I have never been an overly confident person, but since becoming a Mum my confidence levels hit a record low. I didn’t realise how much confidence I had lost until I began the process of returning to work following a career break. It wasn’t until I began sharing my experience with some friends that I discovered a loss of confidence is a big issue to Mums.
So, here are some of the things I’ve done to raise my confidence levels.
1. Do something for yourself
We’ve all heard this phrase, but it can be easier said than done. But making the time for self-care is really important. Whether it’s once a day, or once a week. From exercise, to a hobby, to going back to work, all of these things have helped me regain lost confidence. When I started walking with friends, I could tell the physical activity was helping to give me a boost, as well as strengthening friendships. I can’t emphasise enough how good physical activity can make you feel about yourself! Playing the piano more again helped me to feel more myself, as well as being incredibly therapeutic. And going back to work? Well, at first I’ll admit it pushed my confidence to my lowest point, but coming out the other side, I’m now so much more confident. Not just because I’m back in the swing of things, but going through that experience has made me much stronger and proud of myself.
2. Go out, even when you don’t feel like it!
This was a big one for me. I am a home body, and am always reluctant to go out. However, I always feel better when I do! I could get into a rut when the children were younger and stay in the house. I always felt lifted by a trip out to toddler groups or the shops. Going to different groups can be hard, but the more you go, the more familiar faces will become and you will feel more comfortable. Now that I have school mum friends, there are often nights out, and I regularly struggle with the motivation to go. But I usually end up feeling more out of touch if I don’t, so it’s always worth it in the end. Sometimes I find the thought of going out is worse, and I actually enjoy myself when I’m there.
3. Make friends, even if they’re virtual!
When you’ve become a Mum it can be hard to maintain your existing friendships. I can count a number of friends that I’ve lost touch with since becoming a Mum. Some of them I used to work with, so it’s hard when you don’t see them. Things get busy and you get out of the habit of seeing them and before you know it time has moved on and you haven’t been in touch for a few years. Sometimes people move away and you lose touch. Being at home with children and losing my routine and friendships definitely led to a loss of confidence for me. My advice would be to keep important friendships alive, even if its just by text. I found making friends quite hard when the children were young. But once they started school, I found that the friends they made, led to me making friends with their parents. As the years pass, those new friendships have become more solid, and now some of my best friends are those I’ve made through our children. Having a good bunch of friends has defiantly improved my confidence. We help each other, we talk about things, and I feel more confident going out with the other Mums.
I also have to add that the virtual world is fabulous for making friendships. Since I started blogging, I feel like I’ve made a few virtual friends using our social media platforms. You can definitely click with someone on line, and I’ve found people that I’d love to meet through blogging; people I have connected to and have lots in common with. It all boosts the way I feel about myself. As long as you keep your wits about you, online friendships can be great!
4. Trust your instincts and don’t be hard on yourself
Parenting, we all know, is not a walk in the park. It can test you to your very core! You experience massive highs and lows. It is very easy do get down on yourself. I really struggle with this! I am a big self critic, and I often feel more guilt than I should about situations I could have handled better. Being a parent can also mean that you encounter a lot of judgement and criticism from others. Both of these combined can really dent your confidence. But I have recently tried to learn to trust my instincts. We all are just trying to do our best and what we believe is right for our families. What others think doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. We usually know what’s best for our children, and we can be satisfied with that. As for the self-critical Mums (who isn’t?!) it’s time to give ourselves a break! We are all doing the best we can, and we are all human, so let’s not be so hard on ourselves and be ready to give ourselves as well as each other a big pat on the back! And whatever you do, do not compare yourself to others!
5. Now set yourself some goals!
The real key to me regaining confidence has definitely been putting things into action. It’s only by doing these things and getting out there that I have built up my confidence. So, if you’re like me and think a lot about taking some of these steps, but struggle to implement them, make sure to set some clear goals. Write them down, give yourself a schedule or a time in which to achieve something by, and make sure you stick to it. It can be hard at first, but it is defiantly worth it.
All of these things really worked for me. It’s not always an easy process. It’s taken me a couple of years to get where I am now, and I definitely still feel like I have further to go. But I’m certainly in a great place at the moment. Remember, we’re all in this together! Let’s boost each others confidence and make each other feel good. Praise each other and be supportive. We never know how someone is feeling, and it could mean the world to them!
I really hope this post helps someone. Do you feel like you’ve lost confidence since becoming a Mum? What have you found helpful in regaining confidence? Please leave a comment and let me know!