How I Became a More Confident Mom
When was the last time you felt confident in yourself? I’m talking ass-kicking, not gonna stop confident? You wouldn’t be alone if you can’t really remember. It’s a lot of work for some women to feel confidence after lending out their bodies for babies and giving up the majority of their time (and sleep) for kids.
People often refer to me as “confident” but I haven’t always felt that way. When I became a mom for the first time I was 20. I had no money, no education, no career and a baby-daddy that enjoyed the company of other women. It wasn’t the kind of situation that made me feel empowered. To say that I’ve come a long way is an understatement, but I still have moments of uncertainty- In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve already doubted myself today and it’s only 9:23 am.
What about you, Mama? Ever feel like you’re not worthy of success, happiness or love? I’ve been there. It’s like a tape that hurls insults at you on a loop. And as soon as you start to ignore them a bit and feel better about yourself, you think “Who the hell are YOU to think you can pull this off??”
Girl, I feel you.
So I Googled “How to gain confidence” and here’s some of the strategies I saw:
- Visualize yourself as you want to be. ...
- Affirm yourself. ...
- Do one thing that scares you every day. ...
- Question your inner critic. ...
- Take the 100 days of rejection challenge. ...
- Set yourself up to win. ...
- Help someone else. ...
- Care for yourself
Hmmm. Not the most helpful. When I started to really think about my journey, I realized that I’ve learned some strategies to shut down that inner mean girl and boost my confidence all on my own.
There’s no way around it, only through it.
That’s right. I’ve found that the more I have to deal with challenges and overcome them, the more confidence I have. I eventually took myself out of that baby-daddy situation because it was making me angry, depressed and tanking my self-esteem. So I got a divorce, raised my kids on my own and went back to school to become a nurse. I leaned on a lot of people, but I did it.What about you, Mama? What situations are you just accepting because you’re too scared to move through them? Or maybe you're staying stuck because you're just accepting something less than stellar?
A thought ignored is an opportunity missed.
You know when you’re sitting around and you think,
I should really (fill in the blank with a really great idea that will advance your life/ career/ happiness/goals)?
Yes, those. STOP IGNORING THOSE. Act on those impulses before you talk yourself out of them. Even the smallest action to move you forward will make you feel more confident, I promise. This has been referred to as "trusting your gut" but I think it's more a matter of: listen, act and don't think.This has been one of the most effective ways for me to trust myself and my abilities. If it wasn’t for this method, I wouldn’t have created Mamasoup!
Stop hiding behind your kids.
When was the last time you “hid” behind your kids? You know what I mean…I know you know because I’ve done it myself. It’s the times when you think about doing something a little bit risky and exciting but you don’t because the kids. Like, taking a trip or accepting a great job. The truth is, it has nothing to do with your kids. You're using them as an excuse. This may sound harsh, but your kids aren’t the most important part of your life, Mama. Of course they’re important, but it’s YOUR life. They have theirs and you have yours. Our job is to love them, guide them and provide for them but nobody ever said that you had to give up your life for them. This has been a really hard practice for me, especially as a mom of 4 kids. But I realize that it’s my responsibility to go out into the world as my best, bad-ass self because my kids are watching and learning.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
This one is the hardest and yet the most critical exercise. Do you realize how often you don’t act on an idea because you’re afraid of what someone will think? All. The. Time. The truth is, we give those people far too much influence over our lives for no reason at all. If you love your body, hair, clothes, voice, sexual orientation, brain, idea, business or hobbies it ain’t nobody’s business. When the woo woo people tell you to “be centered” I think this is what they mean. If YOU love the things that make you unique and beautiful, you owe it to yourself to rock on with your bad self. You owe nothing to anyone else. This brings me to one of my favourite quotes:
You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do!
– Olin Miller
Nobody is getting out of here alive.
It may sound a bit morbid, but if you live your life with the end in sight you’ll be braver now. Think about it- the fact that you’re even here is against all odds so you may as well celebrate every day by giving the world the real, imperfect, vulnerable, authentic YOU. This is the exact reason I find it so easy to be natural and authentic on social media. When was the last time you posted a selfie without hair and makeup done or at least a filter? I did it yesterday.
Ok, Mama. It’s your time to shine! I’d love for you to join our conversation over at Mamasoup and share your thoughts and strategies for being confident. Click the link and look for the group “Confident Moms”.
Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!