Getting your confidence back after having a baby is a huge obstacle for the majority of new mums. Having a baby is a life-changing event for most women, especially when it’s your first child. As well as all the obvious changes when becoming a parent, mums have the added change of growing a human. Often after the birth we’re so busy getting used to parenthood, we can forget to love and nurture ourselves. Studies have shown is takes 6 months to recover from the physical and emotional effects of labour. So it’s no surprise that when it’s time for us to go back out into the world again we can feel a lack of confidence in ourselves, our abilities and our bodies.
Remember that as parents, we lead by example. It is so easy to put off anything that’s not urgent, feeling that we should take care of our child and not be so selfish as to get a haircut or have a manicure. Even when our children are tiny, it’s important for us to get into the habit of doing things for ourselves. That might be a haircut; it might be getting a babysitter so that you can go for a walk. Start now, so that this is something your child understands as a part of life as they grow up. We must take good care of ourselves if we are to be of use to anyone.
Back to Work
Make the decision that’s right for you. Often a lack of confidence will see us returning to a job we don’t care for or enjoy. After maternity leave is the perfect time to make a change; if you go back to a job you hate now, you may never leave! Take some time to really think about what you would love to be doing, and how you might be able to fit that around your new role as a mother. If you are not sure what you want to do, we can talk through your options and help you start planning your return to work, a new job or even your own business. Find out more here Parent Returner Coaching
Never, ever say you’re “just” a mum. Whether you decide to go back to a full time job, or to stay home and care for your child 24/7, neither is any more or less important than the other. The only important thing here is which is the right role for you. If you want to stay home and care for your child, and you can find a way to do so, then do that with the pride of someone who is raising part of the next generation. Being a mother is an important job, even if it doesn’t feel like it when you’re watching hours of CBeebies! You are not “just” a mum; you are doing your bit for society by raising a well adjusted, happy child.
These are a few thoughts for you to ponder as you decide what your next step will be. Returning to work is not for every new mum, but that decision should be based on what you want to do, not what your self esteem dictates. In a follow-up post, Practical Tips for Boosting Your Confidence we will look at things you can do to help yourself feel more confident and ready to take on the world!