Dance like nobody is watching…October 2, 2014
Babies don't have inhibitions, they don't lack confidence, they are out there and proud. Even as young as a week old newborn babies can “feel” music and it might even seem like they are dancing to the beat, they sing and coo along and are as happy as larry. So what happens? As we grow up we become more aware of social conventions and more self aware, we start to measure ourselves by comparing how we look / dance / speak to others. As we become mothers this comparison can become even more acute, especially as we are forging new friendships where we are maybe not as confident as we have been before.
I wish that I had been my “normal” self when I was on maternity leave for the first time but I am afraid to say my confidence was knocked. I didn't know who I was as a “mum” and tempered some of my views and opinions to fit in with my new mummy friends. This is no reflection on the people that I met during this time, some of whom went on to become real friends, it is about how I was feeling and adjusting to my new role. From speaking to lots of mummies I have realised that this is all too common, we can be so desperate to fit in and to be part of our new cliques that we lose who we really are and lack the confidence to show the sides to our personality which may not typically align with people's views of a mum.
As a new mum people are always telling you to give yourself time and look after yourself, all of this is true and I hope that you do. I would also say learn from your baby, be natural and be your authentic self – so you might offend someone at a mummy meet up if you say “fuck” or wear spray on skinny jeans but if that's you then be you and be confident enough to accept that some people will never “get” you as you won't some people. I will be keeping an eye out for you and might convince you to trade that coffee for a glass of wine.