It’s happened to all of us. You’re talking with a group of moms, and all of a sudden you start talking about breastfeeding (or co-sleeping or homeschooling or pretty much any other parental decision). “I stopped nursing when I went back to work,” you say. Or, “My son is almost two and I still nurse.” Regardless of what comes out of your mouth, you can see the judgmental looks on the faces of the other moms, and you immediately feel less than them.
Being a mom is hard enough, why must we continue make each other feel bad about the decisions we make for our own families? Since you can’t control the opinions or actions of others, here are a few things you can do to boost your own maternal confidence.
Make sure your mom friends make you feel good
If you every time you get together with someone, they make you feel bad about yourself, stop hanging out with them. Even though this seems obvious, I think we all still sometimes feel like we need to spend time with another mom for one reason or another. Maybe you’ve known each other for a long time, or you hang out with the same friends. Whatever the reason may be, it is not worth it to spend time on a relationship that breaks you down, instead of builds you up. You are an amazing mom, friend, woman, sister, wife, and you should be treated as one. (Pssst – If you’re looking to connect with positive, uplifting moms, check out some of the MkeMB Neighborhood Groups.)
On the other side of the coin, make sure you are one of those friends that other moms want to be around.
Do what is right for your family
When I was pregnant with my son, Callum, there was no question that I wanted to go back to work full time after my maternity leave. I loved my job so much and knew that I would feel unfulfilled without it. Fast forward to a year later when my son was six months old and I had been back at work full time for a few months. Turns out, I was not happy. I felt stretched too thin, I was stressed out, and it was affecting the way I treated my husband and son. I needed something to change. For me, that was working less and being home more. For you, it may be working full time, deciding to sleep train at six months, or waiting until your child is 18 months to give them peanut butter. Whatever it may be, make sure you are doing what you need to do to have a happy, healthy, loving family.
Finally, I think the most important step to take in having confidence as a mom, is to have confidence in yourself. I know, I know: So much easier said than done. You can start by evaluating how your own internal dialogue. Some days, I find I can be so hard on myself, and it’s really not fair. Ask yourself: If I had a friend who spoke to me the same way I speak to myself, how long would I keep that friend? Just remember, you are a smart, able mom, and only you know what’s best for you and your family. And, if you ever need a pep talk, You know where to find me.