Be Yourself, Back Yourself

I enjoy watching Survivor. When the first season of Australian Survivor aired this year, my partner and I watched it religiously (unless I was so tired I fell asleep on the couch).

I am so glad Kristie won. She was kind of awesome. She was an introvert, she wasn’t in an alliance, she never really had friends. She made what appeared to be stupid decisions when it came to voting. Yet she won.

I remember she said a few times on the show “Be yourself, back yourself”. Kristie, I want your self-confidence.

Australian survivor
Go Kristie! Photo from Survivor Wiki

Self confidence and doubts are issue I have had during certain times and related to certain aspects of my life. I had confidence issues when it came to teaching. I have it now with blogging too. My main concern at the moment is that I have so much doubt when it comes to parenting and making decisions.

I am nurturing. I am capable of rational thought and logical reasoning. I understand every baby is different and that you should do what is right for you. My partner is very supportive and agrees with 99% of my parenting ideas. I have no real reason to doubt my capability and decision-making as a parent.

Yet I do. My anxiety is high, my confidence is low. I bet a lot of new parents are going through the same thing. Bub is almost five months old and I was hoping I would be slightly over it by now. 

I think one reason that might cause this lack of confidence is how readily available information is at the moment. We can google anything in a flash. Instead of thinking for yourself, someone on the internet can think for you. You can find a website that supports your ideas and you can find a website that doesn’t support them. There is a lot of conflicting information.

I am lucky that thanks to my scientific background I can work out the difference between reliable sources and anecdotal evidence. Even with reliable information it is still information overload.  A friend in my mother’s group told me a while ago “I just stopped looking up things”. She stopped, I didn’t. Look at me now.

Social media is another reason I blame for some of my doubt. If we didn’t have it we would all be sitting at home, blissfully unaware of what all the other parents were doing with their babies. I see a photo someone posts when their baby rolls and I think “Bub hasn’t rolled, she is a month older. Am I giving enough tummy time?”. I see someone posting about their baby eating solids for the first time and I think “That baby looks happy, should I be starting solids too?” These parents don’t mean any harm when they post these photos. They are not trying to make me doubt myself. They are just sharing an awesome moment because they are proud and it is better to focus on the positives. I would do it too. 

It is not just photos, it is all the articles people like and share, the comments on those articles. The ‘media’ articles and even blog posts. (I AM THE CULPRIT!)

I know the simple answer. Switch off.

I often think about switching off but now I am publishing it. I need to be accountable otherwise nothing much changes.

I am going to attempt to reduce my worry and over thinking. I am going to stop looking up parenting advice on the internet. I am going to switch off more often from social media. (I am on it so much that anything is an improvement.) Most importantly, I am going to adopt Kristie’s mantra and apply it to parenting.

Be yourself, back yourself.

I might need to say those words to myself again and again until they sink in. Let’s hope my brain eventually gets the message.

I want Bub to be confident so having a confident Mum might help with that. 

Thanks for reading!

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2 thoughts on “Be Yourself, Back Yourself”

  1. I so relate. I felt confident in my pre-kids teaching job, it was in music, which was the area I had spent my whole life immersed in and I knew I was good at it and I helped people get good results. Then I had baby #1 and I had no idea what the f**k I was doing! I felt so adrift, so insecure, I didn’t want to stuff it up. Turns out you can’t prepare enough because you don’t know who your baby is before they arrive! And they’re all different! It took me a good 15 months to stop comparing myself to my friends and thinking ‘why is that working for them? Why are they so confident and happy about parenting? Why is their way of doing it not working for me? I must just be a really sucky mum!’ When my daughter was around 15 months I read something that suggested every child is different and you need to figure out what works for you and your family. Ignore everyone else! And omg it worked! I did some thinking about what was important to us, what was working successfully with our wee girl and boom! I was happy, not worrying, she was happy because I was happy, and when baby #2 came along a year or so later it was a breeze because I just did whatever worked for him (in his case it was feeding often, but sleeping in his own bed. Unlike baby #1 who wasn’t that interested in bf-ing, but oh so interested in solids – nothing has changed there, she is 11 and eats like a horse! – but needed to sleep touching one of us!) The biggest victory really was doing what worked for us and not trying to be other people. I promise it gets better. The early days (and 5 months is still early days) with a bub are so confusing and exhausting xx

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment Clare. It’s good to know I will get over it. It is just hard when what works for you is not what is typically recommended in the parenting books etc. Or those days when nothing works for you!

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