Welcome to Mom Motivation Mondays where weekly contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.

{This week: Post by Rachel Bowers}

Don't feel like a failure mom! Gain some mom confidence with these 5 ways to re-focus on your strengths and seek joy in motherhood. Get your mom-fidence!

My own struggles with confidence started in the most obvious of places: junior high school. Puberty, awkwardness, and a hyperawareness of how different I was from others led me to struggle with depression and a low self-esteem. In society we tend to now acknowledge how difficult this experience is because of the tremendous changes preteens experience during this stage.

It makes sense that during any transition we struggle to gain confidence because we aren’t sure how we will adapt. But when I entered the new phase of motherhood my confidence was shaken to the core. Even as a therapist with knowledge of child development I felt like a fish out of water.

When I couldn’t stop my baby from crying, when breastfeeding didn’t work out, and when mothering didn’t seem to come natural to me I initially felt like a complete failure.

I again, just like in junior high, became hyperaware of the differences between other mothers and I. They use cloth diapers. Should I be using cloth diapers? I analysed what other mothers did and had and thought that I should be doing or getting the same thing. It was just like junior high only instead of choker necklaces and Doc Martens it was $250 baby carriers and chunky teething necklaces.

Motherhood is one of the biggest transitions of our lives. Our mom confidence- or mom-fidence-will not be strong right out off the bat. My own confidence is growing slowly as I learn who I am as a mom. There are days it gets beat down with a judgmental comment I read on the internet or a new parenting article that suggests my approaches are all wrong. It can be hard to shield yourself from things like that but there are ways to boost our confidence in ourselves with the right perspective.

5 Ways to Gain Your Mom Confidence (“Mom-fidence”)

Recognize your insecurities.

You know how a lot of people are insecure about a certain part of their body? Well mothering is kind of like that. We all have those parts of ourselves that we just don’t feel great about. Being aware of these insecurities is the first step in realizing that when this part of our mothering is threatened by a judgement from ourselves or others we are more defensive than usual and may have a hard time seeing things rationally.

Know these areas of yourself and be aware that you are sensitive to them. Find the difference between unhelpful judgments and constructive feedback. We can work towards resolving our insecurities when we start to be aware of them and not feel the need to become defensive.

It is okay to have weaknesses as a mom. It is okay to make mistakes as a mom. Repeat this to yourself when your insecurities start to lie to you about what kind of mom you are.

Reject judgmental thoughts of yourself.

This is probably the hardest task. If it was easy my career would probably not exist. Take notice of your internal dialogue. If a thought pops up that isn’t helpful to you discard it. Find a way to distract yourself from that line of thinking.

Ask yourself when you have these thoughts- can I really prove this thought is true? Is this thought going to help me be a better mom? Does this thought encourage me to do better or make me feel defeated? Remember that you wouldn’t want your own child to believe negative thoughts about themselves. Start to develop the practice of not believing everything that you think.

Reflect on your strengths.

This is near and dear to my heart because I believe it is our strengths that help us overcome weaknesses and barriers. But it can be so hard for us to see them. Take the time to sit down and actually write down at least 8-10 of your biggest strengths as a mom. Be as specific as you can. (i.e. I give my son frequent affection in the form of cuddles, hugs, and kisses.)

If you have a hard time coming up with them reflect on times you felt comfortable with yourself as a mom and what you were doing at that moment. Involve feedback from your partner or others that see you in your role as a mom if you need more ideas. Remember this list and keep it somewhere safe. Reflect on these strengths and on continuing to build them in times of having your confidence threatened. Your strengths as a mom are uniquely your own and you are giving your child a one of a kind experience because of them.

Reframe expectations and set small, measurable goals.

A lot of moms might think their overall goal is to “be a good mom.” But what does that mean? How do you know if you’ve achieved it? Having unrealistic or vague goals for yourself only sets you up for being disappointed because you won’t know if you’ve truly made any progress.

Think of one thing you’d like to improve at as a mom and how you can measure it. Like to be more patient? Make a goal of decreasing yelling or barking at your child. Measure it by actually recording the number of instances you do it and see if the number goes down. This may sound silly but unless we have evidence we are improving we may let our own judgmental thoughts and frustration tell us that we aren’t getting better. When we have evidence we can rest assured that we are improving. Make sure your expectations are fair to yourself and your family. Remember that growth happens in small steps each day.

Don’t sell yourself short Mama. Be confident-get your mom-fidence-because you are doing an amazing job!

How do you keep critical thoughts away and focus on being a confident mom?

Gain some mom confidence, or mom-fidence, with these 5 tips from a mom and therapist. Part of Mom Motivation Mondays.


headshotRachel is a mom to a spunky and active 2 year old boy. She recently relocated to Melbourne, Australia from Ohio and is learning all about life down under. As a social worker she started her career as a behavioural health therapist for children, adolescents, and families. Rachel’s own struggles with anxiety postpartum led her to begin training in maternal mental health and start her own blog on emotional wellness for moms at fullmotherhood.wordpress.com.  Follow Rachel on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.