How To Be Kind To Yourself As A Mom

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The title of this post may sound somewhat silly, but being kind to yourself as a mom is a rare occurrence. A mother can sometimes be so hard on herself. Being kind to oneself as a mother is a precious gift to give yourself. Most times you forget that you're an individual with your own wants and needs. You become so wrapped up in everyone else's needs that you forego your own and no one even asked you to.

When you treat yourself with respect you’re saying, "I'm worth it." You should be giving yourself the same respect that you would grant to a best friend. The way you treat yourself is also a measurement of how you will treat others and allow others to treat you. Self-kindness is being generous and applying a warm-hearted approach to yourself. This in turn creates empathy and understanding from yourself, to yourself.

Sometimes we confuse being kind to ourselves as being self-indulgent, but kindness is a gift that benefits you and others, whereas self-indulgence is gratifying your whims and desires just because something feels good. To give you an idea of how being kind to yourself is not being self-indulgent, let's look at the example of a busy stay at home mom who has attended to the needs of her young kids most of the day.

A mom who displays self-kindness answers questions somewhat this way:

What am I feeling? "Pretty tired after a being with the kids so long."

What can I do to feel better? "Take a break, have a tea and a bit of chocolate, maybe take a shower and definitely loosen up on the household a bit."

The mom who displays self-indulgence answers the same questions somewhat this way:

What am I feeling? "Exhausted, I wish I didn't have to do this everyday!"

What can I do to feel better? "I'm going to watch some TV and eat that bag of chocolate because I deserve it. It's my hubby's fault if I get fat because he should help out more."

Self-kindness is accepting your situation and setting limits for yourself so you do not go beyond what you are capable of doing. You realize that you are in a tough situation but you make the best of it and find ways of relief that are not harmful to you or others. You also don't feel guilty for taking relief because you realize that it will make you a better person. You take responsibility for your life and don't blame anyone for your situation.

Self-indulgence is resenting your situation and finding ways to gratify your feelings of being robbed in life. You indulge your whims because you tell yourself you've earned it and may blame others for your situation. This makes you justify addictions and bad habits which may be harmful to yourself or others and is the opposite of being kind to yourself.

If your self-worth is not paired with self-respect, then kindness to yourself can turn into self-indulgence. Self-respect leads you to say "I do not need to eat the whole bag of chocolates to feel rewarded." Self-indulgence says, "I deserve to eat the whole bag of chocolates to feel rewarded." When you are proactively self-kind, you realize that a certain habit or behavior is self-destructive, and then you choose being kind to yourself by gradually changing the habit or behavior.

Genuine self-kindness originates from having self-esteem and self-worth. When your belief in yourself is positive, you feel valuable and capable as an individual. Saying to yourself, "I am worthy enough to be kind to myself" may seem like a small accomplishment, but it is difficult to convince yourself of it. Practice being kind to yourself as a mom and you will notice the fulfillment you feel in your life and with your family. Don't only do it for yourself, but do it so your children can learn this valuable lesson in self-respect as well.

Some Ideas Of Being Kind To Yourself

  • Avoid being critical of your appearance.

  • Carve out some time for yourself to reflect and enjoy. E

  • Give yourself recognition for your achievements.

  • Cultivate your inner advocate over your inner critic.

  • Forgive yourself for mistakes of your past.

  • Stop blaming yourself for things that go wrong.

  • Take good care of yourself.

  • Give yourself self-respect.

  • Keep your promises to yourself.

  • Treat yourself to a gift.

  • Soothe yourself when the going gets tough.

  • Remind yourself of your good traits.

  • Boost yourself up when you fail.

  • Tell yourself, “I am enough just as I am.”

  • Honor your dreams and goals.

  • Acknowledge your potential.

  • Stop trying to be perfect and idealistic.

  • Show yourself compassion and empathy.

  • Believe in yourself.

  • Accept yourself with “warts and all.”

  • Be your best friend.

    It's funny how something as simple as self-kindness can instill an enriching life. It not only helps you develop a thoughtful and compassionate approach towards yourself, but towards others as well. The more you practice self-kindness, the more you'll be aware of the happiness and blessings it unfolds in your life.