{Raising Little People} Bringing confidence back mama…

Effective Ways to Improve Self-Confidence for Mums

When people say that having a baby is a life-changing experience, they are most certainly telling the truth. It’s a miraculous thing that turns your whole world upside down – and for the most part, in a good way.

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However, women are rarely candid when it comes to the downsides of motherhood, mostly for the fear of sounding like a ‘bad mum’. It’s not all peaches; there are amazing moments, but there are also gruelling, exhausting and frustrating ones, and it is time the stigma is broken and we tell it like it is. While I love being a mum, and there isn’t a job in the world I would rather do, I have to admit that, after the pregnancy my self-confidence, especially the part connected with body image, took a bullet. The hormonal changes, the extra pounds, lack of sleep, lack of quality time for yourself and your partner take a huge toll on you. The wake-up call came, and I answered; I realised, that, if I want to be a good mum I need to be a happy one, and that entailed taking back my sense of womanhood and femininity. I decided to become all mum action instead of all mum talk and self-pity.

I truly hope that my journey of self-rediscovery will be at least of some help to all the mums out there dealing with the same issues, and I will be happy knowing I was of help to at least one of these amazing super-women.

It takes a village…

…or at least a great partner and a little help from friends and family. New mums tend to take on a lot all by themselves. This is a huge mistake. Asking for help does not make you a bad or inadequate mum; you are only human after all. Learn to delegate and not micro-manage. Let your spouse or partner take their share of chores and responsibility. When you take care of your baby together, it doesn’t only serve to take the part of the burden off of you, but it’s also a bonding experience for you and your hubby. Don’t shy away from asking your family to pitch in. One of my life-savers was enrolling my baby girl in a great early childhood service Little Learning School; not only did I know my precious little one was in good hands, playing and learning along the way, but it also gave me the extra time to pamper and regain my sense of self, both as a woman and a wife.

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Get your body back on track

I’m going to be completely frank – I was not the least bit happy with my post-pregnancy appearance, and it didn’t matter how much my hubby told me I was beautiful, I just didn’t feel that way, and I think a lot of new mums can relate to this. I decided it was high time to stop wallowing and avoiding mirrors, and reclaim my body. With a pinch of good time-management and aforementioned help, I started by changing my dietary habits.

After some careful research, I found just the right foods that would allow me to eat healthy but that are also good for my baby as I was still breastfeeding. I turned to oats, yogurt, as well as salmon, plenty of greens, blueberries, and the wonderful matcha tea, to help me detox and give my metabolism a boost. In my determination to get my body back to at least close to what it used to be, aside from changing my diet I hit the gym, and I hit it hard. It felt amazing, and once I got my stride back, I couldn’t wait to go back. Not only did working out help with my weight, it also greatly helped me to regain my body-confidence and even my sex-drive. What a lot of people won’t tell you is that once the baby comes, the sex goes out the window, and you need to make a conscious effort to connect with your partner physically. Once I felt sexy, I was able to believe my husband when he told me I was. Of course, some new makeup and a great new hairdo didn’t hurt, and neither did a change of wardrobe. You might not be able to fit into your skinny jeans just yet, but there are so many mum-chic styles out there that will make you feel super sexy and stylish.

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You are more than parents

Once you have a baby you and your partner become parents, and at the beginning, parenting gets in the way of romance, which is completely natural. However, you should never let romance fizzle out of your life. Make the time to have a meaningful conversation with your partner. Leave the baby in good hands of family or professionals, and take your partner on a romantic date. Romance doesn’t just happen; you have to work on keeping the spark alive. Establish ground rules – no talking about nappies, bottles or any baby stuff – this is the time for you two to reconnect. Take it a step further, romance doesn’t have to entail only candlelight dinners. Remember the things the two of you used to love to do together. See a movie, go to a concert, take the day and spend it at the beach, ride bicycles, whatever you loved to do pre-baby, and go back to it. Couples who do things together – stay together.

Take the time to fall in love with your partner all over again, and remind them why they fell in love with you. It will not make only you happier – it will reflect on your child as well, as kids are very aware of their surroundings and can sense whether they are in a home that is filled with love.

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tracey clayton

{The Nest Christmas} THINK just a little differently about Christmas this year

It’s Christmas time again. You’re running around the shops like it’s the final mile in a marathon, trying to throw in the trolley something for your mother in law’s boyfriend that you hope you didn’t buy him last year. The Christmas carols sound like the high-pressure music they play at the end of a gameshow, and if one more pensioner bumps into you while reaching for the cold meat, you won’t be held responsible for your actions. This is everyone’s experience at this pointy end of the year.gift

It’s funny that the culmination of a years worth of work, ends with a frenzy of shopping, purchasing and more hard work.

This year, I would like to put forward an idea for something a little bit different. I know you still have to purchase presents for those important loved ones, you still have to provide a meal for all of your visitors on the big day, but this year I want us to do something different – I want us to THINK.

