Having a baby can be the most wonderful, but hardest, thing a woman will ever do. Growing a child in your body means giving up what’s best for you and focusing on what’s best for that baby for nine and a half months.
But once you give birth, it’s easy to continue to neglect yourself in favor of nurturing the tiny being that you helped to create. Yet what many moms forget is that your self-esteem and confidence extends to the baby, so it is important to find that inner strength that is inside you and unlock it to teach your child how to be happy, too.
Your self-esteem is crucial to your happiness and success as a parent, but how do you manage to find the time, energy, and drive to bother with yourself when you are so busy and exhausted from taking care of your baby?
Here are 8 simple ways you can restore your self-esteem after you have a child.
8 Ways to Boost Your Confidence After You Give Birth
1. Fake it ‘til you make it. A lot of being a confident mother is in understanding and accepting that you don’t always know what you are doing, and that’s okay. Even the most seasoned of parents come across brand new scenarios that they don’t know how to handle, because every child is unique.
Instead, those parents who look like they know what they’re doing have simply mastered the “fake it ‘til you make it” technique, or the knowledge that sometimes you just have to be flexible, roll with the punches, and learn the lesson for the next time whatever happened happens.
2. Give yourself more credit and more time. Moms are often expected to put their bodies through the trauma of nine months of carrying a child and hours upon hours of labor, and then jump right in and be a perfect, loving, patient mother.
This is not only unfeasible, but it’s also downright dangerous. Your body just went through the equivalent of a trainwreck. You need to give it the credit it deserves for surviving such a shock and give it more time to heal before you expect to even halfway know what you’re doing.
3. Ignore that well-meaning, but bad, advice. Well-wishers will always – and that needs to be repeated – always, try to give you helpful advice that often makes you feel inadequate. Turn to the people you have always turned to as a font of good wisdom, and ignore the rest.
4. Don’t forget your past life. It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane, never-ending world of feed the baby, burp the baby, change the baby, try to sleep, wake up to screaming baby, repeat. But you used to have a life, dreams, wishes, and hobbies.
Those things may have to take a temporary backseat as you adjust to new mommy-hood but grab them back as soon as you can.
Incorporate your baby into them when possible. Take your precious bundle for walks if you love nature or exercise. Bring them with you to the restaurant with your friends if you can, but don’t give up on your past life just because you have a new addition. Your baby won’t always be a baby, but you’ll always be you at heart.
5. Stay away from competitive moms. You know the type – the ones who always have to one-up whatever your baby is doing. Your baby crawled at six months? Well, her sweet darling was crawling and drawing Renaissance art at four months.
Those types of acquaintances may fill a gap in your day and keep the loneliness at bay, but they are severely unhealthy for your ego. Life will always be a competition for them, and you will never measure up, no matter how hard you try. You are better off simply staying away.
6. Don’t trash talk your body. You may not be where you were before you got pregnant, but you have created a miracle. Hard work, a healthy diet, and exercise will help you get fitter when you are ready – but only when you are ready.
If you’ve done all of that but you still have some sag or extra fat where once there was none and it’s severely impacting your confidence, you have options! There are many innovative fat reduction techniques now that will have you in and out quickly and ready to go back to being a great mom with a bit of an ego boost now that the pesky fat that had you bumming is gone.
7. Don’t hate your emotions. Unless you are one of those who can and will hire a full-time nanny for those night feedings, exhaustion is going to set in and your emotions are going to run rampant. Your hormones are settling back to normal and your life is completely unsettled and working towards a new normal.
Emotions are going to yo-yo back and forth from extreme happiness to sadness, so much love for your baby you could burst and then guilt when you aren’t being the perfect mom and you wish someone would come to take over so you could just grab a nap.
It’s okay to feel them. It’s okay to get down sometimes – just don’t live there. Acknowledge your feelings, consider where they came from, then find something to keep your mind off of them until you can sort through the emotion and handle it with the care it deserves.
8. Take time to recharge your batteries. Don’t feel guilty about taking a couple of hours to get your hair done, do some shopping by yourself, or even go to lunch or dinner with your friends.
As long as you have someone to take care of the baby who can reasonably keep them safe, you need to recharge yourself. A happy mom is a more patient, loving mom, and that is the most important thing you can give your baby.
Your Baby Needs You at Your Best
Even as infants, your children will be able to sense when you are happy and when you aren’t. As they get older, this will show up in different ways and your child will begin to mimic your conscious and unconscious actions.
When you have a strong sense of self-esteem, you can plant the seeds for your child to have that same self-confidence as they get older. This is one of the best gifts that you can give to them.