chore routine with them – rather than look at those friends with envy, I look to them for inspiration. What can I learn from them?
Motherhood isn’t a competition. It’s a journey, and it’s hard.
Give yourself permission to accept that it’s hard. But mama… you can do hard things.