Women’s History Month is a national celebration of the various achievements of women around the world, from history to culture, economics to social advances. There’s no doubt we have an abundance of women we could celebrate (Sojourner Truth, Winona LaDuke, Marie Curie, Dolly Parton, Oprah, Amelia Earhart, the list goes on and on). And we are here for it. But, also, here at The Mom Project, we focus on celebrating all women, and especially mothers, month in and month out, all day, everyday. So, while you are looking toward these well-known and well-loved women in admiration we also want to remind you to take the time to celebrate yourself. 24/7/365 - you are worth it, and we see you making history.
Hopefully you aren’t shying away from this acknowledgement. Because being a mother is never easy, but you, my friend, are the mother who has survived a historic year (on top of all the others that came before.) It may not have been easy, it may not have been pretty, but just as any of these famous women have done, you’ve stood tall and got it done. And it is impossible to place a value on how much that alone is worth.
So please don’t underestimate the value you bring to your everyday because at the end of the day no one is ever going to value you more than you value yourself. With that in mind, here are some thoughts about knowing our worth.
Becoming a Strong Self-Advocate.
Do you struggle to build confidence to engage in negotiations at work and at home? Watch this session for inspiration and tips on owning your authentic self.
Realizing your worth
Women, and especially moms, are great at playing a comparison game. At the end of the day though that doesn’t help any of us to determine our own worth. Instead of comparing yourself to others focus on what is important to you and what you bring to the table.
Stop comparing yourself. To your neighbor or your own mom or Beyoncé or the stay-at-home mom next door or your boss or the executive mom in the PTA or whomever you are thinking of when you think of a “perfect” woman. No matter if the comparison is positive (“I would never…”) or negative (“I could never…”) it isn’t doing you any favors. Instead...
Determine what you bring to the table. The beautiful thing about each of us is that we are all unique in our experiences and interests and abilities. When you stop focusing on others and instead focus on yourself you can see what you are good at or interested in and follow those passions and abilities forward into a more rewarding life.
👑 Only you can define you and your worth.
Highlight your accomplishments. Have you scored a new job or promotion? Thrown the perfect birthday party for a five-year-old? Mastered Salesforce? Never forgotten a friend’s birthday? Nailed a presentation? Went back to school for a degree? Whatever your life looks like there are things that you’ve done well. Make sure that you write these things down somewhere and revisit them when you are wavering on your worth.
Appreciate yourself as you are (even if you are focused on a future version of yourself.) We all have something we are working toward or dreaming about, whether it’s personal or professional. Reaching for a stretch goal or even just the next milestone of your journey is admirable, but don’t do it at the expense of forgetting how far you’ve already come.
Continue to focus on your own growth. Growth is an important part of life. Whether you love to read books or listen to podcasts, surround yourself with the smartest people you can find or find yourself getting certifications in different areas, you should spend some of your time doing things that interest you and help you continue to grow throughout your life. There will be seasons (new babies, high-stress jobs) where you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to this, but make sure you always go back to it.
“I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart
Vocalizing your worth
It’s not enough just to know our worth as women. We also have to be willing to state our worth unequivocally. That might look different for each of us, but there are some baseline qualities.
Ask for appropriate compensation for your time. We know that women are underpaid when compared to men (and that number goes down when you add in being a mom and/or a Black or Latina or Native American woman.) If you are in the workforce make sure you take the time to determine your ideal salary range and communicate it well. Learn how to ask for a raise and get it or advocate for a promotion for yourself.
Your opinion matters. Plenty of us deal with imposter syndrome and there’s not a one size fits all solution to this problem. But your opinion is important so you have to find a way to be comfortable sharing it. That might mean leaving a toxic work environment or taking a public speaking class among other options in growing your confidence. I was once offered improv classes from my company to help my creativity and confidence and I was pleasantly surprised to find out it worked for both.
Invest in yourself. You might volunteer your time or find a mentor in your industry or use one of the many online platforms for professional development to grow your skills. Maybe this just means waking up early to take time for yourself at the start of the day or prioritizing time with friends each month. However it looks, you have to invest in yourself to continue to grow your worth. And this investment also signals to others that you value your time and yourself.
Take pride in your journey. It might be a really winding road, but guess what? You’ve made it through 100% of your worst days if you are reading this. Every step of your journey has contributed something to the person you are today and the life you are building. Be proud of your strength and dedication to moving forward.
Trust yourself. Recognize that you're unique in what you bring to the table and believe in that.
Strong women build each other up
As each of us recognize and build on our worth, the entire world rises with us. There is power and beauty in women lifting each other up and the communities around us reflect those efforts. Start today by knowing the value that you bring individually to all your associations and you may find that your confidence is a springboard for another woman out there.
Tiffany Nieslanik is the Managing Editor at The Mom Project, a graduate student, and a homeschooling mom to 3 young kids. In her (limited) free time she’s also an avid reader, a proponent of power naps, and enjoys getting outside as often as possible.