Mom guilt is a real thing. I have had more than my fair share of it. But I’m here to tell you there comes a point when you realize you have a good dose of mom confidence in you.
What is mom confidence? It’s the feeling that you’re doing a few things right. Maybe your kids tidied up without too much prompting. Maybe you noticed that they kissed great-grandma without being asked. Or just maybe they ate vegetables without making the “eww!!” face. Whatever it was, it gave you the feeling that maybe your kids are going to turn out alright after all.
Here are a few tell-tale signs you’ve got some mom confidence.
You no longer feel guilty going to work and leaving the kids at daycare or in afterschool programs.
It may be a feeling in your heart, or maybe yours actually tell you – they are having a great time with their friends and caregivers! Sometimes my kids “cry” (you know, no tears just generally annoying whining and noisemaking) when I pick them up from afterschool care. Doesn’t make me feel great that they’d rather be there than with me, but it does mean they’re having tons of fun and they don’t miss me like I imagine they should.
While wandering through your untidy, well lived in house you think back on the fun times and memories being made.
This happens to me when I’m home alone folding and putting away laundry. A clothing article will bring back a memory and I’ll realize my kids are growing up really fast. They are independent little people now, and that’s amazing. And despite all my guilt and uncertainty they are turning out to be great people. I cherish every piece of time I can get with them, but I also know they learn so much when we’re apart.
Bedtimes and bathtimes are no longer a battle – even if you’re single parenting for the night.
My husband has been working a lot lately. There was a time this would cause me some anxiety because I couldn’t stand doing the never-ending bedtimes by myself. Now my girls are older, bedtimes are much less stressful, and I’m confident I can manage them on my own – even for a few nights in a row! This is a sure sign I’ve gained mom confidence.
You stop worrying about getting all four food groups into every meal.
Once your kids get to the adamant refusal stage of life (I think my kids were both born in that stage and haven’t left it behind yet…) you truly have to pick your battles. I’ve given up forcing a lot of fruit and vegetables on my kids at each meal. We send some of a lot of stuff to school in lunches and often it all gets eaten, but at home it’s a different story. Breakfast seems to be a carbs and milk products meal, and that’s fine with me. I eat my fruit at breakfast time so at least I’m leading by example. At dinner some vegetables are required, but again I don’t fight about this much anymore. And since I’ve stopped being so forceful they seem to eat better. I hope this isn’t a fad, but a trend they will continue with into adulthood!
Part of this one is just the growing up that kids do naturally, but I feel once you have confidence that you’ve prepared them, you are content to let them be outside unsupervised. Some days I still struggle with this – I’m peeking out the windows to see where they went, or who they’re with. Other days I “forget” they went outside and just enjoy the quiet to get my chores done. (I don’t really forget – it’s like the mom eyes in the back of your head. You know where they are and where they may go so you can find them at a moment’s notice, but they think they have total freedom.)
There truly is no better feeling that knowing you’re doing a good job raising your family. Once you get past all the uncertainty of the baby years, and the super-tough toddler times it does get easier. At least it did for me.
There are many other ways to feel mom confidence. This is just a short list of the things I’m feeling more often now. Care to add some other suggestions? I love to read your comments!