Many women experience a dip in their level of self confidence once they become a mom. You begin to doubt your ability to be a good mom, you doubt the fact that you are still an attractive vibrant woman, you worry that your husband may find you less attractive… you begin to question exactly who you are a person. This is normal… I know, I say that often in these pregnancy articles. The reason I say that is because it’s true. Wondering why no one ever talks about it then, that is because if you knew all of the changes physically and emotionally that you were going to experience before you got pregnant… you may not want to get pregnant at all. However, most women that have had a baby, once they hear what you are going through will smile in acknowledgement for we have been there too.
There are a multitude of changes that are taking place in your life right now. When you aren’t trying to get some much needed sleep, your mind is buzzing with questions and doubts about who you are now as a woman. Can you possibly be a good mom, wife, friend, professional, and woman? The answer to all of those questions is yes. What you need to do is rebuild your confidence level. Here I am going to give you a few tips on how you can recharge your confidence and be the mom, woman, friend, lover, professional person you want to be.
First thing first, you need to figure out what is really bugging you. Here is a sample chart on some possible issues… if yours is not in the chart, then define what is bugging you. You can’t change anything if you don’t know what it is that is getting to you to begin with. Be honest and open and identify if any of the issues discussed have affected you:
How has it affected you?
Why is it affecting you?
YOUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS CHANGES
HOW YOU LOOK
WE NOT ALL NATURAL BORN MOTHERS
NO FEEDBACK MECHANISM
WHO ARE YOU?
Eg Now that I am not working, I feel like I don’t know what I am good at anymore.
No one ever praises me anymore
My friends are too busy to spend time with me
I feel unattractive
I can’t remember what my interests were
I need to feel like I am good at something
I need to hear from people that I am doing a good job
I like to feel attractive –it makes me feel good
My work defines a part of my identity
1. IDENTIFY FEELINGS
- The main cause for loss of confidence relates to being in unfamiliar territory. Change makes most of us anywhere from uncomfortable to feeling distressed.
- Recognize that change can sometimes be a good thing and that with discomfort and upset comes opportunity for growth
2. REDEFINE YOURSELF
- It is really important to figure out where you derive your worth from and then redefine this if necessary. Being a mom is a crucial job – but you need to believe this.
- Redefine what is awesome about yourself.
- Make a list of all the things you feel you do well. Just write everything down, no matter how insignificant – Examples
- I make sure we never run out of breakfast cereal
- I keep my baby clean and well fed
- I am have great taste in wine
- I am good at juggling the baby and cooking dinner
- I am good at researching baby products
- I am good at going for walks even when it is cold.
- I am a stylish dresser
- Make a list of all your great qualities/attributes – examples
- I am a great friend
- I am reliable
- I am big hearted
- I am generous
- I look beautiful in red
- I have moments when I feel l exude a more vibrant
- Make a list of things that matter the most to you – what do you value the most/what is critical
- E.g. your husband, your child’s wellbeing, your own health
If something was on your list of worries, but not on your list here, just accept that it is not important.
3. KEEP LEARNING
- At first when you have your baby, there isn’t time for much else, nor do you have inclination/energy to worry about your waning confidence, but as time passes it is important to recognize the value that growing our minds has on our sense of wellbeing and confidence.
- Create a project/interest outside of your baby where you learn a new skill– have it be something you are interested in.
- It could be
- Something you can do in the evenings, or while your baby is awake. Eg listening to audio books.
- Do it with a friend/life partner/on your own
- Could be intellectually stimulating (if this is what you need), or mindless (if this is what you feel you need) e.g. formal education versus knitting.
- Many moms agree, unless you engage your mind in learning/useful activities, it will start to grow weeds and you start to feel the ‘mushy brain phenomenon’.
4. CONFIDENCE CAN BE RECREATED
Accept that your loss of confidence is just a temporary state and can be rectified.
- Window of time with a baby is sooooo small – that first 12 months will pass quickly
- As your child grows, you will start to claw back some independence and will presented with opportunities to rekindle your passions and interests and generally start to focus on your own needs.
- The ultimate question to ask is which choices will provide me with the most fulfillment?
- Whatever the choices are that you make about your life, you need to recognize that acceptance of who you are and what you do is critical.
5. IMPORTANT JOB – I know it’s a cliché
Recognize the importance of what you are doing
It was often said to me in the early days and weeks of having had my baby that I was doing the most important job in the world.
- I gave lip service to understanding that being a good mum was an important job. I would smile and listen politely, but I never really bought into it. UNTILL someone reminded me of the power that one individual can have in the world.
- Don’t you think Richard Branson’s/Dali Lama, Nelson Mandela’s moms would be proud of them.
- You are raising these babies, but one day they will be men and women who will leave there mark on Society.
You can recharge your confidence level if you take the tips above to heart and talk with other moms. You are not in this alone. I know that there is a saying that it “takes a village to raise a child,” I am more partial to my own saying which states that, “it takes strength to be a mother.” That is a strength that you have deep inside of you, you just need to find the best way to bring it out.