If you’re a mum who’s lost confidence after taking time out of work to raise a family, you’re definitely not alone. In fact, according to AAT, just 11 months after giving birth millions of women feel they’re no longer able to ‘cut it’ in the professional world.
Why does this happen?
There are lots of reasons why mums lose confidence, but one area that affects many of us is a loss of identity. As we all know, life completely changes after having a baby. Prior to going on maternity leave, you’re being paid to do a job, working with other adults and often receiving feedback from your manager or colleagues. You probably had hobbies and socialised with friends. Now your primary focus is your child(ren)’s needs and their schedule, with little time for anything else. And as for feedback, well as my friend so eloquently put it, “You don’t tend to get much, but if your partner does say you’ve done a great job, you immediately get defensive and accuse him of being patronising!”
You may also feel socially isolated. As a stay-at-home mum I loved spending time with my daughter, but I did feel lonely at times and felt I lacked mental stimulation with only a young child to talk to. This naturally affected my confidence in interacting with others, especially on a professional level.
Many mums worry that they’ll no longer be able to do their job when they return to work. In my case, the rise of social media meant that the professional world had completely changed in the 5.5 years I was away and I felt like I’d been left behind.
Finally, when you start to lose confidence you can enter a vicious circle where your lack of confidence leads you to be overly self critical, which in turn affects your confidence.What can you do about it?
The first thing you need to do is identify what’s affecting your confidence. Once you have done this, try some of the following options:
- To help regain your sense of identity, carve out some time just for you. Join a club, arrange a regular meet up with friends or start volunteering. This will also help prevent those feelings of social isolation.
- Ask for and accept feedback from those closest to you
- Improve your knowledge and skills by signing up for a relevant course or doing research on the internet
- When you find yourself saying ‘I can’t’ or I’m not very good at’ try turning those negatives into positives and think about what you can do. As a mum you’ve acquired so many transferable skills like event planning, negotiation and even crisis management.
Having used many of these strategies myself to tackle my confidence issues, I am now happier and have a renewed sense of purpose, which is great for both me and my family. If that sounds good to you, why not start working on regaining your confidence today? You can do this because you’re already doing the hardest job in the world being a mum and, let’s face it, after having a baby you can do anything!
Want to find out more?
Contact me to book a free, no obligation 30 minute consultation where we can talk through your current situation and I can advise you on how I can help.