10 Ways For Us Mommies To Build Our Self-Esteem

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Rhian_Adams

10 Ways For Us Mommies To Build Our Self-Esteem

Posted 17 Jun 2018

Wellbeing

Rhian Adams

10 Ways For Us Mommies To Build Our Self-Esteem

Motherhood is the most extraordinary journey that we as women will ever experience, but it is also probably the hardest and most challenging journey of our lives.  So much change!  Emotional, mental, physical change and so many demands on time.

Inevitably, with a newborn baby to look after, while running a household and often with careers to manage as well, when you are exhausted and stressed it is easy to neglect your own physical and emotional health. It is much easier for a mum to sacrifice her own care for the care of others: our husbands, children, family, friends, and show up as our best in work.  But how can we be good to others if we are not good to ourselves?

I want to offer encouragement to other mums out there to balance Self-sacrifice with Self-love. 

Here are 10 ways in which we, as new mums, can build our self-esteem and become more confident in our bodies, our many roles and ourselves in everyday life.

1) Know that you are not alone
Be kind to yourself during this time; it is normal to doubt yourself, overly worry about things and feel a little out of control of your emotions and life in general.  It takes time to feel somewhat normal again. 

2) Make a list of all the opportunities available you have to take time out for yourself 
The most important thing we as mums can do is to actually schedule some time for ourselves just like we schedule other important tasks, events and reminders.

Make a list of the friends and family that can be available to help you out. It may not just mean babysitting but even simple things like taking a long, relaxing shower or getting to your laundry whilst you have help around.

Nap while your baby naps. Of course, this is easier said than done, especially when there are so many other things we need to do while our little one naps, like shower, eat, answer emails, phone calls, etc. but try and schedule in sleep time too. Sometimes, simply resting with your eyes closed will help give you that little bit of peace and quiet to recuperate your strength.

3) Learn to love your body for the miracle that it has performed
As women, our bodies are so different from men’s bodies. We deposit fat in different areas of the body and our bodies change in different ways during pregnancy and post-partum from head to toe, and a lot of it is beyond our control even if we follow a clean eating and exercise regime. It has been six months since my daughter was born and I have only recently stopped wearing my maternity clothes and started wearing my normal clothes again.

Ignore the message that the media gives boasting fast weight loss in new mums. These women are definitely in the minority and for most of us, slower is more achievable and, in the long term, probably better.  This time is all about embracing our new ‘mumbod’ as it has given us our beautiful baby. It means we need to ‘trust our body’, it will not betray us.  Just as our bodies miraculously change to accommodate a baby, it has the same ability to bounce back afterwards.  It’s important to remember this during our moments of self-doubt and self-criticism and to be patient and kind to ourselves to let our body take the time to adjust and return to normal. But make a plan, think about nutrition and exercise, think about how you want to feel, set SMART goals, small steps, incremental changes and a realistic timeline all nurtured with a support system and kind words and encouragement.

4) Find something that makes you feel good about yourself
Prioritize time for activities that make you feel good.  This could be playing your favorite album while in the shower or giving your nails a fresh coat of polish. For me, this is taking a daily walk, and spending time with my husband, who is my biggest support.

5) Spend time with other new mums
For me this has helped a lot, the bond that mothers share because of the journey we have all been through to give birth to our beautiful babies is wonderful. 

We set up a WhatsApp group of new mums in my community and this has helped me tremendously. It is amazing how the same things affect us all; we all have the same worries, questions, and, although, we were all entering motherhood from different places with different challenges, we have found that we can all support and encourage each other together, and we can celebrate each other without any judgement.

6) Build a support network around you
Personally, living in Dubai and being away from family became harder during my pregnancy, fluctuating hormones and apprehension about the future and my new life took its toll on my happiness and made me very anxious.  I contacted friends that I knew were mums, and friends that cared and supported me and I made the effort to meet with them regularly.  It really made a difference for me to surround myself with a “family of friends” and positive people who have joined me on my journey and continue to be blessings in my life.

7) Accept, embrace and love the person that you are
You are beautiful just the way you are.  Your self-worth is based on who you are on the inside and not what you look like on the outside.  Put your efforts into recognizing your special qualities.  What you think about yourself will always be more important than what others think of you. You get to define the person you are every single day, take that opportunity with a moment of quiet reflection every morning.

8) Find the opportunity to exercise
Not only will a regular exercise program help bring your body back into shape, it will also help you feel better about your body, and it should give you more energy not to mention those feel good hormones that come with getting a sweat on.

If you are waiting for the doctor’s ‘go ahead’ to workout, spend some time doing some gentle walks outside.  Fresh air really helps to lift your mood, and surrounding yourself with nature brings peacefulness and gratitude.  If you cannot find that opportunity of “alone time” to exercise check out my blog on working out with your baby. 

9) Fuel yourself with good, nutritious foods
A balanced diet will help keep your energy levels up on the tired days. Focus on nutrition rather than dieting to lose the pregnancy weight gain, especially if you are breastfeeding, the priority is to provide your baby with nutritious breast milk.  Learn a few simple recipes to pull together and stock up on healthy snacks.

10) Practice self-love as a positive example to your children
What message will we be giving to our children as they grow if we are negative, consumed with self-doubt, feel unworthy and do not care for ourselves? If we are always negative and put ourselves down, then how are our children going to learn how to self-love?

Self-love is a beautiful and powerful message to give to our children and we are the first model that they look up to and copy as they grow up.  Our children will learn from us how to think about themselves, how to react in difficult situations, how to be kind to others and also to ourselves. Our children will observe the decisions we make in regards to food and exercise and our approach to body confidence and acceptance.

Remember, you are not alone on this journey! Millions of parents around the world feel the same way.  It is natural to struggle in this new chapter.  Learning to accept ourselves, our bodies and be the best role model we can for our children may take changes: changes in our thoughts and our words about ourselves, maybe a change in our behavioral patterns, daily choices along with a dose of courage - but it will be worth the effort when we are confident and happy with ourselves and an even better version of who we used to be.

Change takes time, but we need to make our well-being a priority.

Let us take the time to make the changes. Together, let us recover our self-esteem and bounce back even more confident in ourselves, our bodies, our abilities and our roles.

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VishalNando_585

VishalNando_585 says:

3 weeks 1 day ago
Having good self esteem is so important in raising children to deal with the challenges with life, and its alot harder to achieve than it seems when you read the words of how to achieve that.
Rhian_Adams

Rhian_Adams says:

2 weeks 6 days ago
Thankyou Vishal for your comment, your absolutely right its very important and with small steps it can only improve. It is easier said than done but taking the effort to make small changes will really be worth it.
Brian

Brian says:

3 weeks 5 days ago
Oh my wife is going to relish this advice which is the type of information to give encouragement and hope to all of the additional responsibilities that make parenthood (not just for the mother huh ;) both beautiful and challenging. B
Rhian_Adams

Rhian_Adams says:

2 weeks 6 days ago
Thank-you Brian, and yes your so right, its not just the Mum! Its natural for both Mum and Dad to struggle in this new chapter, As a Dad its also important to make wellbeing a priority, happy dad = happy mum and baby. I love the words you picked to describe Parenthood - Beautiful and Challenging :)

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