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20 Things All Mothers Need to Hear

20 Things All Mothers Need to Hear

You never know how strong you are until you have no other choice but to be strong. 

Take a moment to step back from your life. You don’t get much time to do that these days, so treat yourself for just a minute.

When you step back, what do you see? Craziness? Fogginess? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. You’re right there with all of the other exhausted new mothers who have no idea how they will get through another day with only two hours of uninterrupted sleep.

It’s okay though; you have a beautiful baby to owe all of the craziness in your life to, and that somehow makes it all good.

There are times though that it seems as though you’re not making it. The baby may be crying uncontrollably, your boobs are sore, and you just want to sleep. It’s in those moments that you should take a step back, take a time out, and remember YOU ARE SUPERMOM.

1. You Created a Human Being

Do you get how huge that is? Your body is the one that grew your baby from a tiny cell. It’s your body that gave a human life. It’s all you. You are the one that went through the pain. You’re the one that is still recovering from the trauma. You completed one of the most sacred and important tasks there is.

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2. You Are a Good Mom

First things first, you ARE a good mom. Your baby is healthy and happy. You’ve got the two most important things about motherhood covered. Even when things are hard, remember that you’ve got this!

3. You Rock It Without Sleep

The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults (26-64 years) sleep 7-9 hours a night. After you stop laughing, realize that you’re rocking it as a mom on only a fraction of those hours.

Don’t believe you’re rocking it? Well, are you stumbling over to your baby in the middle of the night? Are you feeding your baby? You’re awesome. When you’re especially exhausted tell yourself this, “I take care of my baby, and I get about the same amount of sleep as my neighbor’s afternoon nap.”

4. You’ve Never Appreciated Your Friends and Family More

Whether you’re a single mother or have a partner to share the joy and burdens with, no one compares to the support and love of friends and family. These are the people that are always there to offer a supportive hand or listening ear. You’re lucky to have them.

5. You Don’t Have to Listen to Every Opinion

Motherhood is synonymous with unsolicited advice. Know that even if opinions are given with the best of intentions, you don’t have to listen to them all. You’re navigating this motherhood thing instinctually, and with the advice of a few well-selected advisors.

6. You’ll Never Stop Worrying

You know the feeling you experienced right after the intense joy of delivering your baby? That feeling was worry and it’s never going away. Just learn to embrace and manage the worry and you’ll do just fine.

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7. You Won’t Ruin Your Child’s Life

Are you afraid that your personal brand of parenting will irrevocably damage your children to the point of no return? You won’t ruin them. No child grows up with the picturesque childhood. Making parenting mistakes is normal and expected. Stop stressing about being the perfect mother and remember that you’re doing your best.

8. Your Mommy Instincts Are Right on Track

You know what cry signifies hunger, sleep or pain; you have your baby’s schedule down pat; you know when your baby has a common cold or something more. Congrats mom, your instincts are right on point.

9. You Have Super Boobs

Whether you’re nursing or not, you have super boobs. Those heavy, slightly sagging breasts of yours have stored fat for your baby, and for those of you breastfeeding, they are providing your baby food. Awesome job mommy!

Go out and find a bra that fits the size you are now – it’s all good. The only person you’re impressing these days is your baby, and he or she could care less what your chest looks like right now.

10. You Care More Than Anyone

Your baby’s life is full of people that love him! That’s wonderful! However, that doesn’t mean that sometimes you’ll just want to be alone with your baby. Why? Because you are always striving to strengthen the bond you have with your baby.

11. You Are Allowed to Feel Overwhelmed

Your life has completely changed with the arrival of your child. Your child is without a doubt the light of your life, but things are different now. Aside from the physical changes to your body and the exhaustion you’re experiencing, the purpose of your life has changed. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed. You’ll grow accustomed to your new life in no time.

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12. You Deserve a Break

You do a lot all day and all night long. You are working harder than you’ve ever worked in your life, and for that reason, you deserve a break.

Allow yourself to breathe sometimes. Go for a walk, get a pedicure, or take a bath. Alone time will make you a better mother.

13. You Can’t Protect Them From Everything

Life is meant to be experienced, mom. That means life for your little one, too! It’s impossible to protect your children from every form of adversity they are sure to face during their lives. We all learn from tough times, and your babies will too.

14. You Are Powerful

Caring for your new baby is the most overwhelming and joyous thing on this earth. You’re able to do it on 4 hours of sleep while managing everything else on your plate. You couldn’t do that if you weren’t a super hero. Even when you feel weak, know that you are as strong as it gets.

15. You Need to Give Your Body a Break

You feel disappointed with your post-baby body and it’s really getting you down.  Instead of feeling sad, understand that you grew a human being in that body of yours. Look at it with pride because you did an amazing thing!

16. You Should Be Insanely Proud

You made a human being. Your little baby could grow up to be someone that saves people’s lives or rules a nation. You never know…and you know what? It all started with you. If it wasn’t for you, your little baby wouldn’t be on this Earth right now. Good job mama!

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17. You Appreciate Your Own Mom More Than Ever

You finally understand the struggle she went through! Now that you’re a mom, you understand and appreciate your own more than ever! And you tell her every time you call her in the middle of the night with another question about the baby.

18. You Are Doing Great

Sometimes you might feel like giving up on this whole motherhood thing. Don’t worry – all moms feel like this at one point or another. Just know that you’re giving your baby love, a safe and happy home, and a caring family, and that’s more than enough.

19. Your Child Loves You

You know that almost unbearable love you feel for your child? You child loves you just as much. Loves you even when you ran the bath a little too cold, loves you even though you served cereal for dinner two times in a row this week, loves you even when you’re frustrated.  So never worry about whether or not your baby loves you.

20. You’ll Figure it All Out

You might not get all of your parenting questions answered until the day before your last child leaves for college, but you will get it all figured out. Parenting is a long and winding road with plenty of ridiculous twists and turns. And if you ask any mom, she’ll tell you it’s the only ride worth all the trouble.

Featured photo credit: Mother with her baby playing with pet on the floor at the kitchen at home via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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