On Finding My Voice as a MotherLauren Hartmann
As much as I wish this wasn’t the case, I have always been the type of person who seeks the approval of others. I’m a bit of a people pleaser and I would love nothing more than for everyone to be happy and approve of me and my choices. I have often viewed my self-worth in terms of how other people see me and have never been terribly confident in myself or my abilities.
And then I became a mother.
Becoming a mother has helped me to “find my voice” and my self-confidence in so many ways and it all started during my pregnancy when I decided early on that I wanted to have an all-natural (out-of-hospital) birth.
I am admittedly a bit of a baby when it comes to pain, but I dug deep and found an inner confidence that I never knew I had in order to go through with it. There were plenty of naysayers along the way who tried to dissuade me from my choice, but I told them with no fear in my voice that I knew I was capable and strong and that I could do this. Somehow knowing that there was another little life dependent on me and my choices gave me the strength that I needed to follow through. I stood up for myself throughout my entire pregnancy and advocated for myself during birth and ended up having the experience I had always wanted.
Since then it has been a snowball effect. As my confidence has grown, I have started to learn who I really am and I have realized what is truly important in my life, and aside from the opinions of a few close friends and family members, I have learned to take all the others with a grain of salt. There have been plenty of choices I have made concerning parenting that may seem a bit “off-the-beaten-path” for some and those people have often been vocal. But, I have learned to trust myself and my voice and to ignore negativity.
A big part of finding my voice has also been learning to be comfortable in my own skin. I have always struggled with self-image, but seeing yourself through the eyes of a child is truly magical and makes it near impossible not to feel more confident in who you are as a person. In my daughter’s opinion, the sun rises and sets with me. She thinks I am a great cook, have the most beautiful voice, and that I’m endlessly fun to be around. If she sees me that way, then why can’t I see me that way?
So now I do. I have learned to appreciate the beauty of who I am. I am not perfect, but being me is pretty great and what I have to say and share with the world is worthwhile. I have realized that I can speak my mind and share my feelings and I no longer find myself putting up with those who are negative or draining in my life.
My daughter has helped me to find a strength that I never knew I had and in the process I found my voice.
In honor of this idea of finding my voice, and in conjunction with Disney’s “Find Your Voice” singing contest, I have decided to be brave and share my singing voice with you as well! In honor of the re-release of “The Little Mermaid” in October Disney decided to host this contest and when they asked me to join in and share a song with you, it was a little bit like a childhood dream come true. I used to sing the songs incessantly and pretend I was Ariel with my bath time mermaid hair, so singing a “Little Mermaid” song for all the Babble world to hear feels a little like coming full circle.
So, check out my video and then go enter your own in the Disney “Find Your Voice” Contest!