It's important to applaud your accomplishments, no matter how small them seem, and in doing so, become your biggest fan.
This is a lesson I learned the other day from my tiny Yoda.
For a solid week, every time Maisie climbed up steps, whether in our house or in public, she would clap -- at the top of every step. She didn't wait for me to say "good girl." She just started clapping. It also happens when she plays a few keys on the keyboard or when she finishes dancing to a song. Her self congratulation is endearing and enlightening.
Women, mothers in particular, tend to be their biggest critics. We're excellent at applauding our peers, our colleagues, our children, but we tend to look over our accomplishments, great and small. This past Sunday, I completed my first race since before I was pregnant. It was 10 miles in under 2 hours. When congratulated by others, I was quick to downplay it, saying it wasn't as fast as I liked or I'd done it before. Upon reflection and the support of my husband, I changed my tune. I'm one badass mother and this is something to cheer about.
Setting challenges, in both personal and professional matters, and then completing them, is integral for your sanity. Finding joy and pride in what you've done, and not just the work and accomplishments of others is the best gift you can give yourself. If you wait for others to always deliver the praise it may never come, or it won't arrive at the time you need it most.
So, I implore you, my fellow mothers, businesswomen, or both, give yourself a round of applause every once in awhile. You just carried a stroller, a squirming baby, a diaper bag and a laptop up the steps of the PATH train during rush hour.