Minimize Me

 

proud2

Hello, my name is Tara and I am a “Self Minimizer”. No, I don’t have a shrink ray or a time machine. I am guilty of down playing myself and my accomplishments when I talk to others. Especially other moms.

I’m not sure if this is part of the manners most of us are brought up with “it’s not polite to brag or boast”? I wish I did have a clear reason as to why we {as women} do this…all I know is that so many of us are guilty of selling ourselves short. Downplaying ourselves. To others. To ourselves.

When I first started my business {Yummy Sprout} my oldest child was a baby. I was a new “stay at home” mom and would often get asked the question “Do you work?” Nope, I sit on my butt eating chocolate all day… it’s a wonder this kid is still breathing. I know many people meant well and were simply asking if I continued my career outside the home. I would always answer “I stay home… I also teach cooking classes a couple times a month at Whole Foods.” I would say this last part in a casual, hushed voice down playing it as much as possible. Maybe the reason was that it was so important to me, I was afraid to show I loved it for fear it might all disappear. Maybe I felt like a less than perfect mom for finding joy when I wasn’t with my child? Whatever the reason I was wrong. Having things we love and are good at is essential to our happiness. Being happy makes us better people, friends, sisters, daughters and mothers.

Whatever it is that fills your days, be proud of yourself. You don’t have to look down at your shoes when you answer questions about yourself. Maybe you stay home with little kids who need most of your attention and time, allowing you little down time at the end of your days (it won’t be like this forever I promise). Do not minimize this, you should be proud. Even if you’re happy and you love it, it is a sacrifice. On some days it means giving more of yourself than you even have to give, but you do it. Maybe you work at job you love, or maybe only tolerate. Be proud of yourself. You may be surrounded by co-workers who don’t have children or a family yet you give it your all despite the ever-hectic balancing act that is having a family and career. Maybe you have a hobby that you love. Maybe you finished your degree or plan to go back and finish when your kids are older. Maybe you ran a marathon when you never thought you would run more than a mile. Be proud. It’s not boastful to tell others the things we are proud of about ourselves and to accept compliments.

Becoming a mother is losing yourself a little; then finding yourself again in a whole new place, a whole new pair of shoes. Shoes you have to break in and walk a few miles in to really squish them to your feet just right. So wherever you find yourself, whatever shoes you find yourself in…you can be a great mother and in addition a person with hopes, dreams, talents. Don’t minimize yourself to others or even to yourself. For me I still struggle with it but I’m getting better. When people compliment me or say they love my website or a recipe now instead of looking at my shoes and saying “it’s no big deal” I simply say…”thank you”.

What is something about yourself that you are proud of? Share in the comments below.

Tara is mom to two energetic daughters Bianca and Iyla. Passionate about inspiring others to cook healthy, delicious and allergy-friendly food, she owns Yummy Sprout, which provides healthy culinary adventures through classes and more. Check out yummysprout.com. Tara has been featured in the Wisconsin State Journal and on Channel 3 WISC-TV on topics including “making your own baby food”, “cooking with kids” and “packing healthy school lunches”. She adores living in Madison and all it has to offer family life. Her favorite ways to spend time include messing up her kitchen while recipe testing, running, yoga, writing, painting, traveling and reading books with her girls.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Well said Tara!!! This resonated with me. I LOVE my part time job and I love having the ability to stay home with my daughters. At first, it was almost awkward for me to say I work part time, but the more I said it, the more women would tell me how lucky I am. I now feel like I have the best of both worlds and am proud of that fact. And you know, haters gonna hate, and I accept that there’s nothing I can do about that. What people say about me behind my back is none of my business. I just go through my days being the best me I can be:)

  2. Tara thank you for writing this! I think it’s something many moms are guilty of and its time we started being proud of what we do!!

  3. Spot on! It IS part of the manners and culture in which women especially are raised. I have a lot of interests and hobbies I finally get to pursue since I left corporate America to be a SAHM, and its natural to talk about or share things you love. I often don’t talk about them because of not wanting to sound obnoxious. Home reno is a particular issue. To me its art because I get to design things and build them, but you definitely don’t want to be misunderstood as speaking about money or possessions. Its tacky and rude of course. I have gotten that vibe a couple times and I am not the most tuned in person on the planet. I have been a little surprised, mostly I guess because I don’t even think in those terms. However when people take things as if you are being boastful, I find its because they have insecurities and issues that are their own. We need to rejoice with those that laugh and cry with those that mourn. Anything less isn’t love.

    • I agree Jen! I agree home renovation is art and you should be proud of those accomplishments! Not everyone has the ability to see the potential inside a home!

  4. Wonderful post and so true! I have always done some type of work from home since my son was born 9 years ago but I’ve always downplayed it. Most recently I started freelance writing and did some writing for Isthmus Parents which I completely downplayed, “Oh, it’s just a blog thing.” Then I got an article published IN the Isthmus and I still downplayed it. I mentioned it super casually to my husband and then when he was so excited and proud I just said, “Oh, you know, it’s not that big of a deal. Just a shopping article.” Truth is that I was proud of both of these accomplishments. Thanks for the reminder that we are all worth whatever we do!

    • Jessica- I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one who has done this. And I agree you should be very proud – you are a great writer and being published in the Isthmus is a BIG deal:)

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