I am not very confident. People are often surprised to hear me say that, as I apparently come across as pretty confident, or maybe just loud, but much of that is bluster. And of course when I am writing right here on my blog I am hiding behind my computer. So while I have been told I give the impression of cool or what have you, I am actually wearing biscuit crumb scattered pyjamas and not feeling remotely funky.

Mind you, the fact that others perceive me as full of confidence and edgy cool gives me hope that those people with the posh lifestyle/gorgeous house/matching children blogs, are actually just photographing the only tidy corner of their slum, and they hired the children from a modelling agency to sit cleanly in the perfect pictures, while their own grubby urchins are creating chaos out of sight.

In my hurtle towards 40 I am determined to regain a bit of confidence. I have never had it in abundance, but I used to have a little more of a bulge in my self-confidence pocket. So where did it go? Well. Nowhere really, that is the thing, it must still be here somewhere under the nappies. I will admit that some of the problem is physical, I still weigh more than I am happy with, and much as it annoys me to be such a cliche, I am definitely more confident when I am a bit slimmer. I think that is a ‘look good, feel good’ thing, and I am addressing it, both by attempting to lose that buggering stone that lies between me and my happy weight, and by being more accepting of my physicality. I am getting older, I have lines and lumps and bumps that were not there before, and I am determined to learn to love them!

But more important to me than worry about a bit of flab at the top of my jeans, is my intellectual confidence is low. I like knowing things, and being able to discuss things, and understanding things. I like to have time to read the broadsheets and get a feel for what is going on in the world, or reading a bit of popular science book and getting excited about atoms. Time to read, and ability to understand is somewhat depleted since arrival of the non-sleeping one, but he is getting better at the nocturnal stuff, and as he improves, I hope so shall I! Also having an impact is that instead of going to work, and interacting with colleagues and customers alike in an intellectual or otherwise fashion, I spend most of my time with a 20 month old whose current favourite conversational gambit is ‘Got hair Mummy’. He is not massively up for a natter on the current fiscal situation, or where feminism should go from here.

I do sometimes write political or opinionated posts, but not often. Yet I am opinionated on something most days, but I fear that while I know all the words to several Peppa Pig episodes, I have lost my grip on my usually large vocabulary. I read a lot of blogs and articles of a political bent, and their casual use of long words, and Β specific terminology leaves me impressed and feeling a little lagging behind. I end up feeling like the small kid trying to talk to the grown ups.

I am 40 soon, I am going to stop listening to the monkeys in my head that tell me I have nothing interesting to add. I have plenty to offer, and I took my first big leap yesterday by agreeing to be part of a discussion panel at BritMums Live. I admit I am nervous. I spend more time these days singing the wheels on the bus at playgroup than discussing intersectionality in feminism. But the fact that the former takes up most of my time, doesn’t mean the latter can’t be a part of the mosaic of me. If even stay-at-home mums feel like their role disentitles them from having a valid view, how will we ever reach a point where it is a respected choice? I will not be at home for ever, and while I am, I am still me, still a whole person with views as interesting and individual as the opinions of those who are out in the big wide world fighting their corner, while I am at home doing battle with a tuffspot.

Right. Time I stopped pep talking myself publicly and put some clothes on…

Love Miss Cisco XXX



  1. Tas D
    April 30, 2013 / 8:27 am

    Oooh yay well done you! I love your writing and what you think you may lack in confidence you more than make up for with your wit and flair and the way you cleverly word everything. A very well deserved place!!

    • Sonya Cisco
      April 30, 2013 / 11:24 am

      Thank you, you are very kind!

  2. April 30, 2013 / 8:34 am

    T-E-A-M S-O-N-Y-A – I’m knitting the scarf. It may be quite small though as I’m not big on knitting big letters. Actually, I’ve only ever knitted an h, but the thought is there!!

    You’re going to RULE!

