FINDING SELF-CONFIDENCE AFTER HAVING A BABY
Two of the things I really struggled to come to terms with after falling pregnant was losing the ability to manage my weight, and find time to look after myself. So, I've been looking for ways to boost my self-confidence after having a baby.
Having chatted to many mums about this topic, I've realised that the transition from no children to your first is the hardest. If you're anything like me, I lived a pretty spontaneous lifestyle, enjoyed adult only holidays, ate out A LOT, and actually saw friends. But one of the things, I didn't realise I was doing, was spending time looking after myself. I didn't think twice about having my nails manicured, popping to get my hair dyed, or working-out and now that I have to plan this in my week or not do it at all, I found myself feeling really low in self confidence. Not only that, I lost all body confidence, the thought of putting on summer clothes, that likely still didn't fit me was so depressing.
I looked back at holiday photos longing for the body I used to think was not good enough and would kill to look like that now. I had some serious body dysmorphia. But, letting this state of mind get the better of me was not going to fix itself, so it was time to take action.
The first thing I did to make changes was give myself some 'me time' everyday (I hate that expression but, whatever). Andy was great and looked after Knox in the evenings so I could have a bath. Let me tell you, I've never enjoyed having a bath so much. I said to Andy, since having Knox, I now know why people enjoy a glass of wine in the evening to unwind. Neither Andy or I drink.
Every baby is different, and as long as Knox was and continues to be happy and healthy thats all that mattered to me.
I also took the pressure off myself to keep up with what all my other mum friends were doing. Knox suffered from reflux, colic, was hyperactive and not that keen on drinking milk so my days were filled with ensuring he was getting enough calories, as he was always dropping on the percentile chart. Every baby is different, and as long as Knox was and continues to be happy and healthy thats all that mattered to me. I was really keen to breast feed Knox, but as he didn't like lying down for longer than 5 mins, I took to pumping. This was fantastic in some ways, but it also meant I was chained to my pump every few hours which began to drive me crazy. I didn't give up though, I found ways to produce more milk, so I could get ahead of the game in the morning and pump a few bottles worth so I had at least a few extra hours before I was back at the pump (see my Boobie Biscuits & Breakfast Boobie Smoothie recipes if you're keen to increase your milk supply).
Looking after my skin has also jumped up on my priority list, when it came to beauty, I was always minimal effort, maximum results. Now I'm give me everything you've got as I need it all. When you've woken up 6 times a night for 3 months, you start to look like it too. Out of the blue, VIVUS Hair & Beauty reached out to me, asking if I fancied popping in for a Decleor Hylaronic 'First signs of Ageing' Facial and boy, it did wonders. This then kick started my love of Decleor products and now every night I religiously cleanse then apply their Night Balm and Eye Cream.
Making sure I spend time getting ready has also become a must, so I've treated myself to some new clothes (this means I don't need to feel down if I don't fit the old ones), a curling tong (my hair just isn't as easy as it used to be) and don't walk out of the door until I have my make-up on. I'm not saying I look like I'm about to step out on stage when I leave, but I do have enough cover-up on to hide the grey bags. I remember going to a Monkey Music class (if you know, you know) once and the only person in the room with a scrap of make-up on was the teacher. That was the last time I left the house with no make-up on.
As making it to the gym, or to a class has not happened yet, I've made more of an effort to walk more. The fresh air is also a perfect way to give Knox a break from the house and on occasion catch up on some z's.
Most importantly, the thing I have learned to do is chill. Since relaxing and not listening to every Tom, Dick and Harry about what I should or shouldn't be doing with my baby, both Knox and I have settled into a nice little routine which has allowed me to indulge in myself and do a little work on the side. Plus, I love to lunch, he loves to lunch, so we're both happy. Although the cakes have had to go. As my ballet teacher once told me, "a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips".