Be Nice

We are taught from a very young age, and teach our little ones, to be nice, treat others as we would like to be treated, and to think about how our words and actions can affect others. Unfortunately there isn’t as much emphasis on how we treat ourselves, and your kids are watching.

I look fat, ugly, old, tired. I’m not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, successful enough, I’m a bad mom. Sound familiar? These are just a few of the not-so-lovely things most people walk around unconsciously saying to themselves every single day.

Would you say these awful things to your children? My guess is no. So why do we think it’s ok to say all of these horrible things to ourselves? Like everything else, loving ourselves as we grow up is a learned behavior. Sadly, not everyone is taught this, but it’s never too early or late to teach this to your little ones.

I recently overheard a mother mutter under her breath, something negative about her parenting skills. This was the second derogatory thing I heard her openly say about herself in less than a half hour. I felt sad because the reality is, she is doing the best she can, and to her that’s not good enough. Imagine a mother saying to her child, “You suck, and even though you are doing your best, it’s not good enough.” Most wouldn’t dare say such a thing, but in this instance, she was ultimately saying that to herself. There’s a very good chance her child will pick up on this, just as she probably did from the adults she observed when she was a child.

If every time you look in the mirror, you zero in on the wrinkles around your eyes, or the little bit of extra belly fat, it will wear you down. It will never, ever, ever make you feel good, and is certainly not aligned with “being nice.” If every time you aren’t the “perfect” parent, you make it mean you aren’t good enough, it will wear you down. In this state, you can’t possibly show up as the awesome mommy you have the potential to be!

Loving ourselves is the fuel that makes us feel good. It allows us to feel good enough to motivate to get things done, to take good care of ourselves and those around us. It will make you a better mother, and your family will feed off of your energy.

During EFT, a therapeutic healing tool, we use the statement, “Even though I _____, I still completely accept myself.” Accepting ourselves as is, is the “nicest” thing we can do for our well being. This is not to be used as an excuse to never better ourselves, but as a way of fueling with the love we need in order to make positive changes.

When you catch yourself saying you aren’t good enough, try replacing it with, “I’m doing the best I can right now.” This is the truth because if you could do any “better, “ you would. You can still have the desire to be better, but it should come from a loving place, and not from a place of disdain. When you hear that voice in your head saying something mean about your appearance or the way you parent, try and find something you like about yourself, and focus on that.

If you notice your thoughts about yourself aren’t so kind, don’t use that as another reason to beat yourself up. Just notice with love and compassion, and know you don’t have to believe those thoughts. Love yourself like you would love your child who was being hard on herself. What would you say to her? My guess is you wouldn’t tell her how awful she looks, how dumb she is, or how clumsy she is because she couldn’t walk the first time she tried. We are all perfectly imperfect, and loving yourself anyway is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your kiddos!

Happy Day!

Image via Flickr User Buffalo Oudoor Center