It’s not easy to be Mama, let alone a confident Mama. But it’s a lot easier when we have basic guidelines to follow instead of hard rules or no rules. The guidelines that are most important to use are our own unique, intrinsic values.
No matter how amazing your Mama was, it doesn’t mean you learned how to be a mother yourself through her example. After all, few children really notice the things their parents do behind the scenes or hear how they stressed, but didn’t step in. Some didn’t have the best examples to begin with, and it’s not a skill taught in school. No matter what your background, you have to teach yourself or learn on the job.
While there are many parenting styles, confident parents share skills that give their children the best chance for success and happiness.
The interesting part is that the specific skills aren’t what’s important, but rather why the skill is used, as well as how it’s used.
The most confident parents understand why they have certain rules and can impart that to their children without letting emotion get in the way of the rule. Emotions, especially anger or scorn, inhibit learning and make it harder for children to follow rules. Those emotions also get in the way of strong, connected relationships.
An example, at home our children don’t need to sit at the table until the meal is done. When they were little they didn’t even need to do so at restaurants (they could go under the table, but not away). Other friends had different rules, children needed to be at the table until the end of the meal. Who was right? Who was the better parent?
We both were. Behind each rule, we had a specific value we wanted to impart to our children. What that value looked like to each of us was specific to us. We may have both wanted to install the value of quality time, but had different definitions. Not only is this okay, it’s wonderful!
There are many values we may find important in our lives. A confident mother, a confident woman, knows what her values are. She can clearly define them and can recognize how to use those values in her role as mama. Recognizing these values and how to support them in life is one of the reasons some women can seemingly fly over one bump or another without a bruise.
Don’t worry if you aren’t clear on your values or what skills to use to support them. It’s always possible to become clear. If you’re one of those mama’s struggling to stay calm, don’t worry. Your past actions or words don’t define you. You can discover what you need to shift to become the mother and woman you wish to be.
Below are 10 traits, or values, that confident women might have. This list is only a starting place. There are so many values and so many ways to express those values. This is meant to help you see how you can use your own unique values to be confident in who you are as a parent and a person.
Some Attributes Shared by Confident Mamas
You knew this would be at the top of the list! It’s at the top of every parenting list. Children are messy, noisy, don’t listen well, and can be exasperating (but so can parents! Ha!). They can be pretty wonderful, too. Learning to take a deep breath and relax can help more than just your parenting skills.
What about patience might be even more important to you? Is patience about accepting yourself or being open to your children? How you use patience has a lot to do with why it’s important to you.
Dealing with the house, work, and children requires a great ability to organize and prioritize. When we know what’s most important day-to-day and year-to-year, we’re better able to decide which distractions we allow, and which ones we let wait for later.
This doesn’t mean your house is tidy. What it means is you know what’s important to you and prioritize it.
Just a hint, you’re not likely to see many pictures of my actual home because it’s an absolute mess. Even my desk is a mess while I sit and work. However, I am very organized. I usually know where everything is and what someone may be looking for, I am usually 15 minutes early for everything, and am good at juggling being a work from home mama, a homeschooling mama, as well as mother to schooled kiddos and also taking time to read books and keep the house running smoothly.
Someone else may value neat and tidy as more important than I do. We are both organized, but have different priorities within that value.
3. Effective Encouragement
Children can quickly learn to doubt themselves and worry about the opinions of others. One of the best ways to combat this is to understand the difference between false, or manipulative, praise and encouragement that helps your children grow and reach a little farther each time. With the right encouragement, a child can become their best self.
Effective encouragement means we let our children know we noticed their effort, even when the outcome isn’t what was desired. We notice growth. We notice when hard work and effort pays off. We don’t praise children for showing up, we don’t praise them when they didn’t try. We ask them, what worked, what can you do better, when are you going to try again?
Why might it be important to you to be encouraging? How could you demonstrate that value to yourself? To your partner? How does that differ from how you use it with your children? How is it the same?
Encouragement and support go hand-in-hand. Children with support grow up to be relaxed and comfortable. This means doing your best to help them overcome obstacles. A toddler may want to climb the ladder at the playground. Stand behind them, show them where to put their hands and feet, and let them do it. Be ready to catch them if they fall.
What about being supportive is even more important to you? If you’ve been feeling stressed and out of balance, how might you use this value to better support yourself?
Flexibility means we’re open to seeing and hearing someone else’s point of view. Sometimes it’s our children’ point of view we need to consider. Sometimes it’s our partner’s. Flexibility allows us to let go of our need to control every aspect of the lives of our children and partners.
