What does it mean to lack confidence as a mother? By Sarah Hair

5 Jul

I’m still stewing over what an assistant said to me last week at baby group. She was referring to her sister lacking in confidence as a mother. I was standing there, calming my tired baby by holding her in my arms, and this suits me fine. At home I will do the housework while carrying her and she falls asleep fuss free, and again, this is fine by me. But this woman at baby group was suggesting all these ideas to me about how to calm my baby. Ideas such as rocking my baby in the pram. Okay, lots of mothers use this technique, but it doesn’t suit me. I find it wastes my time. All the time I’m rocking my baby to sleep, which could take hours, I could be doing the housework with one hand.

 

We have the natural ability to multi task and I make the most of it, I pride myself by it. Us women adapt to motherhood, it’s instinctively in our nature, a lot of what we do is down to  common sense. So to all those 2nd, 3rd, 4th , 5th, 6th and so on time mothers who do a wonderful job, please let us 1st time mothers get on with ours. We, like you, will learn along the way.

 

I wish I made it more clear to this assistant at baby group how I like picking my baby up when she cries, I like having her sleep in my bed, I like doing everything I do, because I want to make the most of my baby who won’t be a baby forever. I really don’t want to miss a thing!

 

This week, the assistant had the nerve to give a leaflet specifically to me, on how to be a confident mother. I told her ‘I am confident.’ I don’t like confrontation, but to be criticised in any way for being a mother when I know I’m doing an amazing job and coping awesomely well, is the biggest insult ever.

 

I can see where her judgemental perception of me came from. It was my 2nd time at baby group, and I was among some women whom I had never met before, yet, they all knew each other. I don’t usually feel extremely confident among strangers, so this assistant had obviously confused my lack of confidence in a new surrounding surrounded by new people with my ability to be a mother. Her intentions could have been well, so I didn’t want to disregard her advice as being completely patronising, therefore I have decided to find out what it actually means to lack in confidence as a mother.

 

I came across 6 confidence boosters. The first was to tune out the voices, which I evidently do. I don’t appreciate unsolicited advice. If I have a concern I will seek advice myself. The 2nd was to stop comparing yourself with others. If ever I do do this it’s more on how wonderful I think my baby’s development is. The 3rd was to eliminate guilt. Okay, I hold my hands up. I have suffered guilt for continuing university, but, considering I had my baby in the middle of my degree and finished my 2nd year with a new born, I think I overcome my guilt WITH CONFIDENCE! The list just gets better. The 4th confidence booster is to take care of yourself. I actually do make a conscious effort to eat healthy and exercise, more so now than before I had a baby. In fact, it’s easier to take care of myself now than before baby, because it’s for baby. And I still make an effort to look nice, even though other mums said when baby comes, wanting to look nice will go out the window. I don’t need to be told how to take care of myself. Number 6, have fun with your baby. Do I need to justify this? My God!

 

If I wasn’t confident, then surely I wouldn’t go back to baby group, to be under scrutiny by someone who thinks I’m doing such a crap job. But instead I do go back, because it’s for Amaya, it’s not for me. Everything I do is for Amaya. So stuff how people perceive me, because at least I know I’m doing a good job. And I’m really proud.

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