    • Sonya Cisco
      April 30, 2013 / 11:25 am

      Not sure about ruling, if I manage to make a few cohesive statements I will be happy! I will answer to ‘H’ if it makes your knitting easier!

  3. April 30, 2013 / 8:46 am

    Wow, this is like you have read my mind. I feel exactly the same. I used to fear nothing and debate everything!
    I think that since the girls came along, I’ve turned into a wall flower, much happier to hide behind them, smiling & nodding like a plastic dog on a parcel shelf, instead of speaking my mind.
    I don’t know where the old me is, I’m hoping she’s taking a sabbatical & will come back to me soon, I feel a bit lost without her.
    Good luck with the panel, it’s a brilliant opportunity πŸ™‚

    • Sonya Cisco
      April 30, 2013 / 11:26 am

      I am sure both our kick-arse selves are lurking waiting to leap back out once the littluns are a bit older! I bloody hope so anyway, I plan on being a cantankerous old lady!

  4. April 30, 2013 / 10:32 am

    Can totally appreciate how you feel, before the Bean I wouldn’t dream of NOT saying boo to a goose, now I doubt everything thought I have to the point of utter confusion! Well done you for getting on that panel, hopefully that’ll be the starting block for you getting that hilarious and intelligent kick arse persona out in real life πŸ™‚


    • Sonya Cisco
      April 30, 2013 / 11:28 am

      It is amazing how easy it is to lose something when new motherhood arrives, I have every faith we will both get it back! I know I eventually felt back to full me when my elder two were at school full time. I I know my confident self is lurking some where, she comes out whenever the rum is about!

  5. April 30, 2013 / 10:46 am

    I know exactly what you mean! I used to pride myself on being very up to date on current affairs, pretty politically minded and able to jump into a Question Time-style debate at a moment’s notice. Now, I have to spend twenty minutes googling my facts before forming a five word sentance! Good luck with the Britmums panel, although I’m sure you won’t need it πŸ™‚

    • Sonya Cisco
      April 30, 2013 / 11:31 am

      I am hoping that the fact it is a panel means a few salient sentences will be enough, I can certainly still rant at the telly, just need to brave it in front of people!

  6. Nell Heshram
    April 30, 2013 / 11:35 am

    Hey: post-kids Sonya is Sonya-plus! You still know all that old stuff, and more. I’ll bet Peppa Pig hasn’t crowded out the politics – she’s just added a happy snorty dimension to some of it. Sounds as though lack of practice may be part of the issue. I’m sure you’ll be ace on the panel, and I’m really looking forward to it.

    [Nell types….dribbles….types some more…]

    • Sonya Cisco
      April 30, 2013 / 11:45 am

      Hahahaha , am now wondering if Boris is a Peppa fan, as happy and snotty seems to sum up his political approach perfectly!

  7. Older Mum
    April 30, 2013 / 12:08 pm

    Yes, I was nodding in agreement to your words – I lost quite a lot of confidence after Little A was born – all those long days ahead of my with breast feeding and nappies. My brain started to shrivel – main reason why I took up blogging (and a good move that was too!). And well done on being part of the discussion panel at Britmums. Looking forward to meeting you there! X.

    • Sonya Cisco
      April 30, 2013 / 7:49 pm

      Blogging has been an absolute life saver, both for giving me a place to be a little creative and use my brain a tad, and for meeting lovely peeps too!

  8. SarahMummy
    April 30, 2013 / 12:20 pm

    So very true! You are lots of things wrapped up in one awesome person – including an intelligent woman with opinions, but also someone who can talk about Peppa Pig. Don’t forget other people on that panel will be in the same position too! Good luck, I can’t wait to see you πŸ™‚

    • Sonya Cisco
      April 30, 2013 / 7:50 pm

      Yes, really looking forward to the whole BritMums experience actually! Especially meeting up with all the fab people I have met online!

