Self-confidence… lost and found.

It’s easy to get caught up in the minutia of daily life: to get overwhelmed or feel like the daily stressors are getting the best of you. I’ve been feeling like that a lot lately.

I think the challenge is to step back and take stock of what we really do accomplish… and to give ourselves the credit we so richly deserve. I learned that lesson yesterday. I went to a journalism conference yesterday. It’s not something I usually get to do but the timing worked out nicely. We were planning to be in the city as part of our Mother’s Day weekend and, by arriving a few hours early, I was able to work in some professional development.

When I arrived, the nerves set in. I’m no longer a part of the daily journalism grind. Many of the big players in the news business are people I used to know early in my career. They are people I studied with and people I worked with. Now they are at the peak of their careers and I work in a dark office stacked with winter clothes that have yet to be packed away and towers of unfiled documents threatening to collapse.

I found myself int he bathroom giving myself a mental pep talk. I reminded myself that I made this choice, and I don’t regret it. I want to be home with my children… but I do admit to some professional jealousy. That’s why my encounter with a colleague was so interesting.

He was just leaving a session and I was waiting for another to start. We had gone to journalism school together. He’s done well since then and works at a job that, in another life, I would love to have. The two of us stopped in the hotel lobby to catch up. I was pleased that he even remembered me as I had been out of the media scene for so long. He asked about my freelance career and I found myself making excuses why I hadn’t pitched more stories or published more by-lines.

Then he began to ask about my personal life. When I told him about my three children… The Girl (who’s about the be 16 – that’s a whole other story) and The Dudes, now 4 and 2, he got this look of total astonishment on his face.

“How are you even here?” he asked incredulously. “Do you have them locked in a hotel room upstairs?”

The question seemed to give my self-confidence permission to rise again. I learned quite a bit at the afternoon’s sessions but that moment was the most powerful of the day. It was when I reminded myself of all those things I do manage to accomplish, instead of what goes left undone.

I think, as mothers and as women, we get so caught up in our daily to-do lists and what isn’t getting crossed off that we forget (or don’t take the time) to give ourselves credit for all we do. I’m not hosting the national radio news but I am raising three pretty great kids and nurturing a fledgling writing career. I may let a few balls drop but the number I do keep in the air is still pretty impressive.

It’s Mother’s Day and I’m going to celebrate all I accomplish as a mother today. I’m going to let myself be proud of me. We are conditioned to be modest but I think mothers, no matter where they are, have a right… no, a need… to be proud. We are shaping people. Whether it’s skinned knees or hurt feelings or snack time we are laying the ground work for who these little creatures are going to be… and we do it while juggling responsibilities of being a wife or an employee or a home owner or a business owner.

I look at my own mother, who often doesn’t give herself enough credit either, and am grateful for all she did for me. She gave me the confidence to follow my own path and become the person I want to be… and she did it while doing a lot of other great things too.

So, to all mothers out there: you are doing great things. Even if you don’t have time to believe in yourself… I’ll do it for you. Motherhood is a hard road and it’s time to walk it with pride. I’ll believe in you, even if there are day that you can’t. Happy Mother’s Day.

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2 Responses to Self-confidence… lost and found.

  1. Michelle says:

    Beautifully said Megan, Happy Mothers Day 🙂

  2. Divawrites says:

    Thanks for that. When I had surgery in January, and my husband had to pick up the reins of the house until I recovered, he discovered there is a reason why the house often looks like a bomb went off it in, and the reason is currently planning a same sex Barbie wedding because the girl dolls are prettier and her only Ken doll is already married to Mermaid Barbie.My mother in law is facing cancer in both lungs. The men in the family are in denial and dealing/not dealing with it in their own ways. I've had my cry, and am figuring out ways to take on that burden when the time comes. My mother is being investigated for heart problems. I'll shoulder that burden when it comes as well. It's just another ball in the air, really.As Jackie Kennedy once said, "If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much." Thanks for the reminder.

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