Entering into motherhood can do a number on your confidence.
There are so many new transitions that you never would have imagined struggling through.
Simple things become complicated. Complicated things become impossible. And in the mix of all of that, you start to question everything you do.
Maybe before you had children you had this sort of rhythm with going after what you wanted and do things that made you feel good about yourself.
And in comes motherhood.
Things are a liiittle different now that you’re a mom.
Now, I’m gonna go ahead and spoil this and let you know, we are not going to be talking about looks today. I’m not going to be sharing with you the latest tips and tricks on how to look different on the outside.
The look we’re going for today starts from within.Oxford languages tells us that confidence is the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; it’s a firm trust.
So if you’re building or re-building confidence in yourself, according to the people at Oxford, there has to be a sense of firm trust.
Well, when you’re new to something, like being a new mom or you’ve just had your second or third kid, you may feel like you’re starting over.
So that firm trust can feel a bit… wonky.
And in this sort of restart, you have all of this new information about what you should and should not be doing.
You also have ads targeting you on how your body should look. Of course, they would never say to you “your body is ugly”, but they sure do communicate it with them.
One of my friends over on Instagram talks about this a lot. How much and how quickly ads are ready to send their snap-back material to new moms.
Maybe you’ve seen them too. Just craziness!
Ads aside, you also have people, some who are well intended and some who need boundaries, with their opinions in your ear and it’s quite hard to weed out who to listen to.
While trying to figure out who has the perfect answer, sometimes you may mute out your own voice.
This can definitely impact the way you trust yourself which then impacts the level of confidence that it takes to like who we are.
And how can you be confident or firmly trust someone or something you don’t really like.
I know. That’s heavy.
So heavy that I have a whole course inside of MYA because I believe it’s essential that you like who you are so that ultimately you can get to a place of loving who you are.
But for now, I want us to talk through four steps to look more confident after having children.
First, I want you to
Listen to your wants and needs and don’t compare yourself to what other people are doing.
The fastest way to feel insecure about yourself and how you are living out your life is to compare yourself to other people. I wonder why they’re able to do that and not me? If it was really that hard how come they make it look so easy?
Comparison takes your eye off of what you have the capacity for and puts a false perspective on what others have the capacity for. We all know that we don’t have the whole story.
Even if we feel like we know, we don’t know.
And speaking of knowing, the second-fastest way to feel insecure about yourself is to consistently lay your wants and needs aside and not listen to them.
When you think about a person that you think is confident, what is one of the things you think they have going on?
When I asked a mom this recently, they responded “It’s like they know what they want”. And so I’ll ask you the same thing I asked them, how will you know what you want if you don’t listen to yourself?
That small voice that says, I’m not really feeling this, or I actually want to raise my kids with this value instead of that one.
Whatever comes up for you when you’re ready to make decisions, listening to what you have to say is so important.
I talk more about How to Trust Yourself Again here.
So listen to your wants and needs and don’t compare yourself to others.
Next up, I want you to
Offer yourself the same kindness, forgiveness, and respect you offer others.
Even if it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.
This can be one of those things that feel so hard to do. Being kind to yourself and speaking to yourself with the same respect you offer your friends, your spouse, your children.
Would you call them the names you call yourself? Would you dismiss their feelings or tell them to suck it up? Or would you look at what they’re struggling with and help them, be kind to them, think helpful thoughts towards them.
You know those first few steps an emerging toddler takes? And you’re on edge encouraging them but also wanting to keep them safe.
Walking is something they’ve never done before so you know they will need your support.
When they take that first step and they wobble and miss their step, do you say “you always mess stuff up” and when they cry do you say “you’re so emotional and not even that serious. The other toddlers don’t cry like this”
…And yet, when you’re doing something new, you might say those things to yourself.
Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself for what you didn’t know. Respect yourself just as you do the people you love the most.
Now it’s time to
Observe the things you are doing well every day.
I can promise you, you are doing more than you realize. I can also promise you that you are doing much better than you realize.
We can get so lost in the day-to-day routines or sometimes the lack thereof. But it’s possible that you might be overlooking what you are doing well.
Maybe you’re not exactly where you want to be when it comes to managing emotions or making decisions based on what’s good for you and not just based on what your mom or friend or the mom you see over on the gram.
Because believe it or not, your confidence is being developed in every new and hard thing that you’re learning.
It’s disguised as a mundane routine that’s really just shaping your ability to show up consistently. There’s strength in showing up when things are hard. Because man, do things get hard.
The more you practice observing yourself what you do well every day, the easier it will become.
And last, but certainly not least,
Keep showing up in life just as you are. Your personality, your uniqueness, your awkwardness. ALL OF YOU.
Growing up I’m sure you got made fun of by the little things that made you who you are.
It makes me think of high school Show it until it becomes your standard of confidence. There’s growth in discovering the new girl you’re becoming. There are all types of goodness wrapped up in embracing yourself right where you are.I
If you noticed, I didn’t talk about looks at all.
That’s because confidence is an inside job. confidence is in the thoughts that you have about yourself.
Confidence is in your ability to see an obstacle, see a mountain, see a new transition coming your way, and moving towards it anyway. That’s confidence.
Confidence is having a deep vetting trust in yourself. A knowing, an understanding of who you are, where you want to go, and how you want to get there.
Confidence doesn’t come from having the best body, the best hair, the prettiest pantry or entryway, the highest paying job, or your ability to do all the things without complaining.
And if you’ve only associated your confidence in the things that I just named, it makes sense that you feel like you’ve lost confidence in yourself since having children.
A lot has changed and evolved since you’ve had children. You have changed since you’ve had children.
Because yes, you birthed a new baby but you birthed a new you too.
So to wrap all of this up,
In order look confident after having children you must
1. L – listen to yourself.
2. O – offer yourself kindness, forgiveness, and respect.
3. O – observe what you are doing well every day.
4. K – keep showing up just as you are.
See what I did there?
Maybe you haven’t lost confidence in yourself.
Maybe you’re just learning a new way of confidence. Just maybe.
This isn’t easy, I know.
And you might be fighting against what society praises as looking confident as you’re reading this right now.
But like with anything, little by little. Thought by thought. Action by action.
Until next time