You've heard it before, parenting advice from somebody that doesn't seem worthy of even giving it. There are so many different parenting strategies out there today with so many books to read about how to parent. Everybody seems to have an opinion about what you are doing correctly and what you are probably doing wrong.

But one thing we want you to know is that no matter what, you should be a confident mother. You were given your child for a reason and only you can know what's best for him or her. Don't let the negative thoughts of random advice get you down. You are doing a great job!

Here are a few tips on how to regain or strengthen your confidence as a mother:

1. Quit worrying so much! Worrying will get you nowhere and worst of all, your children will pick up on your struggle. Have faith or confidence in your decision and just ride the wave. Wait until the event/appointment/whatever is over and then make the decision to worry if you really need to be concerned.

2. Don't open yourself up to opinions. We talked about this earlier, about blocking out unwanted advice, but make sure you aren't silently giving out the signal "please help me." If somebody you don't know asks you a question about your baby, feel free to give a little lie if the answer isn't positive. You know if you tell a stranger your baby never sleeps at night they are going to give you their life story on how they sleep trained their kids in only five days. Protect yourself from unwanted advice!

3. Find some mom friends! Having a set of mom friends with children the same age can be a life saver-- I mean it! These moms are going to be dealing with the same things you are at the same time. Sharing stories of what's working and what's not working will help you to brainstorm yourself of something you can be changing up at home. If you are new to an area, looking for hospital groups or local MOM Clubs is a good place to start.

4. Be a confident person. You are a person first and a mother second. Have confidence in yourself! If that means showering, putting on jeans instead of yoga pants, doing your make up instead of walking around like a zombie, then do it! Do whatever makes you feel confident in yourself. Smile more. Say hi to people. Stand/sit up straight. You can do this, yes you can!

5. Be consistent. Try to decide early on about the rules you don't want broken and stick with it. Sticking to your guns will build your confidence as a mother over time. You'll know that "we don't drink soda in this house" is a rule that you stand by. Whatever is, and there will be plenty of decisions, stick to your rules and you'll be confident in your decisions over time because that's they way it's always been done.

 6. Don't try to be like everybody else. You are you. You aren't everybody else. Sometimes a decision you make isn't going to be the popular decision but that's ok. It's YOUR decision and your children. You know what's best for you and your family so trust that!

I hope these bits have helped even a little. Being a mother is hard, we all struggle, but one of the best things we can give our children is confidence. Confidence in yourself, confidence in them, and confidence in your family's choices. Hang in there mama, you are doing a great job!

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