By Janice Leong
Motherhood is not only the proverbial hardest job you’ll ever love, as the slogan goes – it is also the hardest job you’ll ever do. I love my son more than I ever thought possible and am lucky to have a kind, healthy child, but the reality is that motherhood is tough, especially when you are on your own.
Pregnancy and postpartum can make women feel so vulnerable and too often the focus is what pregnancy did to her body rather than focus on what her perfect body just did. Here we sit, creating, nourishing the future and we are diminished to “baby weight”. Every woman should know her power and not succumb to society’s demanding ideals.
It can be hard to love yourself in a world that doesn’t want you to; every advert for makeup suggests that your face isn’t good enough without its ‘brightening’ ‘illuminating’ power. We have ‘spanx’ to smooth out our awful, unacceptable lumps; life hacks on how to be ‘better,’ ‘funnier’, ‘sexier’ etc and magazines full of tips on how to ‘look’ or ‘be’ slimmer whilst bombarding you with images of models who all conform to a homogeneous, narrow representation of beauty. It can be so easy to fall into a self-loathing trap, where you never think you are good enough as you are. Women are marginalized; our concerns and issues trivialized at every opportunity that it can sometimes feel like a relentless battle to ignore the voices in our heads that tell us that we are inferior.
When someone says ‘you look cute today’ we almost instinctively reply with a negative comment; ‘oh, this is just an old dress,’ or ‘no, I look like shit!’ When something we do at work is positively acknowledged we feel duty bound to slip in some put down about how ‘it was nothing’ and ‘could be better to be honest’. It’s as if we don’t believe that we are worthy of recognition for the amazing things we do which I think is bullshit.
I am confident. I think a lot of it comes from surrounding myself with positive people who build me up and tell me that they love me all the time. If my friends are feeling down, I make it my business to cheer them up and vice versa. Confidence isn’t about being happy and dancing about in your underwear every minute of the day – instead, it’s more to do with knowing that you might feel sad sometimes but that you can deal with it because you are tough, strong and brave. It is knowing that there is so much more to you than just being beautiful but still believing that you are a hot goddess who deserves someone to get that and love every inch of you. It isn’t easy to be confident all the time but it is important to try.
Confidence is about ignoring the bullshit that thinks it knows you better than you know yourself. Confidence is about doing what you want, being yourself and liking who that person is. It is laughing at your own jokes because you know you are hilarious. It is checking yourself out in the mirror because your hair looks awesome. It is handing out compliments because you want the world to feel amazing, without expecting or needing any back because you don’t require validation from anyone. Confidence is doing you, exactly as you want to with no apologies or fear.
This article is first seen on Janiqueel written by Janice Leong.
Love yourself. Yeah, it’s hard. And some people won’t like it – but they don’t have to. Loving yourself is the most important relationship you can have; be your own port in the storm, your own other half and your own number one fan.