I have always been quite a confident person and not afraid to be in new situations which involve meeting and chatting to new people. I had to stand up and speak in front of people everyday for nearly ten years being a teacher so it was pretty much second nature to me.
I would talk in front of classes of thirty unruly teeens , address a hall with a few hundred people for assembly and be observed by two maybe three Ofsted inspectors I didn’t know. Yes I used to feel that butterflies nerves feeling before but once I started talking all of that would melt away.
Since having the ankle biters my self-confidence has taken a massive nose dive. I get really nervous before certain social situations and events. I went to a blog conference last week and was totally overwhelmed by it all of I’m honest which resulted in me not being me.
I went in on myself and ended up being really quiet , so much so that I only spoke if I was spoken to. The self-doubt kicked in and I started to think nobody would want to talk to me or be interested in what I had to say , I even went as far as thinking nobody would like me. Writing this down and reflecting on it I realise how ridiculous this is and how everyone was probably in a similar position.
I think parenthood has a lot to answer for with regards to self-confidence. When you have that tiny baby you honestly haven’t a clue what you are doing and from the minute you are handed your bundle of joy that’s it , your responsibility from the get go. Yes sure you have read the books , watched one hundred episodes of one born every and you are pretty confident you’ve got this.
I remember thinking what the hell do I do , none of this is like it says in the books. You then start to doubt yourself and every choice you make. You let your baby sleep bed with you for a few nights as you are just desperate to sleep , you then start doubting the decision you have made , you think you have gone against the rule book , you start thinking you’re a terrible Mum – self-confidence takes a nose dive again.
In the early days , not so much now I used to question everything I did as a parent – did I wean them too early ? am I doing enough with them ? I shouldn’t have given them that pouch of food I should have made it from scratch and so on.
I would start to beat myself up about every decision I made and doubt myself which would lead to me loosing any ounce of self-confidence I had left. I suppose I did this because everything is new and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing so it was hard to reassure myself and say you know what actually you are doing amazing and should be proud of yourself.
You also lose your identity as a person , you don’t go out and socialise as much as you used to and you’re not going out to work every day. Most days are spent with your little ones and you may not even speak to a single adult all day , sometimes for days. This naturally makes you feel like your less confident and self-assured. And quite frankly you get out of practice with talking to people.
Suddenly you are in a situation where your in a room full of adults and your conversation doesn’t revolve around the colour of boogers or rumble from paw patrol. This is now real adult conversation and it’s terrifying as you realise you haven’t really got much to say unless it’s about the colour of poo or weaning recipes.
I’m hoping the more of these events I go to , the more I engage in adult conversation bits of the old me will come back. I do see snippets of the old me sometimes and I get excited and am so envious of part of the person I used to be.