Mama talks... confidence

Let's talk about confidence. Your confidence as a parent, as well as a human being, and how the whole shape of it has changed since having children.

Do you have more confidence in some areas of your life now, and less in others? If it’s less (which definitely was, and still is, the case for me), then how can we figure out what’s getting in the way, so that we can clear away those blocks and choose to build ourselves up again – for everyone’s sake?

After her moving piece on identity last week, the brilliant Stephanie Moore (actor, writer and mum of two) is back today with a piece that tackles one of the big confidence wobbles for new mamas – making new mama friends. How do you build new connections when you have only gestational dates and postcodes in common, when you have zero energy in the tank, and when all attempts at conversation are drowned out by a screaming baby. You don’t even recognise yourself, let alone believe that you have anything to offer to someone else. I could barely string a sentence together for the first year of my daughter’s life, and that was on the days when I could think of anything to say at all. Terrified to tell anyone how I was actually feeling. Lonely, disconnected, numb, stupid and so bored... How did all the other mums have their shit together so much better than I did? What was I doing wrong? What I didn’t realise at the time is that these mum friendships would become my survival, my sanity and would help to rebuild my self-esteem.

Relationships and communication can get really strained under the weight of your aching exhaustion, endless responsibilities, and the heady cocktail of swimming emotions. Steph expresses perfectly below, how making new friendships can feel like a really knackered kind of dating. So let’s start by supporting each other to release the external pressures, the competitive comparisons, and the constant strive for non-existent perfection. Let’s start by being a friend to ourselves by choosing to use kinder words and softer judgements. Let’s start by trusting ourselves, knowing that who and what we are is already enough.

Because when we choose to release the ‘should’s, everything flows more easily. When women work with each other, for each other, there’s more confidence, more choice, and more space to breathe. And because when we do say the scary things out loud and someone responds with a “me too”, suddenly all that loneliness and stupidity and failure melts away, and you can find the confidence to get you through the rest of the day (or even just the next twenty minutes over coffee), knowing that you're not alone. Knowing that you’ve got this.

Text back

Why

doesn’t she text back?

I’m wondering

left waiting

for a date

the weight of

worry laden like

his new-to-school rucksack.

TEXT BACK

I’ve shoe-horned my hope

into a whatsapp chat

one single conversation

and she’s mum-pal perfection

of course she’ll reject me

not her cup of tea really

this feeling

stealing a glimpse/

damn

why’s there no message

suggesting a date -

soft play, maybe cake?

lately it’s been one-sided greetings sooooo

She’s keeping me keen

Pleeeeease type, reply and send

my new mum friend??!

I need

to read

to feel

that feeling of the text back

written confirmation

no fleeting playground flirtation.

FUCK

She text back.

and breathe.

relief.

WE

are having coffee next week!!!!!

(Eeeek.)

~ Stephanie Moore ~