I came late to the Mum-Party. I didn’t get pregnant with my first son until I was 35 and he was born a week after I turned 36. During my pregnancy (which was NOT the easiest!) I felt intrepidation, like most mums-to-be, but I thought..”Hey! How hard can it be?!” Women have been “Becoming Mum” for YEARS! I got this! It’s a natural part of life!
WRONG! Oh…haha! How wrong I was! After a VERY LONG labour and delivery my little son was placed in my arms and I thought…now what?! Oh! I had to breastfeed! What the actual HECK?! The only breastfeeding I had ever tried was during NCT class with a crocheted breast and a baby doll…this squirming new born and my massive postnatal boob was not cooperating with each other! There were tears (mostly me) and then there was some latching and HOLY HELL no one said it would be that painful! But my little man seemed to be getting milk so we were all happy (I found out about 5 days later that he hadn’t been getting any and then I had my first bout of “MUM GUILT” – that’s definitely another post!)
In those early few weeks and months the confident 30-something year old women who had lived abroad and performed on stage and relied on her belief in herself was reduced to a timid, second-guessing, weeping shell. I realised very quickly that it was implied that I should know exactly what to do in every situation, which I really didn’t and no matter how many books I read on “Becoming Mum” could prepare me for the little life that relied solely on me! I had held babies before in the past but was always very tentative with them…never wanting to break them 🙂 Now I was doing everything for the little man and everyone seemed to think that I should know what to do. That it was intuitive. To a point it was, I guess. I mean my mum instinct to keep safe, feed and take care of him came into play but little things like..how to bathe him, how to deal with a poonami nappy, how to soothe him, how to make bottles etc…was all new and at every turn when I felt I didn’t know what to do and had to ask for help, I felt like a failure.
The months went by, my newborn became more robust and his little personality started to show. I started to heal (physically and mentally) after a very traumatic delivery (another post!) and my confidence started to return. Now I’m a mother to TWO little boys and to tell you the truth I am still figuring how to navigate this motherhood malarky but confident Steph is emerging again and making friends with Mum Steph…I think we will be a formidable team!
Have you experienced the loss of confidence? If so, what were some lessons you learned? Comment below and share!