The conversations around self confidence postpartum exist on opposite spectrums. You’re made to feel like you either need to snap back to your pre-baby self immediately, or you should embrace your post-baby body, stretch marks and all. In reality, we’re all somewhere in the middle.
The thing I know about myself to be true, is that when I feel better about my outward self, I perform better. I never discount the magic ability of a red lip or go-to outfit to make me feel confident for a big meeting, and I have realized that postpartum is no different. I have both boys currently, with Ian traveling, and forced myself to shower and put on jeans for preschool pickup. It may sound silly or superficial, but I know it gave me more confidence to handle dinner, bath, and bedtime solo with a three-year-old and infant.
The thing is, I don’t love how I look right now. My littlest son will be 12 weeks in two days, and in this photo the second thing I see – after his tiny, furled fist, is the wrinkles between my eyebrows. The circles under my eyes are darker these days. There is an extra layer of skin around my middle. There are baby hairs that still haven’t grown out since having my first baby. I know these things are superficial and the most important thing is that I have two healthy, beautiful boys, but I also know that I struggle with feeling confident as a mom and my appearance is a factor.
So, I’ve started making small steps to feel better about my appearance. I got my eyebrows tinted last week. I have a private Pilates session next week. And I just may wear a red lip to my son’s preschool Halloween parade tomorrow.