The first year of motherhood can be surreal for first time moms. Finding our mom confidence is a process on it’s own. It took me a while to unpack mine and I’m still unpacking.
We are brought up to believe being a mom is a natural stage in most women’s lives. Coming from a huge Filipino family with tons of Titas with many kids I took the role of ‘Mom’ for granted.
Mainstream media doesn’t help either. The movies and television shows we watch growing up always seem to have a mother who’s got it all figured out. Most narratives always seem to portray the point of view of the kids or the dad. I cannot remember watching a movie with a mom leading the story. Maybe that’s just me?
We carry this little life around with us for 9 months, researching and reading about what is happening and what will happen. The birthing process is another blog topic on it’s own which I won’t touch on here. The next 12-24 months we are hit with constant reminders of what we should be doing and not doing on social media, through our elders and sometimes professionals.
It can be tough to find your mom voice. I’m talking about your own mom voice – the one that has your understanding & well-being in mind.
When I had Maya, I felt pressured to feel like I only had one purpose in life and that was to nurture this little life. But that is simply not true. Maya is my life purpose and I have others. We can have others!
Coming to this realization and this strength came from:
Being part of a community of empowering mom friends
It is so important to consider who you surround yourself with in the first year of motherhood. Your mental health and well-being are a direct result of who you have around you. The global pandemic made my first year easier. I connected with moms on social media and it was easy to find them. The tough part was filtering out the ones who did more damage than good.
Surround yourself with successful women who have worked to have it all (and by ‘all’ I mean everything they want)
There are so many amazing women out there who have what they want; they could be stay at home moms, solopreneurs, whoever. Success is how each person defines it. And not everybody wants the same things – thank goodness! Reading their blogs or stories really brings me comfort knowing we can each pave our own way.
But most of all, strength comes from spending time to get to know yourself and being patient.
I had a good understand of who I was before I had Maya but after she was born I was dealing with all the social expectations of being a mother. I spent months trying to live the way I thought I should as a mom. And that was a waste of time. It’s depressing being told to be someone that you’re not. I took the time to unpack my feelings and figure out what ‘fills my cup’ constantly. This gives me the confidence to ask for what I need.
And like they say ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, cheesy I know. Patience with ourselves is really the key with our own confidence.