Before having a baby, you were probably pretty settled into your life. You knew what to expect day-to-day, from your home life to your job. Chances are, you had a bunch of stuff figured out, and you were confident in going about your life.
Then, you had a baby, and there’s nothing that turns things completely upside-down as a baby. You can’t reason with them. You can’t read their mind. You can’t always figure out what they’re trying to tell you some of the time. Having a baby shakes up your life like nothing else.
Why Do New Moms Question Their Confidence?
When we look around us as new moms, it appears that other moms have this whole thing figured out while we’re floundering. Here’s a secret: we’re all learning as we go along. Kids change so fast that once you think you’ve figured something out, your baby will switch things up on you and enter into a new stage.
The lack of sleep and complete life overhaul takes a toll on our confidence and makes us question if we’re doing everything right. The other thing is that all babies are different. It is impossible to compare situations and babies. Even babies within the same family are different, so if you’re questioning your confidence with a second child, that’s completely normal because the lessons you learned with your first may not all apply.
Why New Moms Shouldn’t Lack Confidence
Although we often question our abilities as new moms, it’s essential to keep things in perspective. Any time there is such a huge life change, it will take some getting used to. No new mom has it all figured out. We are all learning on the job. We are the best parents for our kids, and as we get further into parenting, we keep learning new things.
10 Ways to Improve Your Confidence as a New Mom
1. Get some alone time with your baby.
The best way to connect with your new baby and learn more about her is by spending time alone. This time shouldn’t be too hard to come by if it is your first baby, but you may feel pulled in many directions if it is your second. Have your partner take the older children on a special outing so that you can spend some time with the new baby uninterrupted.
2. Connect with other moms.
Having a group of moms who you can bounce ideas off of will help you feel better when it comes to your kids. Again, all kids are different, but being able to vent to other moms who understand can go a long way. The key here is not to compare yourself to others too much, as this could backfire. Find some mom friends that are the right mix of support.
3. Know that you can trust your instincts.
Science confirms that having a baby changes a woman in various ways. Those gut feelings that you have about your baby? Totally justified. According to anthropologist and author of Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Ph.D., “The rise and fall of gestational hormones over the course of her pregnancy, along with the surge of oxytocin during labor and birth, prime mothers for responsiveness . . . A new mother’s top priority is often to make sure her baby is safe, and she will have a low threshold for sensing anything amiss.”
4. Don’t take everyone’s advice to heart.
When you’re pregnant or have a newborn, people will want to give you advice. While their intentions are good, it doesn’t mean that it will work for you just because something worked for them.
5. Let go of the guilt.
When anything goes wrong with our kids, we tend to feel super guilty. Many things aren’t under your control, and even the things that are, sometimes things happen. Maybe your child gets sick or gets hurt. It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad mother.
6. Do some research.
Preparing as best you can before your baby comes is very helpful. Great videos and baby books can help instruct you in the basics, such as bathing your child and changing a diaper. These things can be learned ahead of time, and you may not feel like you’re scrambling as much.
7. Don’t conceal your emotions.
All of us get upset, but hiding your emotions from your family won’t help things. By communicating your emotions with your partner and kids, you can help them understand how you’re feeling.
8. Be sure to take time out for self-care.
There is no doubt that moms are burning out more often. We are reluctant to ask for help and try to manage things on our own. This practice can lead to lower confidence because we can’t sustain this level of parenting and productivity. Be sure to give yourself breaks to recharge, and you’ll be a better and more confident parent because of it.
9. Notice the moments.
It can be so easy to get bogged down in challenging moments. The toddler tantrums and sleepless nights are brutal, but there are many great moments. Focusing on these moments with your kids and just being present will do a world of good for your confidence.
10. Use positive self-talk.
If your internal monologue is constantly doubting your mothering ability, it will be hard to overcome it. Make sure to be kind when talking to yourself, and focus on the positive. Beating yourself up over a mistake won’t do you any favors. Learn from it and move on.
When it comes to becoming a new mom, there are many things to learn. You will learn many of these things as you go along, but we all do. Knowing you’re not alone, preparing as best you can, and watching for burnout are the keys to maintaining confidence as a new mom.
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