If you are a parent, I want to ask you something:
I’d imagine that it goes something like this: I’m (insert first name here) and I’m (insert child’s name here)’s mom.
There’s nothing wrong with this.
However, I’d like to ask you something else:
What else do you have inside of you that really defines you? What are your passions? What are your hopes? What are your dreams?
All of this defines you and makes you a part of who you are. And it’s all about how you begin the process of reclaiming yourself as a stay at home mom
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being proud of being a mom, I would encourage you to look further.
The Stay at Home Mom Self-Worth Trap
I have fallen into this mindset often and have defined myself with the following attributes:
- I’m a mom
- I’m a stay at home mom
- I’m a mom of a child with special needs
- I’m a mom of girls
- I’m an (almost) step-mom
But is that all that I really am?
At times, yes. For several years, in fact, this was the mindset that I had believed. That I was a mom and that was how I found my identity.
But in claiming that identity and embracing that identity for all that it was worth? I also lost myself.
I lost my sense of self-worth.
My self-confidence and self-image was tied to my identity as a mom.
I began to doubt my self-confidence and my value in life.
If I was failing as a stay at home mom, surely I was failing elsewhere.
I was overwhelmed in the thought of having to be a super-mom and being everything to everyone else that I forgot who I was. It’s okay not to be a supermom!
There is absolutely nothing wrong about working while the kids are awake if you are a work at home mom.
It’s an easy trap to fall into and I think, as moms, it gets to the best of us.
I will stress, again, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with embracing your role as a mom. For many women, being a mom is a life-long dream.
However, it’s also important to remember that you are more than just a mom.
How to begin the process of reclaiming yourself as a mom
In the pace of life, we seem to have lost our selves. ‘Self’ is described as the understanding of ones self. It means recognizing of ones soul and inner voice. Often, in the course of fulfilling responsibilities we ignore our true identity.
Your real worth should be based on your understanding of your self and not as per society’s rules and regulations.
Once you become aware of your self, life becomes meaningful and happier.
Restoring Your Self Confidence and Defining Your Self Worth
Self Confidence and Self Worth obviously have a lot to do with how well we do in life. However, what confuses the picture is that the two terms are often used as if they have the same meaning. They are really very different things.
Self Confidence is about how we relate to the world. Self Worth is about how we relate to ourselves.
Naturally these two things are interlinked and one affects the other. But, they bring very different gifts and very different skills.
Self Confidence gives us the ability to make things happen in the world. It helps us set goals and achieve results. When our Self Confidence is high we attract people through our ability to get things done and ‘be out there’.
This makes us good talkers.
Self Worth helps us value other people for who they are (rather than what they do). It helps us build friendships and relationships based on mutual caring. When our Self Worth is high we attract people through our ability to just ‘be there’ for them and to be with them.
This makes us good listeners.
If Self Confidence is high and Self Worth is very low then we get out of balance.
It can make us tend to put on a show and feel hollow inside. If this goes to far we can end up unable to enjoy our successes. While others are giving us a congratulatory pat on the back we feel like kicking ourselves as being undeserving. When our Self Worth is low we may tell ourselves “If only they knew what I am really like”.
If Self Confidence is very low and Self Worth is high then we get out of balance that way too. It can make us tend to hide out with our friends, family, or people we feel ‘comfortable’ (or an acceptable discomfort) around. We may walk in someone’s shadow, hide behind a powerful boss, or someone who ‘protects’ us from the world (even if they are nasty otherwise).
We may have things we really want to do with our lives (intensely so), but make excuses as to why it is OK to do nothing about.
Obstacles That You May Face When Building Your Self Confidence
It’s great that you have decided to build your self-confidence. However, there are a few obstacles that can keep you from achieving your goal. Most of the time, these obstacles are so obvious that they do not seem like obstacles at all, and all you can see is that your resolve to be self-confident is not taking you anywhere.
Are you undisciplined?
Some people simply have the talent to waste a lot of time without realizing it. They lack the self-discipline to stop their actions that waste time. If this is an area of struggle, look into developing a time management plan.
Are you lazy and keep procrastinating? Procrastination is one of the greatest and most silent killers of confidence. Overcome your procrastination for increased productivity.
It does not let you complete your jobs and tasks in time; things keep mounting and finally you get overwhelmed by all the many things that have piled up and need your attention.
- Meal prep
- Child rearing
And the list goes on.
Does your old self keep pulling you back?
Assume that you are a different person with habits you wanted to inculcate. Imagine the way you would like to be. Imagine a self-confident you taking things in your stride. Then try to bring into your daily actions the way you have imagined yourself to be.
Remember that you cannot get ahead if you keep looking back. Realize this and stop sliding back.
Do not try to become like someone else.
One of the greatest mistakes that people make when trying to increase their low self-confidence is falling in love with an image of their icon who may be a sport star or a film star or any celebrity and then they try to be like them. This is one of the greatest mistakes that people can commit when trying in increase their self-confidence.
