Finding Confidence In The Experience Of Motherhood
In a world of Instagram perfection, it can be difficult to feel like the strong, confident momma that is living within you…sometimes deep, deep down within you (but I promise, she is there).
Your feed is flooded with beautiful images of other mothers’ babies who always look perfectly content, without a tear or tantrum in sight. Better yet, there are countless pictures of well-put-together mommas who look like they have somehow managed to pull off a full 8 hours of sleep, all without a drop of spit up or baby goop staining their clothes (and did I mention, they are wearing “real” clothes…not the leggings and baggy sweater that you’ve worn three days in a row, and that your husband now lovingly refers to as your “mom uniform”).
Who are these women? How are they so perfect? How did they find the time to shower, let alone put on makeup? Why don’t their babies seem to keep them up all night nursing at the all-you-can-eat milk buffet? What are their secrets and what am I doing wrong? These are the nagging questions that run through our minds as we casually scroll through our social media feeds and see all of this blissful “perfection.”
The truth is, we are all guilty of this. We post the happiest (and often, highly edited) moments of our life, not the poop-covered, red-eyed, sleep deprived, frizzy, 3-day old hair moments. There is no shame in that. I have done it too, and there’s nothing wrong with sharing sweet and well-thought-out images of our beloved babies. After all, we spent 9 months carrying these little humans, and we deserve to show them off and feel that good mommy pride that comes with a beautiful moment captured on our iPhones.
The only downside is that in sharing only the good stuff, we may sometimes give a false sense of perfection to our fellow mommas in the trenches. I’m all for a beautifully lit, golden hour photo of you and your baby sweetly strolling along the beach. Hell, I frequently chase after those shots myself, but I like to balance out all that prettiness with some realness too.
Aside from raising our babies in the best way we can, our next job as mothers is to keep it real with one another and build each other up so we can experience self-confidence that is so well-deserved and long overdue. Motherhood is amazing…it truly is, but it also has some messiness. By showing the full picture of what motherhood is – grittiness and all, we are keeping it real with ourselves and with the other moms out there who really could use the reassurance that being a mother doesn’t always look picture perfect.
In the early stages of new motherhood, we are especially susceptible to feeling less than confident in damn near every decision we make. While this is perfectly normal, these feelings of insecurity should never be allowed to consume us. When in doubt of your own abilities as a mother, reach out to a fellow momma friend or even your own mother, and I promise you will find that she has experienced the very same thing – and somehow, made it out the other side.
Although, confidence frequently comes from within, it is also something that we can help to inspire in others through both sharing our adoration of motherhood and commiserating with one another during the more trying times. It feels good to bond over the many commonalities of motherhood and to empower our own self-confidence in the process. Embrace the flaws…because they are real, and what make us human.
More importantly, when we take a step back and realize that these images we are scrolling through are just a sliver of a person’s life, not to be compared to our own, we can all feel confident in knowing that this idealistic “super mom” is about as real as the boogieman. After bringing life into this world, you can truly do anything, momma. Remind yourself of that daily and give yourself grace because you are everything your little ones need, and you are downright amazing.
Meg is a Motherhood & Lifestyle blogger from nofomomma.com, where she writes about raising her toddler daughter, Violet, with her husband, Erik, in the bucolic farm and wine country of the North Fork of Long Island. Meg enjoys sharing her adventures in motherhood and writing about engaging lifestyle topics in parenting, wellness, DIY projects, beauty and family friendly recipes. In addition to blogging, Meg works as a family law attorney.