Some people, like me, have/had trouble adjusting with a new baby. Having my little muffin was the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but dealing with social appearances and hormones sent my confidence downhill. I’ve written up some confidence boosting advice I wish I had had.
People that don’t understand why you’re late, or why you’re not wearing makeup with a ironed outfit do not need your time. Someone that is going to critique your every move as a mother is not a positive figure to have around while you are raising a baby. Avoid them and fancy dinners/events if you don’t have a baby sitter. Frustration can run high when people judge you- especially if they’re throwing comments about how you care for yourself and your child soon after his/her birth.
However, there are plenty (most people hopefully) that will support you and be extremely understanding. Do not take these people for granted! They will be your backbone of sanity when you have your child. Most will be happy even sometimes pushy, to watch your baby while you go enjoy some you time, or a date! There obviously needs to be some trust, and some mothers are better with this than others. I, for instance, always get nervous leaving my baby with someone other than her father. I stay at home while my fiance works, and I work when he’s home. So naturally, when we’re out together without the baby, I feel out of place. Most mothers that go back to work full time after a month or two of having their babies will be more trusting than I. And honestly, that’s a great thing.
Most of all, you need to give yourself a break. If you’re hair isn’t perfect or you don’t have time for makeup after feeding and holding/chasing your child all day it will be ok. What’s that saying? Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter. Yes- that is perfect! Remember that when you are feeling down. Now, it is nice every now and then to have someone hold your child for a while so you can get ready like you used to be able to. It will help confidence if you haven’t felt like yourself lately. I, personally, have such a laid back attitude towards my appearance that I could care less what others think- but it is still nice to dress up, especially for holidays, dinners, and events with people I haven’t seen in a while.
I have to say, since I’ve had my baby, I’ve only worn makeup around 15 times. I do my hair though, but it’s easy because I have wavy hair, so most of the time I can wet it down and scrunch it with Matrix Volume builder mouse and it looks perfect.
I feel good about not wearing makeup because it doesn’t clog my pores and my friends, and family don’t mind (or at least don’t say anything). It’s kind of freeing really.
So when is it important to keep up appearances?
Depending on your job, you need to look presentable. People might give you slack when you first start back but honestly you need to hold yourself to a higher standard. You don’t want to hear through the grapevine that people are saying hurtful things. I think most women go through postpartum depression on some level after their child’s birth. Hearing people saying hateful/hurtful things, especially in a work settin, will set your hormones in a much faster spiral than they already are in.
If you do hear something, just take a breath and know that they most likely have no idea what you’re going through- and if they do they’re not very kind. Have your spouse hold the baby while you get ready for work, or set your baby down in his/her crib/walker/bouncy seat (depending on age) for a few minutes.
If she or he cries for a few minutes while you get ready, it’s not the end of the world. He/she will be just fine, and you’ll feel more comfortable going to work knowing you look nice.
Depending on how close you are to your inlaws it might help to put on some foundation, mascara, and a nice shirt- even if you’re wearing sweat pants waiting on your old pants to fit you again. Many people have trouble with their inlaws and it helps if you just try to look nice and smile. After you have a baby, everyone wants to be a part of everything and if makeup gives you confidence you should wear it because you may need to address plans/whatever people try to sign you and your child up for.
When I first had my baby, my inlaws (there’s a lot of them) constantly wanted us to go out to dinner and that was no big deal really. The trial came when there was 30 some of us and they all wanted to socialize before we went to eat- and no one told me.
My fiance just drove us over to a house and I gave him the “question mark” look and he said, “we’re meeting here before we go out”. The issue with this was that I was breastfeeding- and she was around 2 months old. I fed her about every two hours at that point and I knew we weren’t just driving over there and then to the resteraunt. Everyone wanted pictures, to talk, and catch up. Mind you, I’d never met most of these people before- so it wasn’t like I was going to whip out my milk jugs and feed the baby.
After about an hour we headed to the resteraunt and it took about 15 minutes to get situated (30 people is a lot at a resteraunt!). So when we finally got our food the baby started crying for milk. I took her out to the car and breastfed and was gone from the dinner for probably around 30 minutes. When she was small, and I think most babies are like this, she nursed for a very long time. So I finally took her back inside and everyone looked at me like I was trying to keep the little muffin from them. Maybe I misread that but I got many questionable looks and I felt the vibe. I told my fiance that I would never be doing that again. Of course we still go out to dinner with people but I prefer smaller groups, 7ish at most unless we’re in someone’s home eating.
What I hope you got out of that was, things are going to happen and you’re not going to like it. But in the end you need to say to your family, or your spouse (if it concerns his family), what you are and are not comfortable with. Now that my baby goes a lot longer between feedings I would be ok with socializing and then a resteraunt dinner. But if I have another child, I will not do that in his/her first few months again.
Feel confident in yourself no matter what you look like. This is the most important thing. You just created the best thing ever and you deserve to feel amazing after such a feat.