Moms are the hearts and souls of families. They do a million things and more. They are real superheroes.
My mom did so much for me growing up and still does. But more powerful than any one single thing she did is the internal voice she sewed deep inside of me. It continues to replay in my mind every single day.
It began as her voice but has become my own, and it is my super power. She planted confidence within me and helped me build a strong sense of self, all with her amazing words.
This is what she said:
She said this mostly when I did something kind, made good decisions, or showed independence and strength of character. She also said this when I was sweaty, dirty, messy, and working hard. She taught me that true beauty lies inside and in my positive actions, not my appearance.
I remember hearing this throughout my life. It wasn’t like she was priming me to have children, but she saw something in me then that I draw on now every single day of my adult life. I have felt run down, exhausted, worried, and unsure of what to do at times, but I have never doubted myself as a good mom.
My mom always wanted to know my feelings. Even when she didn’t know why, or couldn’t understand why, she always offered empathy. Empathy breeds empathy, and we know that it’s one of the most important skills for children to learn in order to have successful and positive relationships in life. And positive relationships build confidence.
My mom never told me what to do. When she seemed to think that I might be wandering astray or about to make a not-so-awesome choice, she showed me her trust and confidence instead of challenging or controlling me. She made my thoughts and feelings important by asking me about them.
When trying to figure out what to do, my mom also told me that she trusted me to figure it out. Decisions are so important for self-esteem, and my mom never second-guessed mine. She let me be in charge of myself. She was there to catch me when I fell and was always on my side.
My friends were always welcome at our house. Friends would come over even when I wasn’t home because they knew my mom would invite them in and offer them a snack. Through this open-door policy, she taught me not to worry about the tiny details of how clean your house may be or how fancy your meal. You just welcome people.
My mom had a rosary attached to her fingers while I was growing up and still does. She didn’t offer a quick sentiment. She really prayed for me. She prayed for my boyfriends, she prayed for my friends, she prayed for my friend’s friends, their parents, and their extended families. She taught me to pray for my children, which has given me great peace. It has given my children an increased sense of peace and security as well.
Of course, all moms say this. My mom said it all the time. If there were better things she could have said to let me know how she felt about me, she would have. But my mom said “I love you” like it was the absolute tops, and even still, it seemed just a little too inadequate for all her actual love for me.
When I was a kid, there was always fun, play, and laughter. My grown-up heart seeks those things out when life gets big and heavy. My mom still says this to me when I drop my kids off at her house for a sleepover. She shoves me out the door and tells me not to worry about a thing.
Then she wants to know all the fun things I did while she took care of my kids. She gets joy out of my joy. In this simple way, she tells me that I am not a burden; I am a joy. My kids are a joy. It makes my heart swell, like I really am doing a good job.
What a gift to grow up hearing that someone was proud of me, no matter what. I grew up believing that I could be proud of myself. And I am.
Slow down. When you rush, things fall apart. Lower your expectations of what you can do and how fast you can do it, and everyone will be happy.
Being a mom is largely a self-confidence game. I know this firsthand; my new baby tested my wits constantly, just when I needed them most. But the more confident I became, the less stressed I felt, the calmer my daughter was, the better the nursing flowed … and the smoother things went at home, the park, the store.
Remember, however, that being unsure isn’t all bad. “If uncertain feelings are creeping in, you’re taking your job as mom with a lot of responsibility,” says Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D., a psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles.
“By recognizing the paramount effect you have for shaping your child’s personality, self-esteem and physical well-being, you’re taking the first step to being a great mom.”
Your baby already thinks you’re top-notch. Our guide will help you believe it, too.
To be more self-confident, begin by acting like it. Your baby will feel safer, calmer and happier as a result, and soon assuredness won’t be a guise as you get the hang of cleaning the umbilical cord, giving your baby a bath or maneuvering a wobbly little head through a shirt opening.
“Take a cue from kindergarten teachers,” says Frances Xavier, M.D., a pediatrician at Gateway Medical Group in Anaheim, Calif. “Speak lower and slower to calm you both down.”
“She needs cereal,” my parents and in-laws said every time my newborn daughter fussed. By six weeks, I was so dazed from nighttime nursing and pressured by their certainty I was starving my daughter with breast milk that I almost gave her some rice cereal. But I decided to double-check with her pediatrician and, sure enough, their advice was 30 years outdated.
Don’t relent when barraged with advice from people who act as if they know more than you do.
All moms feel inadequate at some point. “As Jonny was learning to sit up, I would sit with him constantly to make sure he didn’t fall and hit his head,” says Rebecca Zysk, 31, of Apopka, Fla. “One day I moved for one second to get a burp cloth, and down he went. I felt terrible.”
When you feel the guilt coming on, follow these guidelines: First, put your offense in perspective. Did you lock him in the closet, leave him in a hot, parked car? Of course not. Second, remind your too-critical inner voice that all kids—even babies—get hurt sometimes. Third, make a change that will prevent the problem—and guilt—next time. (Propping your baby in a U-shaped nursing pillow may prevent future falls.) Finally, put the incident where it belongs: in the past.
