this post made possible in part by the generous support of Fairhaven Health.
I am a strong mom.
I am a powerful mom.
I help support moms. Strong moms. Which is a bit redundant. Because moms are strong.
I help support powerful moms.
Also redundant. All moms are powerful.
And we don’t need a company to tell us so.
Nor do we need others to tell us so.
But it can help to hear it from others, it can be encouraging and it can even reveal the inner power we already have but maybe lacked the confidence to recognize and engage. It doesn’t give us power though because we already have it, just like we’re already strong. We’re moms
We have Mom Power.
The power to hope.
The power to dream.
The power to speak up for the oppressed.
The power to love with nothing in return.
The power to face fear and continue on.
The power to know when to use our strength.
The power to know when to use our gentleness.
The power to see beyond themselves.
The power to cry.
The power to celebrate.
The power to be fun.
The power to deserve trust.
I know this power well but I haven’t always been aware of it in myself. Insecurities and certain messages had me doubting my own power, denying it, and hiding it. Sometimes that insecurity led to me judging and belittling others. Shame. Such an ugly thing, shame. It’s a perverted power, one that controls instead of frees. Because of my own shame I have had times of allowing my filters interpret information as attacking. With shame, I’ve put down others if I felt they didn’t try hard enough at something I thought was important. *cough* breastfeeding *cough* But real Mom Power doesn’t need gimmicks like shame or pretend mommy wars to own it’s strength. Real Mom Power doesn’t resort to unsupportive support. It has nothing to sell. Mom Power can see through ‘all that and get straight to the heart of things. I see it every single day in the community of The Leaky Boob Facebook page and twitter.
The power to let go of shame.
The power to forgive.
The power to listen.
The power to be understanding.
The power to learn from mistakes.
The power to care for others.
The power to share experiences.
The power to offer support.
The power to disagree with respect.
The power to stand for our convictions.
The power to resist fighting when it won’t help gain ground.
The power to make peace.
The power to own our feelings.
The power to see through marketing.
Perhaps the most important parenting tool we can have is confidence. Confidence isn’t arrogantly proceeding as though one is always right. Confidence is believing in yourself and your ability to handle what comes your way. Insecurity can lead to rejecting learning opportunities, fear can diminish our willingness to grow, but confidence inspires constant adjusting according to new concepts and ideas. With confidence it is easier to acknowledge mistakes, reduce stress, and not internalize information and the choices of others that we may disagree with. A confident parent isn’t perfect and doesn’t have it all figured out but they are well equipped to do so.
The power to learn.
The power to grow.
The power to adjust.
The power to have compassion.
The power to teach compassion
The power to be humble
The power to make difficult decisions.
The power to evaluate our circumstances.
The power to analyze information.
The power to take responsibility.
Most of us don’t need to be “empowered” we just need to not be afraid of the power we already have. As my friend Amber McCann, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) from the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburg put it “Power is being able, in whatever moment you are facing, to do whatever it is you’d like to do. That you feel as though you can jump over the obstacles. It is also in recognizing what the right choice is for you even when one of those barriers is in your way.”
And according to my 12 year old Storyteller: “When I think of Mom Power I think of a phoenix, pretty and strong and enduring. Moms don’t give up. That’s Mom Power.”
Moms, I believe in you, I hope you can believe in yourself and in each other. Whatever your journey and wherever you are, whatever circumstances you’ve had to navigate, you are strong and have Mom Power. Mom Power is an indisputable force if we can have the confidence to tap into it. It’s not a product, it’s not a company, not an organization, not a campaign, not a marketing strategy… it’s moms. A dear, dear friend of mine, Kathy, a local IBCLC and labor and delivery RN, once told me that the reason she’s involved in birth and breastfeeding is because that’s where the foundation of confident parenting is laid. She wants to be on the front end of making the world a better place. Which is what I’m all about. If I want to change the world and make it a better place then start with helping make better people. And there is nothing, no product, no organization, no campaign, no marketing strategy that can do that like pure, good ol’ Mom Power.