Has Being A Stay At Home Mum Affected Your Confidence?

You’ve had the maternity-leave send off.

The baby shower.

The baby.

Your little bean is finally here – lighting your house, bringing so much life into the four walls you occupy with this little miracle – and definitely not such a ‘little bean’ anymore. Every visitor you’d ever imagined has come to meet your new arrival, and actually, you’ve felt like royalty. Everyone loves you and your baby, and you feel amazing! Life as a mum is everything you hoped it would be, and more.

Gradually, the visitors dry up. Dad goes back to work, and it’s just you and your baby. If you’re a first-time mum, you’d better hold on tight, because you’re about to ride one huge learning curve. You join lots of mum and baby groups; from breastfeeding support to baby-massage, or just the local mums and tots group, because you look forward to swapping stories (and comparing – we shouldn’t do it; all babies develop differently, and we know that, but – we just can’t help ourselves). You fret about the night wakings and the constant feeding.

Fast-forward a few weeks, and there are the days you are just so tired, you can’t face going anywhere. So you don’t make it to BF support group, or baby yoga, or Mums and Tots. Next week, you can’t face it. You come up with a long list of excuses NOT to go, because it’s easier to find an excuse than find the energy to socialise.

I’ve been a stay-at-home-mum for four and a half years now, and I can honestly say, it’s very easy to stay holed up indoors. Us writers know this too, and when you’re a mum as well, it doubles the likelihood of becoming quite introvert. There’s no longer the adult interaction, the banter you had at work. Before you know it, your confidence drops and your social media ‘lifeline’ via Facebook/Instagram/Twitter becomes a trigger for depression, because on the surface, it looks like everyone else is having fun except you.

When the little people go to school, it gets harder. Unless you go back to work, what’s your excuse for getting out of the house? If you’re a stay-at-home mum, shouldn’t you be a good wife and make sure the house is spotless for when the kids and your husband get home? Or should you look at many different avenues to retain some of that independence you had pre-kids? When my eldest was in preschool two and a half days a week, I was climbing the walls. I wanted to go back to work, as I was bored, lonely, and craving human contact. So I put my CV out there, and got invited for three interviews. The problem was, I was expecting our third child. No-one wanted to employ me, despite their being various laws around recruitment and pregnancy. So instead, I sucked it up, and focused on our pending new arrival.
With my first-born daughter, we went to various groups, but not regularly enough for it to feel like we belonged anywhere. So eventually our trips out for social interaction became few and far between. We weren’t house-bound; in fact, we had a secret love-affair with Ikea and often visited once a week (I still do, actually!). Now that she’s in school, it’s just Little ‘Bo and me, and I make a conscious effort to get out with her at least twice a week, to the same places for consistency. I joined a running group last year, and stepped onto my local preschool committee. Now my life is full of social interactions, and I wonder why I found it so difficult to socialise before.

As a mother, whether you’re a stay-at-home mother or a working mother, or a single mother, trying to juggle life, it’s true that taking the first step to carve a social life for yourself is the hardest. With your confidence at its lowest, you begin to worry
that people think you’re ignorant, because you don’t engage with them. You worry no-one will be interested in what you could possibly have to say. But once you make that step – once you get out, you realise how much fun you can have. With regular appointments, you begin to come out of your shell. You make new friends. You find you’re actually enjoying yourself, and begin to look forward to your new little schedule.
Your life takes on new meaning, and your confidence grows to new heights and you realise: being a mum is AWESOME. Not only did you grow a little person, but you’ve come this far and you’re managing parenting. In fact, you’re actually pretty good at it. Not every day is plain-sailing, but you wouldn’t change it for the world.

You Are Awesome.

The best way to get to this point?

Just get out there.


I’d love to hear about your experiences of parenting and how it’s affected your confidence, so feel free to comment below or drop me an email. If you enjoyed this blog, please do share with your networks. 

Remember – you’re a mum, and You Are Awesome. 

 


 

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4 thoughts on “Has Being A Stay At Home Mum Affected Your Confidence?

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this! I related to a lot of this. I joined the mum and baby groups and thought it was the best thing I could possibly do. But somehow, the other mums just couldn’t relate to me. They clicked with each other, but I didn’t make any meaningful connections. So, Luke and I would go to the groups and be present every week but we were a pair of misfits sadly. I miss the interaction of a 9 to 5 desk job and as soon as I recover from my latest flare up, I’m going to look for full time work again. My confidence has definitely suffered. I would love to be the old me again, the working mum. Being a stay at home mum or even a work at home mum isn’t for me, at this stage of my life.

    1. Hi Lacey 🙂

      I’m glad you found the post useful/relevant. I have to admit, I have found some groups quite cliquey in the past, but I also think a lot of that comes with feeling like an outsider; it’s the frame of mind. Having said that, some groups are certainly more welcoming than others, and I don’t think that’s intentional, I think it’s just the way sometimes. Other mums get settled into their groups and perhaps don’t always realise a lot of other mums feel like this.
      Have you considered going along to some networking groups? Once Little Legs is in preschool regularly, that’s my intention. Then hopefully when she’s in school I’ll be established within other networks.
      Try meetup.com for some groups near you? I know you have the entrepreneurial mindset. Having said that, sometimes we get to different stages in our lives when something works and other things don’t. I hope you’ll keep writing though xx

  2. Thanks for this post! I’ve been home with my son for about 18 months and moved to a new community about 4 months in. As a natural introvert it’s always been tricky for me to make myself get out of the house, and harder still to work up the nerve to talk to other parents. I’ve finally found a small group of other SAH parents that I feel comfortable around, but I still miss the interaction and competence I felt at work. This was especially noticeable at a recent “reunion” of a leadership class I took a few years ago, where everyone was talking about their careers and all I had to contribute was a halfhearted explanation of the freelance writing I do part-time. I’m happy staying home for now (expecting Baby #2) but really aware that I don’t want it to be forever.

    1. Hi Reanna!

      Aww I’m so glad you were able to identify with this; unless you’ve been there I don’t think many others really understand what it can be like. I was always an extrovert as a child, and I’ve gone the other way throughout various stages in my life, especially during motherhood as it’s so easy to find yourself cut off from society. But the fact you’ve put yourself out there in the first place speaks volumes; and your half-hearted explanation over your writing exploits sounds to me like low confidence. I’ve found writing regularly (I’ve been on a little hiatus – it’s not easily juggling family life and finding the time to write when you’re a SAHM) has really helped, it boosts how I feel about myself. You be proud of what you’ve achieved – big yourself up. You ARE awesome. Of course you are; you’re a mother and you can do anything you set your mind to. X

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