Before I became a Mom I was confident, care-free and in control. I never really had bad days. And if I did, a glass of wine and evening out with my boyfriend would fix it.
My goals for the day were things like: Eat right. Drink 2 litres of water. Walk / Pilates. Put on mascara. Catch up with friends. Stay in touch with family. Cuddle my cat. Water my plants. Write a blog post. Do some client work. Pin some photographs of my future kitchen. Read my favourite book in the evening. Relax in the bath. Give myself a pedi.
That defined a successful day. But nothing could have prepared me for when baby arrived.
A shock to my perfect little world
All of a sudden I was missing out on all of the above. I had this vision that I’d “get stuff done when my baby sleeps”. But I quickly learnt that my baby didn’t sleep unless he was literally ‘on me’.
This meant that once he fell asleep, I was either stuck on the couch, or in bed. My bladder somehow found a way to do a full 360 after pregnancy, and I was amazed how peeing twice a day became my new thing. I would find myself lying in bed, with baby on top of me, dying for a wee, exhausted and starving, yet the only thing I could do for fear of waking baby, was to reply to messages from well meaning friends saying “aaah yes, he is so precious, we’re all doing great, here’s a cute pic of us right now.”
After a few weeks of first time mommyhood, my confidence was shot. This beautiful little vision I had was not materialising in the slightest and although everyone kept telling me how great I looked for a new mom, I felt shattered all the time.
But as I dragged myself along through those first few months, I learnt a thing here and there and eventually I began to feel confident and in control again. What a feeling!
As a new mom, I’ve learnt that appreciating the small things and setting fewer goals for the day, can make a huge difference to how you feel at the end of the day.
Below are 6 confidence boosting tricks that I use to help me feel like me again. I hope they do the same for you :)
1. Learn how to babywear
It took me about a full week of frustration and tripping before I worked out how to use my first stretchy wrap, and even then I still had my days where I had tied it too tight or too loose before putting baby in and I would land up in tears and just give up. But once I learnt how, it was a huge confidence booster. And from then on, I had the confidence to go out in public with my baby, knowing that if he got upset or over-stimulated, I had a solution and I wouldn’t have to be ‘that mom’ that everyone would be staring at.
We all have this dream that because we kept relatively fit during pregnancy, (walking from the car to the shops is exercize right?) our bodies would return to their normal selves a few weeks post-baby. But unfortunately that is not the case for the majority of us. Enter: Spanx. Spanx are amazing. They helped me get back into my pre-preggy jeans before I could actually get back into my pre-preggy jeans. It doesn’t matter that you can’t breath properly coz they’re so tight, what matters is that you’re back in your pre-preggy jeans. Suck it up honey. Okay no, just kidding… don’t make yourself uncomfortable, that’s never good ;) Make sure you’ve recovered properly before you wear your Spanx!
3. Maximum of 2 goals for the day
Before baby, I would make a long list of things to do for the day on my iPhone, so I naturally thought I could continue to do this. But once baby arrived, that list just seemed to grow everyday, and I never managed to cross anything off. I would stare at it and just not know where to begin. Mommy brain 101. So to get the ball rolling I would create a new list, name it ‘Monday’ and then write 2 tasks below. For example:
– Water bonsai
– Drink healthy smoothie
If I managed to cross those 2 things off my list, then that meant it was a successful day. Small victories.
4. Go grocery shopping, for just 1 thing
The first shopping trip is the scariest thing in the world. Don’t do it when you have to do a big shop, rather do a practice run for just 1 item so that you know you can do it. There are a few things to consider when doing a shop, so it’s good to do a trial run so you can see what suits you better. For example, are you going to wear your baby in a carrier and push the trolley? Or are you going to put your baby in the pram and collect the items in the pram basket? But what if your baby falls asleep on the way to the store in the car seat? Are you going to carry the carseat inside and put it in the trolley? How much space is left in the trolley for groceries then? These may sound like silly questions, but I promise you, your trial run will come in handy! I personally prefer to babywear while shopping so I can have 2 hands free.
5. Phone a newer Mom than you
You may feel like you have no idea what you’re doing, but consider that at that exact moment, there is another Mom somewhere else feeling even more overwhelmed and out of her depth than you do, and chances are you could probably offer her some loving advice. Send a supportive sms or even a quick phonecall to a fellow mama in need. And if you don’t have any new mommy friends, join a Mommy facebook group and find one. Even if you just leave a comment, small gestures can go a long way in making a new Mom feel good about herself, and at the same time make you feel good by knowing you offered some support.
6. This too shall pass
Everyday is a new day with a newborn, so always remember ‘this too shall pass’. Things get so much easier as the weeks pass by and soon enough you’ll be a super mom and you’ll feel it. And that’s the greatest confidence booster of all!
I’d love to hear from you – do you have confidence boosting tips of your own to share? Please leave them in the comments area below.