  9. Michelloui | The American Resident
    April 30, 2013 / 5:21 pm

    Really enjoyed this post. (And yeah, you do seem pretty cool from the outside!)

    So. When I was about to turn 40 my dad said to me, ‘you know the best thing about turning 40? It’s that things don’t matter the same way anymore. You watch.’ He meant all the BS that gets us worked up and anxious. And maybe because he had primed me or maybe it was just fact, but he was right. As if on cue. Within that week I turned 40 I started thinking I had permission to just BE, not be somebody.

    I was a supremely unconfident person in my 20s, then grew in confidence in my 30s and now I still have the flutters of O!M!G! anxiety but I am waaaay more relaxed about stuff in my 40s.

    It’ll be great! You watch. πŸ˜‰

    • Sonya Cisco
      April 30, 2013 / 7:51 pm

      I am really looking forward to kicking 40s arse actually, I have loved my 30s, and am determined that my 40s will be even more epic! Thank you for your fab comment! X

  10. Nicola Thomas
    May 1, 2013 / 4:58 am

    Just take a deep breath and imagine that you are writing a blog post … it is funny that we can seem different in our blogs to how we are in real life, but I think that blogging often gives the real is a chance to show, especially if confidence is lacking. You will be amazing at Britmums, good luck x

    • Sonya Cisco
      May 1, 2013 / 11:55 am

      thank you for your moral support! πŸ™‚

  11. May 1, 2013 / 5:20 am

    Great post and great achievement to get on the panel. Putting yourself out there when it scares you is a great way to build your confidence back up. I’m sure you’ll be fab if your blog is anything to go on

    • Sonya Cisco
      May 1, 2013 / 11:55 am

      Yes, I may live to regret being so brave and agreeing to do it, but I figure it is about time i grew some balls!

  12. Janie P
    May 1, 2013 / 11:32 am

    You honestly comes across as one of the most articulate bloggers/tweeters around! But it is still good to hear that other people have these chasms of doubt too, so thanks for such a brave post. x

    • Sonya Cisco
      May 1, 2013 / 11:56 am

      Thank you for your kind words, I think a lot more of us are big balls of self doubt than we let on!

  13. City Girl At Heart
    May 2, 2013 / 6:06 am

    Nice post! Clearly there are many Mums that relate to this! I’ve just turned 40 and feel really positive about it. I got a bit a lost being a Mum in my 30’s but now feel like I’m starting to reclaim my identity. I went to Brit Mums and although I met a few lovely bloggers that are now friends decided it wasn’t really for me and why I was blogging . Think I was alone in that though! Some great workshops and speakers there so the grey matter should be buzzing!:)

    • Sonya Cisco
      May 2, 2013 / 7:07 am

      Yes, you are not the first person I have spoken to who said it wasn’t quite for them, will be my first visit, and am looking forward to meeting lots of people, and having some child free, hopefully inspiring time! πŸ™‚

  14. Looking for Blue Sky
    May 4, 2013 / 1:05 pm

    It’s funny, at 40 I still felt young and full of confidence, despite warning signals that there could be trouble ahead! But perhaps being a working Mum helped, while being a 50 year old at home carer has certainly sapped my confidence,it’s a universal feeling I think πŸ™‚ xx

  15. May 4, 2013 / 1:15 pm

    I can so relate to this.

    I have a yearning to learn more or study again, to get my brain working again and have had it since long before Harry arrived but so many factors hold me back, not least my lack of confidence. Suffering from anxiety and depression seems to restrict one so much yet on the other hand I am determined to beat it.

    I hope you have a fantastic time on the panel and know you will be ace. Enjoy Britmums, I am gutted I can’t go! x

  16. Emily Foran
    May 6, 2013 / 9:59 pm

    I completely understand how you feel, I don’t feel confident but usually manage to come across ok even when feeling physically sick inside.
    I think you’ll do great on the panel at BritMums and that it’s very brave to put yourself out there and give it a go! Xx

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