Courage and Learning to Trust Myself

by Allison @ Alli 'n Son on May 10, 2010

What does courage mean to me? Well, that’s an easy question. It means trusting myself as a mother. Let me explain.

Being a mother is scary business. I mean, I’m responsible for this little life. Sure, I’m not along. I have a wonderful husband how is a terrific father. In fact, he’s a much better father than I could ever be. And I’m surrounded by wonderful family.

It takes a village after all.

But, I’m with my son all day long. 24 hours a day, most days. It’s pretty safe to say that I’m the biggest influence in his life right now. Man, is that a scary thought.

But through trial and error, experience (yes, all 2 years of it), growing and working through my insecurities, I’ve found the courage to trust myself as his mother. I’ve found strength to believe in my maternal instinct. I’ve found the will power to do what is right. The humility to ask for help. The confidence to follow what I believe is right. And the common sense to run to my mom when I’m out of ideas (thanks for being such a great mother, and Happy one-day late Mother’s day!)

Don’t get me wrong, I second guess myself every step of the way. That will never change. But it pushes me to strive to be the best that I can be. To learn from my mistakes and the mistakes of others. It gives me the strength to continue forward, knowing that I have people in my life who love and support me. And who can help me pick up the pieces when I mess up.

In my book, is a brave and courageous thing. What ways are you courageous in your life?

Pop on over to Momalom to learn more about Five for Ten and to read other blogger’s thoughts on courage.

Don’t forget that I’m starting a new blog carnival this Thursday! I hope that you will join me in The Thank You Journal.

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1 Corinne May 10, 2010 at 5:20 am

I’m beginning to think motherhood is the ultimate act of courage.
Two years or ten, we need courage for every stage, every phase of mothering :)
(Nice to meet you through 5 for 10!)
.-= Corinne´s last blog ..{Five for Ten} Courage =-.

2 Allison May 10, 2010 at 7:00 pm

@Corinne, I think that’s so true. With each new stage with my son I’m left wondering what happened. Once I have him figured out, he goes and changes on me. It’s a constant learning and growing process.

3 ShannonL May 10, 2010 at 11:07 am

Parenting takes courage. We do courageous acts for our children on a daily basis. And it can be difficult – especially the asking for help part – but having support like you described gives us the confidence to keep going, keep learning, and be the best we can be.

I’m lovin’ this topic of Courage. I’m really starting to believe that I AM courageous and strong!
.-= ShannonL´s last blog ..Five for Ten: Supergirl =-.

4 Allison May 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm

@ShannonL, Of course you are courageous and strong! We all do it in different ways, but that’s the beauty of it.

5 Alisha May 10, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Yes, it certainly does take courage to trust in yourself and your abilities to be a mother.

6 Allison May 10, 2010 at 6:59 pm

@Alisha, Courage and many loving and supportive people in your life.

7 Kristen @ Motherese May 10, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Hear, hear! I have never felt more courageous than I have since becoming a mother. Raising these kids to grow up and to individuate definitely takes a leap of faith.
.-= Kristen @ Motherese´s last blog ..Random Acts of Courage =-.

8 Allison May 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm

@Kristen @ Motherese, That’s for sure! Very well said.

9 Christine LaRocque May 10, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Motherhood has tested me in more ways than other life experience. I suppose this should be no surprise, and yet it was to me. I thought I would be good at it, I never thought I would second guess myself. And I do, every day. It’s a strange feeling for me. A few people have written about this in their courage posts. I’ve enjoyed it, it’s a new way of thinking about motherhood, one I’d never considered. I like it, I’m going to swirl it around in my head a bit. So, so glad you are participating by the way!
.-= Christine LaRocque´s last blog ..Courage =-.

10 Allison May 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm

@Christine LaRocque, I hope you get a chance to post about it too. I’d love your take on it.

11 Nicki May 10, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I think we all second guess – especially when we think about traits like courage. Being a parent is very courageous!
.-= Nicki´s last blog ..Who in Your Life Has Shown You What Courage Is? =-.

12 Allison May 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm

@Nicki, It’s so good to know that I’m not alone in this.

13 C @ Kid Things May 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Motherhood does take a lot of courage. 6 and a half years in, though, and I’m still scared to death.
.-= C @ Kid Things´s last blog ..Courageous =-.

14 Allison May 10, 2010 at 6:55 pm

@C @ Kid Things, Do we ever get to a point where we just “know” that we’re doing a good job? No, probably not I guess. But a girl can hope.

15 Shawna May 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Parenting takes courage. every. step. of the way. I am interested in the Thank You Journal and will watch with interest as it unfolds!
.-= Shawna´s last blog ..Without Borders =-.

16 Allison May 10, 2010 at 6:56 pm

@Shawna, I hope you have a chance to participate in the Thank You Journal. It would be great to see your post.

17 becca May 10, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I never thought I had ANY courage at all until I started reading the comments others have written on my post today and the posts that other moms have written. You are so right… it DOES take a lot of courage and strength to do this job every day. This 24/7 job. This emotional, draining yet wonderful job.

Thank you for this post. It was a great reminder of all we do.
.-= becca´s last blog ..This Mom thing =-.

18 Allison May 10, 2010 at 7:22 pm

@becca, I’m so glad my post had such an impact. It’s so easy to miss the courage that it takes to be a mother. But it’s always there, just buried deep sometimes.

