How the Infant Stage Built My Confidence as a Mom


Strong mom wears her baby in a newborn carrier and makes a silly facePreparing for motherhood is hard, especially for the first baby. No matter how much experience you have with children, having your own child is a unique journey. All the knowledge, resources, and baby stuff only gets you so far.

For many years, no one seemed to talk about the “heavier” parts of motherhood. If you were lucky enough to have close friends with kids, they may have given you a preview, but most spare the details. The catch 22 is most of us make mom friends after we become moms.

Fast forward to today. The internet is overflowing with information. The sheer abundance can be overwhelming and scary. Social media paints a rosy picture of motherhood that creates unrealistic expectations. Cue the worry and frustration.

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Lacking Confidence

The biggest challenge for me has been finding my confidence as a mom. Feeling sound in who I am and my “mom identity” has taken more time and energy than overcoming sleep deprivation or navigating nursing. The newness of each stage of motherhood makes me second guess my instincts and worry about the long-term impacts of my decisions.

When I was pregnant, only one local friend was also pregnant. Literally all my friends with kids lived outside of Dallas-Fort Worth. Thankfully, my friends are very open, and no question was too personal or silly. Yet, I still struggled to make decisions with confidence.

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Worried mom hugs knees and sits in front of a crib.The Pandemic Effect

My son was barely a pre-pandemic baby. I returned to work two weeks before the world shut down.  Instead of caring for my baby or focusing on work, I was doing both simultaneously — EEK! I would be a long time before any sense of new-normalcy set in.

Like all moms do, I had to find a way to make things work. My husband advocated to send our son to daycare as planned; I was totally unsure. Despite loving my job, my returning to work was a tough decision, one I was still coming to terms with. I felt comforted by having my son home; but, realistically, he was an active baby who needed more engagement.

Choosing to continue daycare during the pandemic was a turning point for my confidence. I was going against the grain to do what felt best for my family amidst a lot of uncertainty . . . and it was worth it! Seeing my son thrive and have fun was exactly what I needed to build confidence and trust myself.

A big bonus was that very few families sent kids to daycare, so we had a two-to-one care ratio for most of the first year.

>> LISTEN :: Confessing Our Momfessions :: Episode 86 <<

Happy baby boy crawls on the floor at daycare.

What Followed

Once I got past the hurdle of daycare, other decisions began to feel easier. The little things I previously worried about seemed miniscule. I bought clothes and toys based on personal taste with less concern for outside opinions. (This seems silly to say now, but I think most new moms will say they feel the weight of the world for everything . . . even baby toys!)

Little by little, making smaller decisions built my confidence. I knew the only way was through, and I felt less paralyzed with fear. Even the fear of making a “wrong” decision felt less scary; if something didn’t work, I could try something different.

When bigger decisions came around, like when to start solids and how, I leaned on my education and research to guide me. I spoke with my husband and considered his input more than random blogs and social media. If something didn’t resonate with me, I left it alone and moved on with my day.

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The First Year in the Rearview

Something I learned during my first year of motherhood is every mom does things differently and that’s okay. Every family, every child, every journey as a mom is unique. Looking back, I wish I’d heard this message more.

The infant stage is full of unknowns and decisions — so many decisions. The ironic part is no matter how much you may wish someone else (literally, anyone else!) could decide things for you, you are the best person to make decisions for your child.

I’m not sure when that fact really hit me. It was certainly part of my growth during the infant stage. What I do know is that once I embraced that fact, my confidence soared.

Infant with dark hair plays on a white rug surrounded by colorful toys.

Where I’m at Today

I’d love to say I’m the most confident mom you’ll ever meet. Truthfully, I’ll always be a worrier to some extent.

But motherhood feels more joyous and less heavy these days. I can soak in the little moments and make memories without thinking about all the what-ifs.

My circle of mom friends has grown, thanks to time and my growing confidence. I enjoy meeting other DFW moms and learning their “mom vibe.” Having a disability presents some additional challenges, but I know I have what it takes to be a great mom and friend!

>> JOIN TODAY  :: Dallas Moms Community Group <<

How to Be Confident

My biggest takeaway from the infant stage is to be confident to be myself. Showing up everyday as my authentic self, making the decisions, and doing the mom stuff is the best way to build confidence. The more you practice, the stronger you show up.

Confidence is a skill that every mom can master!


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