It’s National Random Acts of Kindness Day next week, and it got me thinking…as Mums, I feel we spend a lot of time being kind to others….meeting the needs of others first. And so while I’m all for random acts of kindness towards others, I’m going to say something controversial and say that first we need to start with ourselves, with self kindness for mums. We women and mums have been conditioned to serve others and be selfless. That has just been the way of the world, and evolution. However one thing I have learnt in these four years of mum life against the backdrop of today’s crazy modern world is that before we can fill up the cups of others, we need to fill up our own cup! So let’s talk self kindness for mums and some ways mums can be kind to themselves.
Know that you are enough and have done enough
As mums, we can really give ourselves a hard time, and the truth is that most of the time we are far from kind to ourselves. We let mum guilt beat us over our heads, we belittle ourselves and reprimand ourselves for the things we have or haven’t done. Let’s give ourselves a break and be kind to ourselves by silencing the inner critic which would take up all of our mental bandwith if gave it our chance. We are mum enough and we have done enough. Stat.
Make peace with your body
If we’re not busy berating our actions, we’re putting a downer on our bodies. But the thing is, without our bodies….what would be able to do? Not much. So yes, our bodies may not live up to the ridiculous expectations put on us by the magazines and marketers, but they have been with us every day since our birth, they has grown with us, they achieved so much with us, and they have birthed our babies. Let’s be kind to ourselves by acknowledging and loving our bodies for all they have done for us.
Focus on what you’re proud of
As I mentioned above, it’s so easy to focus on what we get wrong, and what a drag than can be! So instead of beating ourselves over the head with a big old neg club, let’s be kind to ourselves by thinking of all the things we ARE proud of. If you’re sitting there reading this thinking you can’t think of any then walk away, go and make yourself a cup of coffee and start thinking and writing them down. Everyone has moments they are proud of….sometimes it just takes a little remembering that’s all. In this daily hustle of mum life, we’re usually so busy being our children’s cheerleaders, that we forget to be our own cheerleader too.
Schedule in some me time
As mums we are so focussed on pleasing our nearest and dearest than we forget about pleasing one of the most important people in our lives – ourselves. I know a lot of people think that “me time” is selfish but well I’m sorry, how can it be selfish if it makes you a better human being and a better parent? Me time is so important to help us mums to re-focus and regenerate and if it’s for the greater good then not only it is being kind to ourselves but also everyone around us too.
How forgiving are you of those around you when they make mistakes? I bet a whole lot more than when you make a mistake! If you find it hard to forgive yourself when you have effed up then take a leaf out of your children’s book – they literally forgive and move on, and you should allow yourself that courtesy too. Hint – our children do not define us by and will not remember us for the mistakes we have made…only the good things we have done for them.
Picture yourself as your best friend
If you’re struggling with being kind to yourself then here’s something that might help. When you’ve effed up or you’re feeling bad about something, rather than looking at it from your point of view, imagine what you would say or do if your friend was sharing how they felt about what had happened. Well, I’m banking on the fact you wouldn’t start berating them for hours on end or tell them what a silly muppet they had been! No, you would treat them with kindness, and help them see that for the most part – it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Oh hello! That applies to you too Funny how we can be so much kinder to others than we can ourselves isn’t it?
Get together with your friends….
I’ve written before about how friendships change after you become a mum but friendships are still so important however they have evolved or whoever they have evolved with. Sometimes getting together with friends to decompress and feel like a person again – not just a mum, or a work drone – is one of the kindest things you can do for yourself…especially when you make sure there are lots of laughs involved. Humans and in particular women deeply crave interaction that if we don’t have it, it can be damaging for our wellbeing so go ahead and have that girls night out without feeling guilty about it!
And finally….be kind to others
OK I know I said that this was not about other people but you see….in a funny way it is. Here’s the crux of the matter – the way you treat others is a reflection of how you treat yourself. So for example, if you go around judging others then the liklihood is that you are probably quite harsh on yourself too. I definitely remember in my early days of motherhood that there was a very strong correlation between the two! Without sounding too hippy dippy being accepting of others and being accepting of yourself are intrinsically linked. Geddit?
There are so many other ways mums can be kind to themselves that this is really just the tip of the iceberg. How do you try to be kind to yourself as a mum? I’d love to hear your tips and strategies for self kindness for mums – do share in a comment below.
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