It’s no surprise that the physical changes and added pressures of becoming a mother can impact your self-esteem, but for many women, even three years after giving birth, self-esteem continues to remain lower than it was prior to pregnancy. Building confidence through acts of self-care is vital for new mums, but the demands of raising a small child make it more challenging than ever to focus on your own mental health and well-being. Apply the same structure and routine to acts of self-care as you do in maintaining your child’s daily schedule. Designate time each day, either when your child is asleep or someone else is present to provide care, to commit to self-care.
Find Time To Exercise
You may roll your eyes at the idea of exercising when you’re sleep-deprived, recovering from childbirth and buried knee-deep in nappies, but studies consistently show the transformative effects a workout can have on your mental health. Exercise improves confidence in a number of ways: it stimulates the production of endorphins that promote feelings of well-being, gives you a sense of accomplishment, and of course, keeps you looking fit. Once you’re six weeks postpartum and your doctor has cleared you for exercise, you can begin to gradually incorporate working out into your routine. Putting your baby in their pram and taking a walk around the block can be a great way to clear your mind, get some cardio, and even lull a restless child to sleep. You can also join a mother and baby yoga class to improve strength and flexibility, while also meeting other mums and bonding with your baby.
Do What Makes You Feel Beautiful
Constant exhaustion, feelings of guilt, and social stigma make it difficult for many new mums to focus on appearance. Take some extra time a few days a week to pamper yourself, indulging in a bubble bath, manicure or skincare treatment. Trading in your jogging bottoms for your favourite dress and putting on some makeup can instantly lift your mood and your confidence. An Australian makeup subscription box eliminates the extra step of having to go out and shop for your at-home spa day, and its monthly delivery will remind you that it’s time to give yourself a break.
Being A Mum Doesn’t Mean Losing Your Identity
Take time to revisit what was important to you before becoming a mum, whether it’s your favourite artist, book or movie. Motherhood can feel like an all-consuming aspect of your identity at times, and it’s important to remember that you’re still a multi-faceted individual. Sometimes you need to turn off Baby Shark and turn on The Pixies to reawaken your former self and see how much you’ve grown. Find moments for creative expression as well. Journaling for just a few minutes before bed can help you reconnect with your deeper thoughts, and work through emotions that may otherwise remain buried.
To be a supporting, effective parent, it’s important to make your own happiness a priority. Taking time to care for yourself doesn’t make you selfish - it is a necessary part of being human. By performing acts of self-care and improving your confidence, you’re setting an important example for your child.