Photo: Courtesy of Britani Jones; Design: Mary Blount/Romper.

5 Moms Reveal The Moment They Learned To Trust Themselves As Moms And Women

Ad failed to load

As a first-time mom, I struggled to learn to trust myself. Not only was I suddenly forced to adjust to a super-demanding role that no amount of research or practice can really prepare anyone for, but I was also more terrified of failing than I’ve ever been in my life. What if I forgot that one random piece of advice my aunt's best friend mentioned to me? Or what if none of the tips I found on the internet were able to help me soothe my crying baby? With that kind of pressure, it makes sense that I’d doubt my judgment from time to time (or even a lot of the time). And then of course, just when I would get the hang of one phase of my baby's life, they'd move on to some new phase of development or stage of behavior that sent me straight back to square one.

Luckily, I was able to gradually learn to trust my instincts. My experience as a mom grew along with my kids, and little by little I was beginning to feel more certain that I knew my baby and I was more than capable of taking care of their needs. As moms, we should realize that even if we don’t feel like we know what we’re doing, we’re actually doing a great job — and that how well we do our jobs as moms doesn’t define us as women. To encourage you to trust your way as a mom and as a woman, we teamed up with Baby Dove to ask five moms about the moment they felt everything fall into place. Here's what they had to say:

Allie, 33

Photo: Courtesy of Allie Maltese; Design: Mary Blount/Romper.
Ad failed to load

"I had my son, Ozzy, naturally — not by choice. I had a condition during my pregnancy that would not allow for an epidural, so I labored with him for close to two days, and pushed for two hours straight. Thinking back on the delivery, I cannot believe I’m even alive. That is the moment I learned to trust myself. I’m a warrior and know that if I can do that, I can do anything. So yes, now I’m a mom. But I’m also a fighter."

Britani, 30

Photo: Courtesy of Britani Jones; Design: Mary Blount/Romper.
Ad failed to load

"I'm a mother of two, and turning 30 was a huge shift for me. Just before my birthday, my youngest was about 7 months old, and since I'd been through this experience before I knew I wasn't experiencing all the happiness that motherhood could bring. After talking to a friend and fellow new mom, I realized it was because I wasn't taking care of myself. I started doing an at-home fitness program, since it was something I could do without the stress of leaving the house, and now I see that changing my eating habits and becoming active was a life-changing decision. I became a local titleholder, was featured on several fitness blogs, and invited to contribute to a blog myself. I became stronger, healthier and I was confident in who I was. No regrets about my 20s, when I focused on everyone else, but my 30s are all about me and understanding that you can't pour from an empty cup!"

Brittany, 24

Photo: Courtesy of Brittany Bright; Design: Mary Blount/Romper.
Ad failed to load

"I graduated college and started a new job at an advertising agency while I was six months pregnant. I decided to start my career so close to my due date because not only was I embarking on my journey through motherhood, but I was also ready to begin my journey as a young woman with a career. I negotiated a higher starting salary, and longer maternity leave, and had to trust that I knew I was doing the right thing for myself and my son, regardless of how hard I had to work. I'm more than just a mother; I'm an advocate for millennial mothers with careers."

Malorie, 31

Photo: Courtesy of Malorie Kaye Goldberg; Design: Mary Blount/Romper.
Ad failed to load

"The night my daughter came into the world — over three weeks early and via emergency C-section — the hospital asked me if I wanted her to stay in the room with me. Terrified, I reluctantly said OK, knowing that the nurses were just outside the door. That night, holed up in bed thanks to surgery, with this newborn in a little cart beside me, I managed to take care of her and give her everything she needed, entirely on my own. With a few basic instructions from the nurses before bedtime and a couple of check-ins throughout the night, I realized that somehow I just sort of knew what to do. I learned almost immediately that there wasn't and would never be a formula, no answers despite the millions of questions asked, no right or wrong."

Kimberly, 30

Photo: Courtesy of Kimberly Hershenson; Design: Mary Blount/Romper.
Ad failed to load

"The moment I learned to trust myself as a mom and woman was when I received my MSW degree from Columbia. I decided to switch careers from law to psychotherapy after the birth of my daughter. Juggling schoolwork, being a wife and mom, and caring for myself was difficult, but I knew in my heart that I needed to fulfill my passion for helping others."

This post is sponsored by Baby Dove.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills