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20 Things All Mothers Need to Hear

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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 July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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