The Confidence And Motherhood Matrix
An enormous number of things change when you become a mum. There are the things that you expected and so many things that you simply do not; things you didn’t even think of once, they drastically change. During my pregnancy, I hadn’t given much thought into the changes I would feel. I kept the same mindset expecting myself to still be able to do the same things I have always done prior to becoming a mum, and that I’d still feel like ‘me’ and that I’d still have the same priorities as before. I was mistaken. Since having Isabella, in December of last year nothing is the same and even the changes I was expecting to come have hit me in a way I was not prepared for, especially how the changes affected my confidence.
Growing a baby for 9 months is tough! I I was incredibly sick throughout my pregnancy and I struggled with my confidence a lot, especially in my full-time role as a teacher. Now, I knew my body would change physically after pregnancy. I mean, after all I had only carried and grown a tiny human inside me for months but, I didn’t expect how I felt about my body’s changes to flip on me too as they did. The changes to my body have left me struggling to find comfort in my own skin. They have left me feeling awkward, and without any confidence. I can see the changes in my body and they are more than I was expecting, but before my confidence tumbled, I didn’t allow these changes to bother me. This was right after giving birth and I felt proud of what my body had achieved, and the changes were just part of it. This view did not last too long.
It all fell apart when I began to move back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I realised that I was no longer as confident within myself considering I’ve found it difficult to find any typical outfits comfortable. Nothing works as I see it, so I have lived in jumpers, and regular jeans until I could fit back into what I feel best in, my skinny jeans. I have a wardrobe full of clothing that fits and yet I am only confident in those. How I feel about my body has changed drastically as it is a big thing to adapt to. I have struggled in social situations since and its remarkable how much lesser my confidence is in myself and in how I may come across to others. I know I should be proud of my body when I look at these changes, but I don’t feel that, not yet. Hopefully, I will in time.
Another thing that has affected my confidence since becoming a mum is others passing judgements. When you become a mum, it seems to invite a great deal of comments about how you parent and the decisions you make. It is suffocating. I have felt that I am being judged every step of the way. If I am honest about how I am feeling, if I decide that today I don’t fancy leaving the house or that I’m not sure what my baby wants when she cries - those judgments make me feel like I’m not doing a good job as a mum and that I am not enough for my daughter. Being a mum is not something that has come naturally to me and I’m winging it as I go, with the help of Google and my mama tribe. Thankfully, I have this support system during this inventing of my new normal.
Becoming a mum may have changed my body into something I don’t feel comfortable with yet and brought lies to my mind by the intense opinions, but I do feel like I’ve finally found my voice through this. From this problem came my voice and seeing myself have the confidence to speak about my reality of parenthood, the hard and ugly parts alongside the good parts. I’ve become grounded in my own voice and opinions and I have never been a particularly confident person. I would always shy away from sharing my opinion. Perhaps, starting my journey into Motherhood is the nudge I needed and is where I have found my true confidence, the pure kind? I believe so.
This is all something I never experienced before and becoming a parent has been a striking shift for me. It is on a larger scale than I knew it could be, but I too did not know that I would now find my voice through my struggles I ran straight into Motherhood. Whilst, I’m finding motherhood tough. I know that I’m not alone in this and speaking out about my experiences has helped me tremendously. Since I have started to be honest with myself and others about my feelings, it has made an extreme difference. What I have come to learn: being a mum is hard and that there are other mums out there who feel the same as I do. I’m not alone. This has lifted my confidence in myself as a person and a mum well.
Becoming a mum is tough and your entire world changes. You learn things about yourself that you didn’t know before, that you couldn’t. You change, you develop and your confidence changes and develops too. For me, my confidence in myself is something I’m working on as well as working on being the best mum I can be. Hopefully, one day soon I’ll feel a little more like the old ‘me’ or maybe there will be a ‘new’ better version of me. Either way I am going to venture on in Motherhood the way I best see and know how and all mistakes are just lessons along the way helping build my confidence and strength.
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