I am so excited to share with you today 5 Tips for Being a More Confident, Positive Mom written by my dear friend Tracie Miles. I gained so much from reading Tracie’s newest book, Unsinkable Faith: God-Filled Strategies for Transforming the Way You Think, Feel and Live that I wanted to share with you today just a bit of the wisdom Tracie offers in it.
5 Tips for Being a More Confident, Positive Mom
Although all three of my children are now college age, I vividly remember “those days” when grumpy teenager syndrome seemed to permeate every ounce of air in our house.
Those days when I would find myself hiding away in my closet and eating oreos, as if nobody was looking for me. Those days spent praying for the supernatural ability to be a happy mom and a positive role model for my kids – instead of a bug-eyed, short tempered, crazy hot mess of a mom who was at wits end with dealing with hormones, social lives, wardrobe crises and rules being broken.
The happy days certainly outweighed the trying days with my precious bundles of joy turned semi-grownups, but nonetheless, those trying days could not only be emotionally trying, but could zap a positive attitude quicker than one could say “you’re grounded”.
Before my son and two daughters hit the teen years, I used to think sleepless nights with infants, daycare issues and nursing sick kids for months was the epitome of exhaustion…. but I’ve since learned that the burden of emotional exhaustion far exceeds even the worst case of physical exhaustion. Being a parent can be downright tiring, no matter how we treasure our little or big bundles of joy. No matter how much love our kids, we can still experience those days when negativity and pessimistic thoughts seem to rock our world, making us want us to throw in the towel, succumb to defeat, or maybe run away and escape to a private island for a few days.
It’s easy to let the struggles of being a parent drain our positive outlooks and attitudes, while squelching our ability to feel joyful and happy, much less peaceful and optimistic. Whether we are struggling with toddler tantrums and diaper changes, or teenage social plans, peer pressures and busy schedules, being a mom can sometimes make it feel impossible to keep a positive attitude. But embracing a positive attitude is a choice we all have the power to make, despite what season of life we find ourselves immersed in.
Below are a few tips I to help you embrace a life of positive thinking and be equipped to stand strong the next time a strong wave negativity rolls in:
- Know that you can never love too much.Spoiling a child with too many ‘things’ is something we might want to avoid, but we can never spoil a child with too much love. Whether girl or boy, children need love. Whether girl or boy, children need hugs, kisses, attention and compassion. Whether small or grown, kids need love, because it’s the basis for their lives and how their self confidence. Don’t worry about spoiling your daughter by loving them too much, or making your son less masculine if you shower him with love. God is love, and He calls us moms to be love too – even when the kids are not being lovable. If someone tells you you’re spoiling your child by being too loving or attentive or caring about their feelings, ignore the advice and do what your heart tells you. You may not feel like the perfect parent, or buy them every thing they want, or be able to be at every ballgame or dance recital, but you can always make sure they know how important they are to you and that they are loved unconditionally.
- Allow yourself to live and learn. They don’t say parenting is a journey for no reason. With each passing year, we learn a little bit more about how to be a better parent and effectively raise our children to the best of our ability. What we did with our first child, we may or may not do with our last, because we’ve lived and learned some lessons. Give yourself some grace when you mess up, recognizing that each parenting experience, good and bad, is a learning one.
- Tune out the voices of criticism.From the moment you swaddle your newborn infant, to the first day your teenager asks to go out on a date, people will be full of advice. Sometimes the advice is valid and helpful, while other times it may be overbearing, intrusive and critical. The trick is learning to filter the advice we receive with our own gut feelings, appreciating the advice but determining what works best for us and always running our decisions by God in prayer. Just because we may disagree with someone’s advice or parenting style, doesn’t make their ways wrong, or our ways wrong. It just makes us different.
Our kids are just that – our kids. Although we can seek advice from others and respect suggestions from other moms or trusted resources, what is most important is that we recognize God gave us our specific kids for a reason, knowing that we have been equipped in unique ways to raise them. We may not be an expert in raising someone else’s child, but we are the expert in raising our own, and believe that can help us have confidence for those trying days. We know our child better than anyone else, including their emotional and physical needs, strengths, weaknesses, talents, soft spots and trigger points. So making decisions based on our gut feelings, our Christian beliefs and mommy intuitions should always be our first priority. Trust that God has equipped you to be the mom your child needs and will give you the wisdom to carry out the task of motherhood.
- Focus on what you’re doing right, instead of what you feel you’re doing wrong. It’s easy to get hung up on our imperfections as parents – like those times when we left our baby crying in the crib longer than we should because we were tired. Or the time when we punished our toddler for spilling milk because our frustration got the best of us. Or when we lost our temper and yelled words in anger when our teenager spoke to us disrespectfully because we were already having a bad day. We all mess up at times, but most likely, our parenting successes far outweigh our mess ups. Give yourself a break and focus on all the good things you do for and with your kids, instead of the few times you fall prey to being human. Think positive about yourself, and that optimism and confidence will equip you to help your children learn to think positive about themselves too.
- Don’t compare yourself to other moms.It’s hard not to do this, especially when you see a mom who lost all her baby weight, manages to keep her kids under control in the grocery store, and keeps them all dressed in matching outfits and bows that might possibly be too big for an adult head, much less a small child’s. It’s hard not to, when you see a mom who seems to have perfect teenage kids, who attend bible study every week and never get into trouble. But everything about parenting is a package deal. No mom goes through this journey of parenting without her own set of mess-ups, struggles, successes and failures. Even moms who seem perfect on the outside, struggle with insecurities and their own set of child rearing problems and frustrations too. Remember that if God thought enough of you to bless you with children to raise, whether you gave birth to them, adopted them, or have just taken them under your wing, He has also gifted you with the ability to a great job if you put your mind to it, and keep your heart tied to His. Comparison is the thief of joy, so don’t let the thief rob you of optimism and confidence in who you are as a person, and a mom.
- Be a positive thinking role model for your kids. You are the only mother your kids have, and you are the right person for the job. When we love ourselves, we are better able to love others, including our children. When we focus on being positive thinkers, instead of letting negative thoughts rule our hearts and minds, that optimism exudes onto those we love most. Kids need confident moms, and our confidence comes from Christ and knowing that we are not only fearfully and wonderfully made, but loved, and gifted with the ability to be the mom our kids need. When we intentionally strive to not only be a positive role model for our children, but a positive thinking role model for our kids, we play a critical role in training their minds with the habit of thinking optimistically. And a habit of optimistic thinking sets their lives on the right path from the start.
Tracie Miles is a national Speaker and Author with the internationally known Proverbs 31 Ministries (www.proverbs31.org) and has spent the last eleven years inspiring women to live intentionally for Christ In addition to Unsinkable Faith, she is also the author of two best selling books, Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past To Create A Beautiful Future(2014) and Stressed Less Living: Finding God’s Peace In Your Chaotic World (2012). Tracie has 3 children and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Today, I’m giving away a free copy of Unsinkable Faith to one of my readers! To be entered, please share which of Tracie’s five points is most helpful to you or simply say, “I’m in!” The winner will be announced May 1st.
With the purchase of at least one copy of Unsinkable Faith before April 29th, you can claim five free gifts worth $60.00! Visit http://www.traciemiles.com/for all the information and to learn how to claim your freebies.