19 Justine May 10, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Leaving my family to come here to go to college many years ago used to be the most courageous thing I did. And then it was leaving a marriage I knew was not going to work. And now this – motherhood.

Compared to being a mother the rest were a cake walk. Seriously!

20 Allison May 10, 2010 at 7:42 pm

@Justine, Wow, sounds like you have had life full of courageous events. I hope that you are getting the most enjoyment out of being a mother, even if it takes the most courage.

21 Michele May 10, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I remember someone telling me that women are so strong because they give birth. This is true, but we are stronger, and more courageous, as we raise these dear children, because it is hard work! And our influence is so strong so it’s hard to know what’s getting through and what isn’t. And yet we don’t give up.

22 Allison May 10, 2010 at 7:43 pm

@Michele, I totally agree. Giving birth is hard work, but it’s such a short time compared to the rest of our kids lives. It’s such an amazing thing to have such influence over forming these young minds.

23 Amelia May 10, 2010 at 7:46 pm

I second that emotion…thinking about the influence that we have over this little life is beautiful and mystifying, and terribly scary! Thank goodness that moms have each other!! :)
.-= Amelia´s last blog ..Mama. =-.

24 Allison May 10, 2010 at 8:41 pm

@Amelia, I really couldn’t do it without the support from all of the women in my life.

25 Rudri May 10, 2010 at 10:44 pm

We make decisions as parents, given the knowledge that we have at that time. Sometimes it is rewarded, other times not. We can always play Monday morning quarterback – but I think you must have the courage to trust you are doing the best that you can for your children.

26 Allison May 11, 2010 at 12:12 pm

@Rudri, So true. We’re never going to be perfect. Doing the best that we can is the, well, the best that we can do.

27 ck May 11, 2010 at 2:50 am

second-guessing has become somewhat of an art form at my house. i so agree with you that it takes courage to trust maternal instincts, especially with your first child. and then even more courage to break free of years of second-guessing. i’m still working on that one…

28 Allison May 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

@ck, For me, I don’t think I’ll ever truly break away from second-guessing. But in a way that’s good, it makes me try harder and look for solutions that may better. And it also drives me crazy.

29 Sarah May 11, 2010 at 4:34 am

I didn’t realize how falsely confident I was in my parenting for many years. But it was the only way I was going to get through a lot of the things I had NO CLUE how to do. So I faked it. It worked. For me and, I hope, for my kid…who’s 7 now and “seems” okay. :)

Mothering is this constant battle of wills. Push and pull, trying new things, failing, succeeding, and through it all remaining a woman, and maybe a wife, too.

I stand by my line totally and completely: “It takes an inordinate amount of courage to be someone’s mother.” And I’m so glad that so many of you awesome Five for Ten participants feel that way, too!

30 Allison May 11, 2010 at 12:10 pm

@Sarah, Fake it until you make it, that works for me too.

31 Natalie May 11, 2010 at 4:02 pm

@Sarah, spot on!

32 TheKitchenWitch May 11, 2010 at 6:54 am

It’s so hard to trust ourselves, isn’t it? And you are right–motherhood is the ultimate leap of faith. I remember, so often, with my first-born, thinking: what the heck am I doing??

And like you, I was so happy my mom was around to ease my worries.
.-= TheKitchenWitch´s last blog ..Veg-Head Monday: Zucchini Stuffed Tomatoes =-.

33 Allison May 11, 2010 at 12:05 pm

@TheKitchenWitch, Those Mom’s really know how to help out don’t they? It’s almost like they’ve been there before. :-)

34 Jenn M May 11, 2010 at 8:22 am

I couldn’t agree more. It is SO scary when you really stop to think about how you’re not just responsible for your child’s day-to-day safety, but for their development as well. It takes a hell of a lot of courage to do it your way and without worrying (too much, anyway) that you’re screwing it up. Good post!!

35 Allison May 11, 2010 at 12:04 pm

@Jenn M, I know, if I actually let myself think about it more often, I’d probably wouldn’t be able to function like a normal person. Or as normal as I get anyway. :-)

36 Amber May 11, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Waking up every morning to take care of your kid is very courageous! Motherhood is like a leap of faith. I mean a GIGANTIC leap of faith.
.-= Amber´s last blog ..That Was Love =-.

37 Allison May 11, 2010 at 1:24 pm

@Amber, It really is. And I think it’s something that you don’t fully understand until you have a kid (or two).

38 Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities May 11, 2010 at 8:34 pm

You are so right. This parenting gig? It takes constant courage and strength. It is tough and tricky business. There are no clear paths, no right answers, no road maps. And yet. We plow through. We persevere.

Wonderful post.

39 Allison May 13, 2010 at 12:07 pm

@Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities, Thank goodness we have help from those we have done the parenting thing, and survived. What would we do without them?

40 Kelly May 12, 2010 at 10:14 am

I needed this reminder today as I try to balance my son’s needs with his teacher’s requests (to get him under control, to increase his therapy, to increase his medication, etc). I must find the courage to keep going, to wake up every morning ready and capable of tackling the challenges as they arise. That’s what being a mama is all about.

41 Allison May 13, 2010 at 12:11 pm

@Kelly, It’s so hard, isn’t it, when we’re so overwhelmed by life. Maybe take sometime for yourself, where you don’t have to think about everything else. That always helps me refocus and gain more energy.

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