By nature, I am quite an anxious person. I can get unsettled really easily, especially doing anything new. I’m really trying to push myself now that I’m a mum as I don’t want Little Knight to miss out on anything and I also want to set a good example. Now she is getting older I’m so conscious of the fact that she is watching everything I do and will copy me, good or bad.
The bravest thing I’ve done is start my driving lessons. I realise this will seem like no big deal to most people but it’s a huge thing for me. I had a lesson about 4 years ago and was so scared I never went again. This time it’s going much better, I still get jitters before every lesson but I feel very proud of myself when I get out the car. I’m determined that in 2016, Little Knight and I will be off on solo adventures!
I’ve always wanted Little Knight to be doing some sort of activity every week and we’re really fortunate that we are in a position to do so I am determined she isn’t missing out just because I don’t want to walk into a new place. So I force myself to be brave. And it’s ALWAYS ended well. We’ve done Waterbabies swimming lessons, Baby Massage, Gymbabes and now Tumble Tots and it’s incredible to see her thrive and progress. We also go to my church’s Baby and Toddler group (Thursdays 10am-11:30am at Wall Heath Evangelical Free Church, DY6 0JX if you’re local and interested) which I can still feel a bit uneasy about even though we go every week, it’s always lovely and it’s at my own church. So bizarre. But I make sure that we still go even when I’m tempted to stay in like a hermit.
Last week I pushed myself further by taking Little Knight swimming on my own, again this is probably standard for most people but I’ve only ever gone with my husband or sister. We went at noon so that I could pack the bag and then check it a thousand times before we left just to be sure. She got upset when I was paying which rattled me a bit and I had to stop myself just giving up and leaving but I carried on and, of course, we had a brilliant time! It was really lovely having her all to myself in the water and because we went on a weekday it was really quiet and we could go down the slides as many times as she wanted. She lasted 25 minutes which I thought was a huge win. I got her changed and then sat her on a towel with some small snacks to keep her busy whilst I got changed. Everything went so smoothly that we went to the café for lunch then she fell asleep on the walk home. I felt happy and very proud of myself. We had the best day because I forced myself to be brave.
I think it’s very easy for a woman to lose some of her confidence when she becomes a mum, regardless of the type of person she was before. Suddenly your whole life revolves around another person and you spend less and less time focusing on yourself. I’ve been out socially with people who don’t have children and made a conscious effort to not talk about Little Knight too much, but then thought ‘what else do I have to say?’ I’m not at work now and my hobbies include watching The Great British Bake Off with the biscuit tin and online shopping when my daughter is asleep. And I know other women who have felt similar confidence wobbles post-baby and we all force ourselves to be brave for our children and pretend we’ve got it all together.
Of course there are times when it doesn’t go quite so smoothly, I went to Aldi with her recently and she caused a slight scene at the tills and I got a bit flustered but that feels like a right of passage as a mum. Then you leave and think, ‘was it really that bad? Probably not’ and move on. It can be difficult but I need to keep pushing myself as it’s building my own confidence and at the end of the day I just want to be the best mum that I can be.
And really, is there any better motivation that that?
Knight Mummy x