10 Ways Moms Can Build Confidence Back After Having A Baby

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mom with confidence after having a baby
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There are a multitude of reasons why your confidence might be knocked down once you have children, all of which are understandable.

But the big question is, what can you do about it? Learning how to build confidence after kids is a different type of practice than just trying to build it beforehand.

Your body has changed, you're experiencing new things, and you're worried about getting "unstuck" so you can get back to your blossoming, confident self.

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Here are 10 ways moms can build self-confidence after having children.

1. Practice self-care.

Make yourself a promise to practice one act of self-care a day. This can be as simple as ensuring you eat a proper healthy meal, do something with your hair, or put some makeup on.

Ask someone to hold you accountable to ensure you do it, or add it to your daily to-do list to remind you it’s important. Don't skimp on taking care of your needs.

2. Exercise and improve body posture.

Holding yourself upright with your head up and shoulders back, as well as any form of activity will help to release endorphins and improve your mood.

It doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out, painful trip to the gym if that’s not your thing. Try watching YouTube videos for exercise ideas, and even some restorative yoga can be a wonderful way to start.

Remember that weight gain, fatigue, not enough time for self-care, no need to go to work, and a diminishing social life may all contribute to your physical appearance once you have children.

Even if you fit back in your clothes, you may not feel like putting on makeup, fixing up your hair, pampering yourself with a massage, or boosting those endorphin levels by exercising. You may no longer feel like the powerful, confident woman you used to be when you look in the mirror.

One study found that in the 20 percent of women who retain excessive weight after giving birth, those who gained the most weight in the last trimester did not feel attractive during the first year after giving birth.

Other factors such as levels of depression, stress, anxiety, and body image also had an effect, but the greatest was how attractive you felt in that first year.

3. Master needs-based communication.

Its too easy to assume others know what you're thinking and need. Learn and practice asking for help by expressing the underlying need.

4. Plan ahead and create joint expectations.

When you first have a baby, you're thrown out of your comfort zone. There are a multitude of new skills to master and knowledge to attain.

The hope of breastfeeding and an ideal routine may not be realized. Lack of sleep will only add to the stress, and comparing yourself to other mothers who seem to be coping better than you can push you down the confidence slide even further.

If you then have a second or third child, the demands differ, but come with their own complications. You may have gone from being super-organized and highly respected in the office to finding yourself overwhelmed with what you thought was going to be easy.

Its not surprising that your confidence in your abilities may become compromised. This may be exacerbated further if your baby is deemed more difficult due to feeding issues or temperament.

Spend some time with your partner defining what each others' expectations are, both in terms of how you hope to support each other with your children and what you both require from each other in a relationship.

This is creating your "relationship rulebook,"th which you can keep adding to and adapting over time.

5. Build a support network.

Your relationship can also be affected by the addition of a new baby.

Interestingly, a study conducted in Norway showed that relationship satisfaction wasn't altered during pregnancy, despite weight gain in the late stages. Still, the confidence of the mother was significantly affected after giving birth.

This was seen more so after a couple having their first child, and to a lesser extent after having more children. However, it continued to deteriorate over the following years.

This may be because the mother felt a lack of support, or the focus and emphasis of the relationship shifts to the child, rather than the partner. So, it's not surprising that the relationship can come under significant stress.

Simply understanding you aren't alone and that parenting is not easy can help you feel better.

Also understand that like social media, people tend to publicly portray their successes rather than their vulnerabilities. Join other groups of mothers either online or in person and support each other.

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6. Eliminate negative people from your life.

In the same vein as surrounding yourself with positivity and supportive people, you may want to consider ridding yourself of negativity. If there are people around you who knock your confidence or drain you, then it may be time to distance yourself.

7. Plan your finances.

No doubt about it, having a child carries huge financial implications. The initial outlay when you want everything to be perfect is just the tip of the iceberg.

You then have to factor in childcare if you want to get back to work, perhaps a bigger home down the line as you eat into the space you have, and of course a reduced income, at least in the short term, if not forever.

You may find yourself having to budget significantly. On occasion this can be overwhelming if you start project into the future and are either planning to return to work only part time or perhaps not at all.

There's nothing like being prepared! Sometimes the thoughts and subsequent feeling of being powerless to do anything about it can create the sense of overwhelm.

Spend some time planning your finances and putting them down on paper, both with short- and medium-term goals. Just being able to refer back to these goals when you are doubting yourself is reassuring that you have a plan in place and can eliminate the worry.

8. Practice "abundant thinking."

When you worry about money, your thoughts go to a place of lack, which creates worry and concern. Having an attitude of abundance and a positive money mindset will instantly help you feel confident about your bank balance.

Gratitude and affirmations can be part of this practice, believing what you desire is already here in your present moment.

9. Stay present.

It's all too easy to start worrying about the future and reminiscing in the past, all of which have a psychological impact on you. Any time you find yourself feeling blue, bring yourself back to the present.

Mindfulness practice, meditation, and expressing gratitude for what you have at this moment in time are all things that can help you do this more easily.

10. Be a leader.

Perhaps you have worked all your life and have been highly independent. Stopping work and finding yourself dependent on someone else can play havoc with your self-esteem.

You may have been incredibly able and confident at work, only to find yourself feeling vulnerable and inadequate as a mother, no longer in control.

Trying to create the balance between who you were, who you are now, and who you wish to be are significant issues that can impact on your confidence levels once you have children.

This can become harder still once you return to work, perhaps with different priorities than those of the woman who went on maternity leave.

If you work in an environment with lots of men, it would hardly be surprising if you didn’t want to come across as weak or inferior by using motherhood as an excuse not to stay working in the office until 8:00 p.m. Navigating all this can be a challenge, for sure.

Knowing who you are, what your values and beliefs are, how amazing you are as a person, and how loved you are will help you to avoid self-doubt and empower you to be your sparkling, confident self, no matter who or what challenge you face.

Spend some time reflecting on these things, and take ownership of them. You will exude the energy created by them the more you embody them.

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Rana Al-Falaki is a life coach and author of Women Who Want More: How to Create a Balanced and Fulfilled Life. For more information on how to strengthen these areas of your life, additional free resources and exercises can be downloaded from her website.

This article was originally published at My Baba. Reprinted with permission from the author.