You have to be yourself.
Sure, I’d love to be able to decorate my home like Joanna Gaines, craft like Martha Stewart, or cook like the Pioneer Woman.
But I’m not them.
Essential Steps to Building Your Self Confidence
By developing your self-confidence and belief in your own innate abilities you will be enable to recognize and take advantage of more of the opportunities that are presented to you but until now have gone unnoticed.
You will also have the strength and inner belief that is essential in overcoming the inevitable pitfalls and obstacles that life throws at you. Including your own self-limiting beliefs.
Your belief in yourself will grow with each new challenge until you begin to see challenges, not only through the eyes of a person who believes in themselves but also, as someone who knows they can achieve anything – because you begin to see yourself as a person who has the confidence in their abilities to find a way to do it!
Step 1: As best you can, stop berating and judging yourself harshly.
There are numerous people in the world who will jump at the chance to do that for you. Be gentle with yourself and recognize that your mistakes are merely learning opportunities. Keep in mind that your words have power. They direct your thinking. When you speak in a certain way you begin to formulate ideas and beliefs which are in harmony with the words you are using.
These beliefs in turn have a major impact on the action you take and the way you conduct yourself throughout your life. So choose words that uplift you, encourage you and strengthen you and go easy on yourself when you make a mistake.
Recognize what you have to learn from it and move on.
Step 2: Be a person who is true to their word.
Take action when you vow to take action. Follow through on your plans even if it initially looks like there is no way forward. That doesn’t mean being inflexible. Of course there will be times when you need to compromise and alter your goals and plans but always stay true to your vision.
I promise you another way will present itself.
If you give up you will seriously damage your confidence! A key point to remember is that there is no such thing as failure – you only fail when you give up! If you keep on keeping on, trying different approaches and staying steadfast to your ideal, you will eventually succeed.
Keep a diary of all your achievements not matter how small and don‘t let others ridicule you for it.
Step 3: Don’t be afraid to fail.
Many people are afraid to fail; they quit trying because they are not confident in their skills. If you are afraid to try, you will get stuck where you are. Failure can only make you better. Remember that every great women took risks and failed a lot before arriving at greatness.
Step 4: Get over the mom guilt.
This is one area that I have struggled with mightily. And if I’m willing to be perfectly honest with myself? I struggle with this area the most. Mom guilt has plagued me to one extent or another.
If you fall into one of these categories? I assure you, you are not alone.
We, as moms, fall into this trap of finding balance and finding time for everything.
When we cannot achieve this balance right away, the guilt starts to kick in.
Start with a journey of forgiveness, and begin with yourself.
- It’s okay to acknowledge that motherhood is stressful
- It’s okay to forgive yourself for overlooking a special needs diagnosis
- It’s okay to recognize that you need help.
- It’s okay to take time for yourself.
How to use mindfulness to boost your self-confidence
Mindfulness can lead you to a life settled in the present. With living in the present comes a non-judgmental acceptance of who you are.
So many people have an internal voice that’s extremely ugly. This internal voice has been conditioned to speak this way by us. The disturbing results are that when we allow this internal voice to have a negative say, we can trigger stress, anxiety and even depression.
You go through life feeling as if you’re not educated enough, skilled enough, smart enough, talented enough, pretty enough, or handsome enough. You judge yourself, often thinking of what you could have, should have said or done, and you always fall short.
This self talk has a direct impact on how you feel about yourself. Learn to be aware of this negative self talk. If you call yourself names, that’s a sign that you’ve been engaging in negative self talk that can lower your self esteem.
What mindfulness does to help you change this and build your confidence is replace the feelings that you’re not enough with the trust that you are. Using mindfulness calls for you to not dwell on your past or on any negative experiences where you feel that you failed or fell short.
Some people call themselves stupid or idiot. When they consider doing something, this internal self talk always tells them why they can’t. You’ll tell yourself things like “I’m not smart enough” or “I’m too dumb to do it.”
How many times have you uttered one of these phrases? (and yes, saying it in your head counts):
- I’m not a good mom
- I’m a bad mom
- I’m not a good cook
- I’m a terrible homemaker
- I yell too much
When you allow these thoughts to run rampant, you can get into the mindset that you can’t do something – that you’re unworthy – and then your feelings follow that internal self talk until it becomes a belief.
This habit can be so ingrained within you that the negative self talk plays constantly in your mind, so much so that it becomes like white noise. What mindfulness does is bring your attention to the inner dialogue that’s eroding your self esteem.
You learn what this internal conversation is doing to you and how it’s impacting your emotions. Mindfulness helps you learn to accept who you are without expectations or blaming. You’ll gain skills that you can use to learn how to raise your confidence and acceptance of yourself.
We’ve covered a lot! And it’s really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reclaiming your sense of self worth, self confidence, self esteem, and who you really are as a person.
Being a mom is one of my favorite things, but at the end of the day? It does not define me.
I’m more than a mom.
And I am evolving daily.