Motherhood is difficult, and there's no way around it. The degree of difficulty, of course, varies from day to day, but it's never 100 percent easy. As an avid Sex and the City fan, I liken it to Charlotte York's relationship with Harry. She's not happy all day every day, but every day she's happy. I'm not always completely confident, but I'm confident that I'm the best person to be my son's mother. When I asked moms to share the first moment they felt like they had this parenting thing down, I realized that feeling completely clueless and totally capable, all at once, is par for the parenting course. It might not always be easy all day every day, but every day you realize you're capable of way more than you give yourself credit for.
When the following 12 moms shared that initial affirming moment that reminded them they could totally handle this whole mom thing, I was wonderfully reminded that a woman's confidence in her role as a mom can come from a variety of different places. Sometimes you realize you're capable because your day went smoothly, and other times you feel better about your abilities because a stranger decided to throw a kind word in your direction. Then, of course, there are the moments when your kids actually let you know how great a job you're doing, and you can see them learning and developing right in front of your eyes because of the hard work you're doing. That, in my opinion, is the best.
Even though I can give myself an "A" grade at least once a day for my parenting, I also feel like I'm failing miserably at least once a day, too. Like I said, my confidence isn't all day every day, but more of a "come and go" type situation that makes me really appreciate the "wins" of parenthood when they roll around. So, with that in mind and in case you're feeling a little low on the confidence front, here's what a few moms had to say about the first moment they felt like they could totally rock parenthood. Because, well, you can, too.
"The first time I got my baby to latch without pain. I was like, 'Oh yeah!' It didn't last long, but it felt great at the time."
"My kid was asked what he loved most about me for a Mother's Day craft at school. He said, 'That she thinks I am special.' If I can raise my children with love and confidence, I know I'm doing something right."
"My first successfully made Halloween costume gave me so much confidence. I felt like a 'real' mom. My daughter was so impressed as well, so that felt good."
"The first time my son apologized after a timeout without me having to lead him. He seemed genuinely sorry, too, which made me feel like I was teaching him consequences and empathy."
"I am trying so hard this year not to yell, because I always feel like I yell too much. The other day my toddler was talking to her doll and she said, 'Mama doesn't yell, she asks nicely.' It made me feel like I was doing something right."
"My kids made a big picture of me and made me look like a princess, which I do not look like at all. I asked them about it and they said, 'This is how you look inside.' Some people would take that as an insult, but it made me so proud. That's the message I have been trying to teach."
"When my own mother told me I was an amazing mom. That meant a lot."
"I had a really tough start in my mothering journey. So, basically, the first day I got through 24 hours without crying felt revolutionary. That's when I thought maybe I can do this."
"My husband went away for the weekend and both my kids came down with stomach flu. I somehow managed to look after both of them all by myself."
"I mostly feel that I don't have it down at all to be honest. However, my daughter told me recently that I was a 'cool mom,' and that gave me a spring in my step!"
"The other day my son was telling a little girl in the park to use her 'kind words.' It feels good to know that the lessons I have been going on about for the last few years are finally sinking in."
"My kid's teacher called me in to say that my son had told a bully off and stood up for another student in his class. I felt so proud."