Ways Motherhood Kills Your Self-Esteem (And How to Get it Back)

Everyone likes to talk about the joys of becoming a mother. You often hear about the blessing in bringing a child into the world and the privilege and honor of raising them into outstanding citizens. It’s true that becoming a parent is a gift and the journey of being there and watching your child grow from birth to adulthood (and beyond) is one worth cherishing. Be that as it may, motherhood is hard. It often takes a lot of sacrifices to be the nurturing and loving provider your children need. At the top of the list of those sacrifices, however, is often a woman’s self-esteem.

The good news is, there’s hope. Improving your self-esteem starts with identifying what’s causing you to feel down about yourself so that you can determine effective solutions for lifting your spirits. If you want to change the way you feel about yourself, continue learning more below:

Physical Changes

Though a person’s self-esteem comes from within, your outer appearance can put a damper on your mood. Many women have reported feeling less attractive or disappointed in the physical changes their bodies went through since becoming a mother. They don’t like the wide nose or stretch marks on their stomachs and thighs that pregnancy left behind, they’re upset at the fact that their pre-pregnancy clothes no longer fit, or they’re depressed because they can’t seem to lose those extra pounds.

What to Do About It

Though going through physical changes as a mother come with the territory, there are things women can do to improve their physical appearance and their self-esteem. You can utilize tools that make sticking to a diet and regular workout routine easier (meal planning, meal prep, portion control containers, food tracker apps, workout videos, etc). Some women also opt to improve their physical appearance with cosmetic procedures including breast implants to primary rhinoplasty. Whether you decide to change to healthier lifestyle habits or improve your looks with the assistance of cosmetic procedures, be sure to consult with your doctor to ensure you’re safe.

Limited Time for  Personal Interests

As a mother, there is very little time for you to pursue your personal interests. Often, you’re too occupied with ensuring that your children are cared for and actively involved in their interests. With busy schedules and tons of responsibilities, it leaves very little time or energy for you to do much more than be a mom. You start feeling out of touch from the rest of the world, resentful for all you’ve sacrificed, and even unsure of who you are anymore.

What to Do About It

Time and energy are some of the biggest sacrifices made by moms. Always tending to the needs of the family, they give up on things that brought them happiness or fueled their purpose. The answer to building your self-esteem in this scenario is to make time for the things you want and desire. Reduce your schedule so that you can pursue a hobby, go back to school, or even start a business. Pencil in days to hang with your friends, travel, or just sit at home and relax. When you make time for the things that bring you joy and purpose, you improve how you feel about yourself as a woman and as a mother.


Last but not least on the list of factors that negatively impact a woman’s self-esteem after motherhood is perfection. Many women (with good intention), strive to be the best possible mom. However, due to their own high expectations and the expectations of society and loved ones, they often try to become perfect. This quest for perfection causes them to feel as if they’re never good enough which lowers their self-esteem.

What to Do About It

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve as a mother. In fact, every parent should want to strive to do their best in raising their children. However, it is important to remember that there is no such thing as perfection. There will always be something you should or could have done differently, things will not always go your way, nor will your children be perfect angels at all times. Another solution would be to stop comparing yourself and stop feeling guilty about not living up to the expectations of others.

It’s crazy how something as beautiful as being a mother can have negative effects like low self-esteem. Yet, it happens to women all the time. The many physical and psychological changes that come with being a parent are many, and getting through them requires continual practice. Taking measures like improving your physical appearance, finding time to do things that fuel your passion, and learning to love your strengths will work together in helping you to realize just how much of an amazing mother and woman you truly are.

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