An example of being flexible might look like: When we say, “this is how it’s going to happen” and our child comes to us and asks ‘why?’ or ‘but I thought we could do this instead’ We listen. We hear their reasoning, and sometimes we change our mind. When our children know we’re listening and might change our mind if they have a valid case, they’ll be more likely to listen to us the rest of the time. They’ll also be a lot more likely to come to us with their problems or concerns.
Some people may be willing to bend or change directions in certain situations and not in others. Our other values help us decide when to be flexible or not.
Flexibility and boundaries go hand in hand. You may be interested in my free Creating and Maintaining Boundaries infographicPrintable Boundaries Infographic
6. Leadership Skills
A good leader inspires others to follow along. A good leader inspires others to lift each other. Being a good leader means we don’t order our children around, but inspire them to take action to help their family and take charge of their own lives as they grow-up. A good leader guides.Personal Reflection: I don’t have to Do Everything and Be Everything
If being a leader is important to you, what about it is even more important to you? What would you hope to accomplish by being a good leader for your children?
Children feel safe when they have reliable and dependable parents. They have to know that you’re there for them. This means you make them supper, even when you’re exhausted and can’t even imagine making food, you still do it. When you tell your children ‘later’, you come back to them without waiting for them to come to you. If you mean ‘no’ or ‘I don’t want to’, then be honest. That’s what dependability is about.
This goes hand in hand with being consistent. Yes, it is possible to be consistent, dependable, and flexible all at the same time. Consistency isn’t about doing the same thing every time. It doesn’t mean, “I said no, and I mean no.” What it means is you are consistent with your response to your children. If I say I will do something, I follow through without my children needing to remind me.
What are some ways you are dependable? What do you get out of being dependable?
Empathy is a buzz word lately, and it’s wonderful to have empathy with our family and friends. However, confident women take this a step farther and have compassion for themselves and their children. Compassion is when we experience the pain or struggle of someone, decide we want to help that person, and then take action to help them.
How often do you notice as anger builds inside you, but you don’t allow yourself to feel the emotion? You shove it down. And then you explode.
Compassion means, you feel the anger starting to bubble. You identify why it’s happening, and then you take action to shift yourself or the situation to alleviate the anger.
There’s still something deeper for you than compassion. What might it be?
9. Sense of Humour
Your children will give you plenty of opportunities to laugh. Unfortunately they’ll also provide many opportunities for other emotions. Great Mamas have the ability to take the worst situations and still laugh at them instead of getting angry.
Is humour a key value for you? What does it bring to your family?
Being self-aware allows us to recognize when we’re contributing to problems in our homes/lives. Self-awareness allows us to recognize when our ego is getting in the way of us using other great attributes. Self-awareness means we recognize when we mess-up, and we apologize with the intent to not make the same mistake again.
What does being self-aware mean to you? How might you use this to help you as a parent?
Which Skills Are You Adept At?
Out of those ten parenting traits, which ones do you already use as a Mama? Which ones do you struggle with most?
Often the skills we’re best at as a parent are ones we already use in other areas of life, but parenting has a way of bringing a whole new list of expectations to the table, so we often find ourselves struggling to learn new skills while also exhausted, unshowered, and wondering who’s making supper.
When we tap into our core values, we’re better able to weather the rocky life of parenthood while also being individuals outside our role as parents. The above list is a very basic list, there are so many values that may be important to you. What I hope you take away from this post is that knowing who you are and what’s important to you is how you will really excel, and feel confident as a parent and person.
If you see an area you really struggle, what are some ways you can develop the skill? What are some ways you can make those situations easier?
As you discover your core values, what are some ways you can begin to add them to your parenting skill set?
What are some ways you can commit to making these changes to your parenting style? To other areas of life?
Every single parent on the face of the planet has bad days. Every single parent has said or done things that, in hindsight (maybe even in the moment), they wish they hadn’t said or done.
Being a confident mama does not mean not making mistakes. Being confident is about trying your best with what you’ve got and where you are – but more importantly it’s recognizing that when you make mistakes you have the power to learn from them and move forward without beating yourself up.
Most often the times we become too stressed to cope well are new situations where we haven’t figured out how to use our core values for the specific situation. This results in a kind of disregulation that often looks like anger, yelling, blame, and shame (in all directions).
In those situations you might ask yourself: Why does this bother me? What about this situation is the real issue? If this situation had gone as well as I could imagine, what would that outcome look like, what would I get out of it?
From there you could ask yourself if you were being true to yourself in those moments, and if not, how you could shift to respecting your values in similar situations in the future.
Being a confident is about knowing who you are and how to be true to yourself.T