I would argue that there is nothing more difficult than the first few months of being a first time mom. It isn’t like anything you’ve ever experienced before, and your body is flushed with hormones that seem to be working against you. It can be extremely hard to feel like a confident mom, and you are always second guessing yourself. No matter what, those first few months will be beautifully difficult; however, there are a few things that I’ve learned throughout my mothering journey that could help you through…
This article is written by Shari Medini
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Practice Following Your Instincts to Build Self Confidence
Yes, practice. Just because they are called instincts does not mean that they are instinctual. Or perhaps they are, but we have just gotten really good at burying them deep beneath loads of theories from parenting forums and books.
Practice listening to your baby’s cues. Practice going with your gut. Don’t force yourself into a parenting style that makes you miserable. Listening to yourself can be harder than you think… so keep practicing.
Check out these 50 New Mom Questions – You are not alone!
Ask Those Closest to You for Their Parenting Stories
I know that I just said to follow your instincts. However, hearing other people’s perspectives can help you a lot. Encourage close family and friends to share their stories of those first few months of motherhood with you without necessarily giving you advice.
It meant a lot to me when my aunt told me about a time when she visited my mom after she had my brother, and she told me that she watched us kids while my mom napped. This simple story made me realize that my mom who I see as superwoman got tired too. She had help, and I deserve help too. Realizing that alone helped me be a more confident mom.
Here is advice on How to Get Through Your First Year of Motherhood
Do Not Open Yourself Up to Opinions (that could harm your confidence)
When we are feeling unsure of ourselves, we tend to ask around for opinions in hopes that it will make us feel better about our decisions. However, I think that this method usually backfires, and ends up making us feel even more insecure.
If the well-meaning stranger at the park asks how your baby is sleeping, you can lie and tell her that she is sleeping well even if she is up 20 times a night. Because chances are the stranger will not be giving you life-altering advice… they will probably tell you some strategy that you have to use because it worked for their child. Then you will walk away feeling like you are doing things wrong, and you may even feel obligated to try the stranger’s method and go against your own instincts.
Read: Shari’s Feature in the Real Moms Interview Series
Find a Few Good Mom Friends to Build Confidence
Mom friends are the best. Join a local mom’s group, head to the park, go to Target… they are everywhere. We are all looking for someone to connect with. Find a few moms that you can really connect with and that have a similar outlook on parenting as you do.
As for the other moms? They can be great to chat with when you run into them, but don’t feel the need to go in-depth with every mom you meet. New moms like to complain, give advice and judge. Leave the processing and real conversation for your trusted mom friends and just give the other ones a gracious smile and nod.
Read this article from BetterHelp covering what to do when childhood trauma holds you back.
Look After Yourself
Being able to look after yourself and ensure you feel as great as possible is really important. There are plenty of ideas you can use that are going to help you when it comes to improving your confidence, and this is something that you need to try to get right. There are a lot of ways of taking better care of yourself, such as getting more sleep, losing weight, and making sure you eat better. There are plenty of factors that you need to keep in mind when it comes to making the most of this, and being happy with the way you look is something that really helps to improve and boost your confidence and self-esteem.
You should also look at other ways of being able to look after yourself, such as improving your skin, opting for clear braces to improve your teeth, and meditation to boost your mental health and wellness is so important. When you are trying to look after yourself you need to think about improving all the elements of your life, and this is crucial when it comes to being a more confident mom, and seizing the moment to take things to the next level.
Remember Biology is a Huge Factor
Keep in mind that perfect parenting does not necessarily result in a perfect child. And how many fantastic people do we know who had horrible parents? It works both ways, which means that we do not need to beat ourselves up so much over ever tiny parenting decision.
Part of who our children will become is already etched into their DNA. I, of course, believe that parenting plays a huge role in shifting tendencies, but there is something reassuring in understanding that it is not 100% in our hands.
Read this heartfelt message from a mother after almost losing her child – A Mother’s Heart
Try Your Best as a Mom
Everyone is just doing the best that they can at that particular moment — including you. We have good parenting moments and bad ones… but the bad ones often come when we can’t muster up anything else.
A bad moment doesn’t make you a bad parent. Try your best, try again, try to change. As long as you are trying to get better, you are on the right path. Change things that don’t work for you and cling to the things that do.
Act Like a Confident Mom
Work on being confident as a person, not just a mom. Motherhood consumes us, and I think that that is part of what makes it so beautiful. But if you were not confident in who you were before, motherhood will throw you for a loop.
Motherhood can bring huge changes in our lives — and our bodies. But that doesn’t mean we’ve become any less of a woman. We can still flaunt our “mom bod” confidently with a body-hugging tankini swimsuit during beach trips. Wearing something that highlights our best assets can bring back our confidence and even boost it. So wear that red lipstick that has been picking up dust in the corner since you gave birth. If it makes you feel confident, why not?
Find out your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes as a person; then see how they transition to motherhood. Discover what you enjoy about yourself, and be sure to showcase that to the world.
For more on this topic, check out the full All About Moms collection
Co-Owner: Shari Medini
Shari Medini is the co-owner of the parenting website Adore Them. Her prior experience includes working as a marketing strategist and writer on multi-million dollar capital campaigns, website designs, advertising campaigns, and book launches. Shari’s parenting articles have been published in dozens of publications; and she enjoys doing various speaking engagements. When she’s not on her laptop, Shari can be found spending quality time with her husband and two sons exploring their hometown of Lancaster County, PA