This week, I changed my Facebook profile picture. I replaced the adorable photo of my two little girls making kissy faces in their Christmas gowns with a close-up image of my face — my business headshot.
(Now is the time for you to be like, “Um, yeah? So what?”)
Well, I’ll tell you so what: For me, this simple switch was a sweaty-palm-inducing cringefest because I’ve never used a lone picture of myself for my profile picture. It’s always been a family shot, or a picture of my kids, or my kids in the foreground and me kind of cowering in the background.
I had to do it because I recently started using Facebook for more business and less personal interactions. I needed my profile to reflect my brand. Rationally, it made sense. Emotionally, it was terrifying. Because going from an image of my girls to a single, close-up picture of my face? My gut reaction was to feel embarrassed, vain, overconfident.
Before I made the switch, I actually tried to find a way to change my profile picture and not have it come up as an announcement in my friends’ News Feed. I didn’t want anyone to notice. I didn’t want anyone to comment or to “like” — or to even see.
Isn’t that sad?
I realized that. As all of these feeling washed over me before I pressed “Update,” I thought, isn’t this sad? To be afraid to be seen. To be scared that people might think that I’m okay with myself, that I’m proud of myself, that I want my profile to be my profile.
So I did it. I updated my profile. And people noticed. And they “liked” and commented. And it was fine. But that visceral reaction I had? That was not okay.
As moms, we shouldn’t be embarrassed for being seen, for being ourselves. But we too often are because finding confidence in motherhood is so, so hard. We’re out here faltering, trying, learning, growing. There’s so much to doubt. There’s so much room for outside judgment. It’s understandable that we’re afraid to be seen as we figure it all out.
The thing is, though, confidence in motherhood, in ourselves, isn’t some magical thing that you either have or don’t have. You have to chase confidence. You have to choose confidence. You have to fall into it, knowing that the drop may cause your stomach to flip but that you will be caught, and it will be okay.
It’s a small thing, changing your Facebook profile picture. But it’s a big way to be seen, to claim yourself, and to fall into your confidence. So the next time you see a mama updating her profile with herself, give her some props. Help be the net that catches her.