Self-Care Sunday: Loving Yourself as Much as Your Children

Have you ever noticed how the self-esteem presentations and emphasis tend to end right around middle school? We are all about teaching our children to feel good about themselves but what happens when mom is in need of a boost?Us mama bears have to face a barrage of filtered selfies, try to throw our kids Pinterest worthy birthday parties and compete with Hollywood celebrities who never age or gain a pound. It’s no wonder our confidence can take a hit.

With all of the comparing, competing and impossible standards many moms now state that their self-confidence is at an all time low. The time is now to start building from the inside and take back your right to feel happy. Even as a mental health counselor I too can fall victim to having a bad day and not feeling the greatest about myself. We are all entitled to having days like this. The key is to not let an off day become an off week then an off month and soon an off year.

When I’m having a low moment sometimes I need remind myself of a few things:

Just because someone else is really pretty it does not take away from your own beauty.

Just because someone else is in really great shape does not make your body unfit for walking this Earth.

Just because someone else has a ton of money, a private plane, or a mansion does not mean your life is poor.

Other people’s lives are not an ATM withdrawal. Everyone is entitled to their physical, monetary, and other lifestyle strengths and it does not deduct from ours.

You are beautiful. Perfection is boring.

You are a human being. Faults and all. But try not to focus on those anyway.

Your life is rich. Maybe not with money but certainly rich from life experiences, wet messy toddler kisses and never-ending pride for raising the next generation of kind human beings who will change the world.

Here are a couple other quick and practical ideas I sometimes use in my practice to further help a self-confidence journey:

1. Identify 4 things each day for a week that are your strengths. This could be anything from I made dinner tonight, to I did some exercise, or my boss told me I was doing a great job at work today. Anything that is a positive thing in your life. Write it down and then look over it after the week is done. You may be amazed at how much you can get done and what a positive impact you have made.

2. Write down a very short-term (something to be done this week), a short term (something to be done by the end of the month) and a long term (perhaps a year out or more) goal. Write in detail about what the goal means to you and the steps you need to take to get there. Sometimes when we become mothers our own wants are thrown to the wayside. Remember what it is you were passionate about and what you want to achieve and find a way to make it happen!

3. Rewrite your captions when you see a picture. If you see a tagged Facebook photo and immediately cringe and start spewing hurtful things to yourself turn that caption into something positive. Instead of “oh my god I look so ugly in this picture I hate myself” turn that into “ok so this isn’t the best picture I’ve ever taken but look how happy I am. Look how happy my kids are in this. We were really living in the moment”. Focusing on a positive to counteract a negative.

Many times I tell clients to talk to themselves the way they would talk to their best friend. You probably would not start calling them names and being cruel when they needed some help. You’d probably treat them gently and kindly. Start treating yourself the same way!

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