When your baby is hard to calm, find a place to work it out in private. Not only will this get your child out of a stimulating environment, but it will also protect you from unsolicited advice. If relatives try to follow you, go into the bathroom and shut the door. (Even the nosiest know-it-alls won’t follow you there!) Then turn on the fan—the white noise may do the trick.
Tune into your gut feelings to make decisions quickly and confidently. Start small (regular or lavender baby wash?) and work up. Quickly “try on” your decision before finalizing.
“See how you feel—relieved or rubbed the wrong way—and listen to yourself,” says Debra Condren, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in New York. Once you choose, move on without second-guessing. “Keep reminding yourself: I’m top-dog expert here.”
You may know the answers to all the pediatrician’s questions, from your baby’s age to her highest temperature, before you walked into his office, but suddenly you can barely remember your child’s name. Research shows that people under acute stress have difficulty retaining information in their short-term memories. So bring notes to every appointment with your pediatrician and jot down the doctor’s instructions while you’re there.
It’s understandable to lose your calm after your baby has been on a crying jag for three hours or your toddler is throwing a tantrum. The surprise is, sometimes it’s good for your baby to see you upset, as long as it’s justified and doesn’t happen too often. As she grows, your child will look to you to learn how to handle emotions. When she sees you sad, scared, mad or frustrated, say what you’re thinking: “I was feeling sad, but I feel better now” or “That was scary. I’m glad we’re safe.”
“Your child is going to run that ‘mommy tape’ in her head the rest of her life whenever she’s feeling emotional,” says Kathryn Oden, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist at Carson-Tahoe Hospital in Carson City, Nev. “She’s going to learn how to self-soothe from you.” Just dial back the drama if your baby starts to cry or look frightened.
Not even your mother-in-law can make you doubt yourself as much as that friend whose child does everything first. My friend’s daughter was walking when mine was still not crawling. The competitive friend is always doling out advice on how to get your baby to catch up and pointing out what you’re doing wrong. The best response? “We’re happy with Sam’s development.”
“Taking a mom’s day, hour or 15 minutes is required for good parenting,” psychologist Thomas says. “Parents need balance in their lives. If you don’t have time to replenish your soul and rejuvenate yourself, you’re not going to be at your best for your child. You’re going to be impatient, frustrated and ill-tempered.”
Recharge your batteries with a quick bubble bath, listen to soothing music, do an exercise video. You’ll be a good role model for your child, showing her that taking care of yourself is a priority.
Spend as much undistracted time as you can with your baby, allowing yourself to be in the moment. Seeing your little one conquer a new milestone will remind you of the good job you’re doing.
If you like charm bracelets, you will love our top list. We got all the most popular models here!
Ever since charm bracelets showed up, they’ve been incredibly popular. However, while fashion trends do change every season, these bracelets somehow always stay fashionable and interesting. Some accessories truly are timeless. So, if you’re looking for one that will be perfect for you, check out our top list.
This silver-plated model is the perfect choice for every Alice in Wonderland fan. A little bit retro, a little bit elegant, this is something that will look good on any wrist and in any occasion. With pendants such as a book, a mirror, a teapot, a pen, and a throne, this bracelet will go with any outfit.
This silver-colored bracelet is filled with soft pink details. Furthermore, each pendant tells its own subtly pink story, making the bracelet a perfect addition to evening wear, or a casual picnic dress. You can change the order of charms the way you see fit, or even add new ones.
If you want a warm, golden bracelet that will shout “summer vibes”, this is the best choice there is. An owl, a bunch of hearts, and some zirconia make this charm bracelet the perfect summer statement piece.
Simple, yet elegant, this bracelet looks great on every wrist. Just choose the first letter of your name, and it will be engraved in the heart charm that dangles from the bracelet. Interesting, personalized, and durable at the same time, this can also be an ideal gift.
If you want to build your charm bracelet from scratch and pick each charm based on a significant memory, you will need a bracelet to start with. That’s what this snake chain stainless steel bracelet is for. Furthermore, once you get this, you can start creating your own unique charm bracelet.
A good way to start your own charm bracelet. These stainless steel blank bracelets look great, and you can put absolutely any charm you want on them. After all, who knows, maybe that’s a start of your career in jewelry design.
If you ever need a reminder that everything you set your mind to is possible, look no further. This gorgeous bracelet comes with a charm that says “She believed she could so she did.” Positive, trendy, and sweet, this is a must-have accessory.
When you’re in love, and you want the world to know it, don’t just shout it off the rooftops! Wear clothing and jewelry that say it. Wear jewelry like this love charm bracelet that is full of symbols of love.
Hearts, smileys, and flowers – finally, what is better to show off your great mood? This gold-tone charm bracelet is creative, interesting, and fashionable. Furthermore, it’s a piece that has to be in your jewelry box.
If you always wanted unicorns, stars, and four-leaf clovers, then this is your lucky day. This bracelet comes with all those charms, as well as many other interesting ones. After all, those details will show off your fantastic side.