Be aware, be present, be mindful and be thankful.friends

This is not a preachy kind of post, it is a chance to be aware of how much we have and ask ourselves, how much do we really need? This Christmas, THINK about what your family truly needs when you are gift giving. Are you just buying an extra present because there doesn’t look enough under the tree? Are you just buying them something because you feel you have to? We have all received gifts at some point that we say thank you for, but know they will be hidden in a cupboard for years. This year, don’t buy a gift card just to give someone money because you can’t think of a gift.

Your relationship is the gift!

Hold them close, tell them how much they mean to you and what you’ve loved about the year you’ve experienced together. Make some time to sit with your family without using your phone. Make a connection with them and enjoy the way that just been together feels. Play board games or just take a walk around your neighbourhood. Visit your neighbours and spread goodwill in the community. There are so many people around the world with so little, please be mindful when you purchase groceries. A big meal on Christmas is a great tradition and one that is enjoyed by all, but should there be so much leftover and thrown out over the coming days? All I ask is that you THINK when purchasing your food and not waste food you don’t need. We are all being advertised to in such a way that over indulgence has become indicative of the season, and saying no to anything seems almost impossible. I can guarantee a day with your family sitting around, really connecting, without the demands of phones and social media would mean much more then a day of excess food and gifts. If you have an opportunity to donate, do so. No matter how big or small your donations are, it’s a way of recognising how lucky we are and that we have enough. There are so many charities out there that cater for all sorts of needs in the global community. If you have children, suggest they purchase a small gift for another child their age who will not be so lucky this Christmas. There are so many places in Our area that will hand out these gifts on your behalf to needy families. Go global. THINK about the world we live in, not just our small part of it. You can purchase a prosthetic leg for a landmine victim in Cambodia or purchase a goat, a pig or a chicken for a small family in Africa. Provide clean drinking water to people who desperately need it, donate to the conservation of your favourite animal, or, if your family has unfortunately been affected by an illness this year, donate to the corresponding charity to help find a cure. I want you to enjoy your Christmas. I want you to have the meals and the gifts that your family deserve.family

All this post is trying to do is make you THINK. We are all global citizens and there is so much going on in this world right now that affects us all.

Christmas is an amazing time to celebrate our love for one another. This year let’s just engage our brains before we go down the road of over indulgence and wastefulness. You don’t need to slave all day in the kitchen to provide a massive meal for your family, ease up on what you purchase and remember that presence is way more important than presents.

Happy Holidays.

lauren2

{This is life} Some stories on “why I cheated on my husband”..

When you stand in your white dress, in front of your family and friends everything seems perfect.

Your future is bright, your lives are planned. You are loved up.

So how come sometimes the til-death-do-us-part doesn’t always come true?

Marie Claire have compiled some stories on Why I Cheated On My Husbandchgeat

They are honest and sad.

Maybe reading one of these will remind you of someone you know or make you aware of something in your relationship that might need addressing sooner rather than later.

 

 

{The Nest Relationships} 20 Secrets of Couples Who Stay Together Forever

Everyone knows that marriage is hard work, not always shiny, not always perfect.

So, what you ask is the way to make a marriage or long-term relationship last?

Here is a compilation of 20 Secrets of Couples who Stay Together Forevercouple

I like this list. A. Lot.

Honestly, a bunch of it is common sense, you know basically don’t be a jerk but sometimes it is nice to be reminded of the little things that really can make the biggest difference.

Here are our two favourites:

Some fights are just fights. They don’t have to be deal breakers. You can be madly in love with a person and still be mad at that person. Fights don’t have to spell The End. Couples that stay together choose the relationship over the conflict.

Sometimes you have to say no to invitations so you can spend time with each other. Just because your calendar is blank one night doesn’t mean you have to agree to plans if someone asks. Life gets weirdly busy as you get older. It’s nice to use that free time to just be together.

What makes your relationship last?

Happy Love Nesters xo

{The Nest Relationships} 7 signs you might be in an unhappy marriage

Marriage can be tough. It’s an ongoing process that needs attention.

So what happens if you are in a bad marriage? Would you know the signs?

Did you know that research shows that people in bad marriages usually have low self-esteem, struggle with anxiety and depression, and have a higher rate of illness than those who don’t.

This article by Hannah Hickok indicates 7 Signs That You Might Be In An Unhappy Marriagecouple

It is certainly worth a read. Have you given up fighting just because it’s not worth it any more? Do you feel like you aren’t being heard? Sometimes the signs are there and you just need to be reminded of them.

Of course, it isn’t too late, but this article might help you realise there is a problem.

Happy health Nesters x

10 things to be learnt from 10 years of marriage

Source: IVillage

Source: IVillage

Sasha Emmons is a mum of two, a writer and an editor. She has also put together this insightful and clever article ‘’10 things I’ve learned about love after 10 years of marriage’.

Marriage is not always smooth sailing but if you can remember a couple of these points it could make for a long-lasting happy life together.

So grab a cup of tea, a quiet space (if you can!) and read this wonderful article.