Mamas, Our Words Have Power

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words have powerGrowing up I had dreams of being a pediatrician. I was fascinated by the body and science and loved the idea of helping kids. I recall an incident that happened when I was 15 or 16 that had a profound impact on me. We were at grandma’s house. My aunt just had a baby. As I was holding that sweet bundle of joy, she started to cry and I couldn’t get her to stop. I remember my mom walking into the living room and saying something to the tune of, “How do you expect to be a pediatrician if you can’t get the baby to stop crying?”

Mamas, our words have power. 

That one comment, over 15 years ago, had a profound impact on the way I saw myself. I was hurt by those words and confused about why my mom would say something like that to me. Her comment left a mark that I would carry for years to come. Her words bruised my self-esteem and birthed a sense of shame in me. Who was I to think that I could accomplish such a goal? 

Those thoughts and feelings carried over into many areas of my life, from career choices to relationships and even motherhood. I learned to believe that if I didn’t know how to do something then there was no use in trying. When I became a mom, my crying babies would trigger memories of that moment at my grandma’s house. With my children, I often lacked confidence and spent a lot of time questioning my mothering abilities.

As an adult, I’ve had to work hard to undo the damage of the words my mom spoke that day. I had to tell myself over and over, “That one moment had no bearing on my capability to pursue my dream or my mothering abilities. There are many reasons the baby could’ve been crying and none of them reflected anything about me.”

Mamas, our words have power. 

I don’t know what was going on in the heart and mind of my mom that day at my grandma’s house. As a mom now, I understand that what she said could have been the result of something she may have been feeling or dealing with internally that had nothing to do with me. I don’t say that as an excuse for her hurtful words, but I can empathize.

I recently saw a post on Instagram that said “Your voice will likely become your child’s inner dialogue.

I’ll say it again…Mamas, our words have power. 

We have the ability to speak life into our children. How we talk to them (and ourselves) will influence what they believe about who they are. My experience taught me that. 

As a mom, I want to do my best to ensure that I am speaking words that will empower my children. Words that will build them up and instill confidence. Words that will positively impact their internal dialogue. Will I always get it right? Absolutely not. My mom showed me that. But I choose daily to be mindful of my words because they do indeed have power.

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