Becoming a mother is an overwhelming experience. You’ve gone through nine possibly exhausting months, defeated the difficulties of labour, and suddenly you’re in charge of caring for a completely helpless new baby. Many mums feel a mix of emotions when their baby is born, including joy, excitement, and anxiety. If you’re struggling with your self-confidence when it comes to caring for your new baby, take these important steps to feel strong and in control.
- Be prepared for anything. Sometimes, it helps just to know that you have the tools and skills available should something go wrong. Instead of worrying about the possibility of an emergency happening, arm yourself with the knowledge of what to do in case it does. You can easily get an australian first aid certificate so that you’re able to take charge and provide emergency medical care if necessary. You can also buy a fully stocked first-aid kit to keep in the house to give you peace of mind. Have emergency numbers taped up to your fridge and then try to relax and accept that if something happens, you’ll be ready.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Panicking may be the logical next step when you’ve been desperately rocking a screaming newborn for five hours, but it won’t make you feel any better, and it may make the baby more upset. Learn basic relaxation techniques like mindfulness meditation and deep breathing to help you stay level and calm no matter what may be going on around you. A calm mind is a more confident mind.
- Stick to your guns. It’s difficult to know what the right thing to do is when you’re surrounded by opposing advice from well-meaning friends and relatives. Do your own research, speak with a doctor you trust, and then stick to the decisions you’ve made about how you want to care for your child. Standing up for yourself may be tough at first, but it’ll definitely increase your confidence as a mother.
- Keep guilt at bay. All too many mothers suffer from mum-guilt. You know, that nagging feeling that each little mistake you make is adding up to form the evidence in the case against you as World’s Worst Mum. Try to combat those negative thoughts by reminding yourself regularly that you’re a good mother, you’re doing the best you can, and every mum makes mistakes. Don’t allow those guilty, anxious feelings to drag you down.
- Practice decisiveness. Lack of self-confidence often leads to indecisiveness. Practice making decisions, starting with the small ones that don’t have a huge impact. Give yourself a time limit on how long you’ll take to decide which brand of nappies to buy, then make the decision and move on. Remember that you are just as capable of making decisions as anyone else, and you’re the one with your baby’s best interests at heart.
- Keep away from comparison. You know what they say; comparison is the thief of joy. This is particularly true for overtired new mums. Stay away from those picture-perfect Instagram pages filled with carefully staged pictures of mums lounging in their gorgeous living rooms with their peaceful perfect babies. Their real lives are likely just as chaotic as yours, but if the comparison makes you feel self-conscious, detach from the opportunity to compare.