Mama, when you look in the mirror what do you see? Do you see someone who has energy for her family? Or do you only see your flaws? If you aren’t seeing the mother you want to be, it’s hard to be that for your family. Treating yourself with a bit of compassion can go a long way. Mother’s day might appear as a singular day on your calendar, but treating ourselves with compassion the whole year through, is something we oughta do. Yes Mama, compassion for yourself is the key to a happy, well adjusted family. Stick with us to learn more.
Note from the author: If you’re like me, most days I treat the dog with more compassion than I give to myself. This is something we’re all working on, which means, you’re in great company.
Why Compassion for Ourselves Improves Our Parenting
Did you ever have a manager or boss that was overly critical? If you did, you probably felt like there was no way you could succeed in that environment. But yet, somehow we end up comparing ourselves to others (on and off social media), and come down harshly on ourselves.
As parents we aren’t working with infinite resources. There is only so much energy, patience, love that we can give before we simply run out. When these resources start to run low, we start to notice our failures as a parent. When we are failing, our sharp tongues can lash out and criticize us for trying but falling short. It becomes a pattern.
In reality, there is no way that criticism can help replenish these resources. There’s only one thing that can: Compassion.
How Do You Show Yourself Compassion?
The first thing to do is to stop being so overly hard on ourselves. That takes listening into the internal conversations that we have with ourselves. The goal here isn’t to try to stop our thoughts, but to one at a time, replace them with something more gentle. This gentility is the first step in showing ourselves compassion.
Once we can start to change the way we speak to ourselves, we create space and permission for even more compassion. When you catch yourself feeling tired, you can now rest, where before you might have goaded yourself into pushing through. Pushing through when you’re tired is like an exhausted athlete trying to go for gold. It’s just not going to end well and our family are the ones that end up suffering.
Resting when you are tired, and not feeling guilty, or mean about it means that you can also now change the conversation you have with your partner and your children. Rather than snapping you can calmly explain that Mama needs a bit of a rest. And together, you and your children can come up with a quiet and calm activity to engage them while you do so.
Practicing compassion is like a snowball effect. When you try it, you’ll be able to see the positive results pretty quickly. Giving yourself permission to rest might lead to giving yourself permission to do other things that boost your energy, invigorate your happiness, and recharge your patience. Compassion for ourselves is a very healthy thing.
How Treating Ourselves Compassionately Improves the Health and Wellness of our Family
Compassion not only replenishes the resources we need to be a better person and parent for our family, but wee end up snapping less. It gives us energy to take a pause and gauge how we react or explain our feelings. Compassion gives us the energy and confidence that we need to set healthy boundaries for ourselves and our families.
Your Children Are Constantly Learning
Your children are watching you. And they’re learning from you. They pick up on how you treat yourself, how you react in various situations, and then model their behavior after that. You are imprinting on your children every single day. By being compassionate with ourselves, we are modeling healthy emotional intelligence for our children.
A bit of compassion goes a long way. It can break the cycle of self criticism, toxic self talk, and negative self perceptions.