It’s taken me almost 11 years to slip into the part of parenting where I’m starting to feel more confident in my abilities. I definitely wish I would have learned the trick to being a confident mum sooner, but I’m a slow learner. Three kids later, and I can finally say that I don’t worry about what others think of my parenting, and I know I’m being the best mum I can be to my kids.
I’ve learned that some women are more naturally confident in their abilities from the beginning. And there are definitely mums that fall into the demands of motherhood more easily than others. But there are definitely some common characteristics all confident mums seem to share. But, don’t worry, if you’re like me, and you’re not super confident to begin with, there are ways to learn how to be a confident mum.
Here are 6 secrets all confident mums have in common:
1. They have realistic expectations of motherhood. Life changes dramatically once you have a child; you can’t expect to function as you did before having a newborn. “If you accept the slow pace of being with a baby, focus on being in the moment together, and reduce your expectations of how much you can do every day you will be more content and more confident mum,” says Erica Komisar, LCSW, a clinical social worker, psychoanalyst, and author of Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in The First Three Years Matters.
2. Confident mums have a solid support system. Parenting is too hard to shoulder alone. “Having a support system is crucial to the happiness and confidence of mothers,” says Didi Wong, a life coach and mother of four children. “When I was a new mother, I joined a Mummy group and we would meet with our newborns weekly. We were experiencing so many similar situations so having the avenue to speak honestly and openly about our insecurities and experiences made me feel so much better.”
3. They take care of themselves. When I had my first child, I never took time for myself — which was a mistake. I’ve learned now that it’s important to make self-care a priority and try to do something for yourself daily, even if it’s just 15 minutes of quiet time alone. “Many mothers feel guilty about doing things for themselves but they should say to themselves, ‘If I’m happy, then everyone around me will be happy,'” adds Wong.
4. Confident mums don’t allow motherhood to overshadow who they are as a person. “Remember that when you bring a baby into your life, it’s not a take away from you, or who you are, or your desires for achievement in your life — it’s an addition,” says Jane Scott, MD, and author of The Confident Parent. “I believe that happy, confident parents are parents that have been able to bring children into their lives and have continued to be able to be a person with aspirations and desires.”
5. They trust their own intuition. Think of it as your own unique mum superpower. “The number one thing that has given me confidence as a mother is my ability to trust my own instincts and intuition,” says Wong. “Whenever I feel something is wrong, I address it and the majority of the time my gut is right.”
6. Confident mums know there is no such thing as a perfect parent. That means not getting swept up in what you see on social media; these moments of parental greatness never tell the full story. Instead, confident mums know that perfection is an impossible (and totally unnecessary) goal, and let’s face it: letting go of perfection will make everyone in the family happier.