I was so much more confident about myself pre-motherhood. When our bodies change it can have a negative affect on the way we feel about ourselves. I wasn’t prepared for the stretch marks, soft breast tissue and saggy stomach skin that pregnancy left behind. I have never gotten back to my pre-baby weight-no matter how hard Iv tried Iv never managed to shift those last few kilograms. I would drag myself down with my negativity about my body and my personality.
I use to question someone’s intentions when they complimented my outfit because I thought that I would look so much better if I was thinner. I would sabotage my self-worth, questioning whether they were being sarcastic or genuine.
When someone compliments you just thank them and take a minute to feel good about yourself. Make it a habit to tell your family and friends what you like about them and point out their strengths. We are all our worst critics and learning to accept positive comments and making positive comments about other people is a good way of encouraging good feelings in yourself, and rebuilding your confidence and self-respect. Talk kindly to yourself. Make a list of the things that you like about yourself or the person that you want to be and stick them to your fridge. It might look something like this:
- I am a kind and thoughtful person
- I deserve respect
- I am the queen of my house
- I am not better than anyone else, and nobody is better than me
- I am strong and capable
- I can love and I deserve to be loved
- I have a good soul
- I can achieve anything that I put my mind to
- I am in charge of my happiness
- Positivity is a choice
- I am prepared to succeed
- Individuality is good
Be the sort of person that you want to meet. Positivity has a powerful effect.
It’s inevitable that being a new parent comes with a whole score of people who want to give you advice about what to buy, how to parent, how being a mum or dad should look. While some of these people are well meaning people, others can come across as down right rude know it alls. The secret is learning how to deal with these types of people. No matter how the advice or information comes across to you, take it with a grain of salt, thank the person for sharing their little tid bid of information and do what you feel is best for you. If they are persistent say to them “obviously we all parent differently and I’ll have to decide for myself what is best for me” and leave it at that. Excuse yourself from the conversation and leave quickly if you have to. You will have handled the situation gracefully with your dignity intact and hopefully if the idiot got the message, they will word their words of wisdom better next time or learn a lesson about giving unwarranted parenting advice. We all like to think that we know what we are doing when it comes to parenting and sometimes we don’t, but there is no harm in learning from our mistakes if there are no serious consequences.
I’m an emotionally battered mum. Let me explain myself a bit better. You know when you hear of those unfortunate people who are in a really awful, manipulative, emotionally abusive adult relationship, yet are so emotionally attached to their partner? Well that is me and my two year old- Princess 2. Lets be clear-I’m the victim here (and lets be even clearer here, there is no physical abuse).
My two year old is emotionally exhausting, demanding, manipulative and headstrong. The sheer exhaustion of it all has reduced me to tears on more than one occasion. Before you say it, no this is not depression. I think this is more common than people care to say. Parenthood can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Yet signs of struggling can feel like weakness and failure to some, and so many parents choose to suffer internally.
It is important to me that my two year old and I have a good relationship and that she is a well rounded individual. So for the benefit of both of us, she started preschool today.
There were no tears from either of us. She ran off to play with her newly formed friends and I had to chase her down for kiss. I promised to return later, we said our goodbyes and I left. Both of us happy.
Princess 2 is my third child. I have been a mum for 16 years. In my experience from socialising with mums in many different circles over these past years, I have found that there is a tendency to judge a parent’s parenting success based on their child’s behaviour. My first two children were very easy to parent and very well behaved. In fact other people would comment on how placid and well behaved they were.
Princess 2 is not like my other two children. She is the one that you see throwing a tantrum on the floor in the supermarket or having a melt down because it is time to go home from the park, or you might hear her saying ‘no’ repeatedly when I ask her to do something. I think that parents can be way too critical and way too quick to judge and I think that rather than criticising and smirking or raising eyebrows (yes Iv seen it), we need to be supportive of one another. After all, if you are just starting off with your first child, who knows what YOUR next child might be like 😉
My third child is smack bang in the midst of the ‘terrible twos’. I’m not afraid to say it, parenting toddlers is fricken hard! I feel like I’m walking on egg shells.
- I have to be careful what I say- if I mention a possible trip to the park today I better damn well make sure that trip to the park eventuates.
- I have to hide the ‘good’ food- no longer can I console myself with a sneaky biscuit. That little bugger has worked out what that crinkling sound is when I open a packet of chips or chocolate, and that sound when you take the lid off the cookie jar. In fact if she hears the pantry or fridge door open she is front and centre.
- When I ask questions like “would you like to use the scooter before I put it away?”, I have to hang around a minute after she says no in case she has decided 10 seconds later that she’s changed her mind.. which turns into a wail “I waaaant my scooooter, waaa haaa haaaa”.
- Her favourite colour of today may not be the same as yesterday. The shoes she liked yesterday may not be acceptable today. The food she so enjoyed yesterday may feel like poison in here mouth today.. and so on.
- If she wants a bandaid, get that kid a bandaid!
- My bed is no longer my own. Neither is my shower, my waterbottle, my slice of cake, my seat, my personal space, etc.
- A quick trip to the supermarket does not exist- the person responsible for strategically placing those coin operated rides inside the entry of every shopping centre… I hate you.
- I have learnt that the colour of the cup is important. So is the shape you cut their sandwich, and the picture on the front of their undies/pyjamas/shirt/spoon/drink bottle/shoes etc.
And to make sure that the wrath of the ‘terrible twos’ is really felt, they want to spend ALL their time with you… ALL their time.