Motherhood. Some see it as a blessing, while others see it as a burden. In films and television shows, motherhood is portrayed as a beautiful journey. Even pregnancy is romanticised to the point where women expect to have this glow and glorious journey when giving birth to another human being. The truth is that it is a two-sided experience.
In both pregnancy and motherhood, you experience incredible highs and devastating lows. The most difficult aspect of being a mother is discovering that your sense of autonomy has never truly returned to pre-pregnancy levels.
The media promotes getting back to pre-baby weight, constantly bombarding you with "how to be a better mother," and you see fathers doing the bare minimum and receiving praise while you don't feel you can rest. Your self-esteem plummets, and mum-guilt follows you around like a shadow.
We have two mothers on our team who have had the experience of motherhood and are learning how to be confident in themselves. Here's a list of their not-so-secret tips for regaining your confidence as a mother.
Take care of yourself
When you're a mother, it's easy to put your own needs last. It's possible that you're so preoccupied with getting your children ready for school that you just throw your hair up in a wrap or a bun, put on some clothes, and go about your business.
Making time for yourself, on the other hand, is critical. The adage "look good, feel good" has a lot of truth to it. Even 5 minutes spent on a skincare routine and brushing your teeth can make a big difference in your mood. It will make you feel refreshed and ready for the day.
If you're having trouble fitting everything in in the mornings, try taking a long bath or a warm shower before bed when the kids are asleep.
Wear clothes that make you feel good
What we wear can influence how we perceive ourselves and how we act. As women, motherhood can cause us to lose our fashion sense. Long sleepless nights with babies and toddlers, attempting to keep up with housework, and hectic mornings just trying to get out of the house are to blame. If you want to be confident, avoid wearing clothes that are only “appropriate” for mothers or outfits that are “appropriate” for your age. Wear whatever you want as long as it makes you happy. You should also treat yourself to some new lingerie or a new outfit from your favourite store because you deserve it after all of your hard work.
Have your own parenting method
There are gurus upon gurus who promote various parenting methods while constantly telling you what you're doing wrong. As a mother, you may feel bombarded with information, and you may begin to feel ashamed of how you raise your children unless you do it in a certain way. But keep in mind that just because you're doing your best with what you've got doesn't mean it's wrong. You know your child better than most, and there is no one-size-fits-all parenting style. Each child is wonderfully unique, and each may require a different parenting style in order to thrive.
Talk to yourself
Motherhood can be extremely isolating. Most of the time, the only other person you have to talk to on a daily basis is a young child, and while they are amusing and entertaining, conversations with them do not provide you with the mental stimulation that you require as an adult. Talking to yourself aloud allows you to hear an adult voice, have creative thoughts, and reduces the feeling of loneliness.
Don’t compare yourself to other mums
We're all guilty of it. We see mothers doing amazing things, and their children may appear to be far ahead of our own. They might have all the latest gadgets or appear unfazed by situations that make you nervous. But here's the thing: every single mother is a nervous wreck battling guilt, and those around you are probably looking at you and feeling inadequate as well. Embrace your individuality, and if you see a mother doing an amazing job, tell her, 'Well done, you're doing an amazing job,' because she probably hasn't heard it and needs to hear it.
Find a community
Attend a parent group in your area if one exists. It's essential for your mental health. Our marketing assistant, a single mother, struggled to leave the house due to postnatal depression and spent many days staring at the door, contemplating going to her local parenting group. Her depression and anxiety worsened during those days because she didn't have the active support she required and felt lost in her newfound role as a mother. When she finally went, she made two new friends and the community around her grew. Having friends who are also parents can help you grow as a person by providing support you didn't realise you needed.