My confidence took a dramatic dip after my first baby. I became a shell of myself and happily let everyone take over my newborn because, as far as I was concerned, I was not best placed to mother her.
New motherhood has an interesting way of encouraging you to be maternal, to give your all to this new human being; and in the process, we lose our self-worth and confidence and can become a fragment of the person we were. Our bodies alter, our hair thins, our emotions are questionable, and we can find little time to fill our cup.
Is it any wonder new motherhood takes a hit on our confidence? We can’t flick a switch to become more self-assured, but we can do a few things to build on our confidence.
1: Positive Self Talk
Daily affirmations can encourage us to start talking to ourselves differently. With the stress and strain of motherhood, we may fall into a pattern of talking negatively to ourselves. These negative thoughts tell us that we are not good enough and can severely damage our confidence and self-worth. Positive affirmations can build on our confidence and increase our self-esteem. A daily practice of reminding ourselves of our worth is empowering. "I am enough", "I choose to be happy", "I am a caring and nurturing human", and "I have a beautiful mothering body".
2: Allow Yourself To Feel
We can be very hard on ourselves in motherhood. We take the blame, feed the guilt, and strive to meet unhelpful comparisons. We will feel all of the emotions in early motherhood (and beyond) - grief, fear, worry, sadness, happiness, pride, and so much more. We can battle against some of the harder emotions but allowing ourselves to feel means accepting who we are, appreciating our emotions, and building on our resilience to overcome those difficult emotions. You don’t need to hide your emotions, either. It’s good for your children (and your partner) to see that you are human with deeply embedded emotions. They will learn from you how to manage their own emotions when they see you feeling sad and positively coming through that emotion.
3: Honour Yourself
Everyone says, take time for yourself. And while they are 100% right, we all know it can be increasingly difficult to find time for yourself amid the homework, the dinners, and chucking 339 toys into the toy basket because no one else will. But I will say that honouring your needs is hugely important in motherhood. Find that something you love and make no excuses to do it. Put the to-do list down, and listen to what your body and mind need. Without nurturing yourself, you cannot nurture anyone else.