Topic of the Week
The Good Mother
In honor of Mother’s Day I’d like to ask you a question: How good are you at mothering yourself?
Many of us (including our mothers) never learned to nurture and care for ourselves in a consistent way. Instead, our fear of what others think, a desire to be loved and accepted, or the nagging sense of not being good enough caused many of us to fall into a pattern of self-neglect. We berate ourselves for not doing enough. We push ourselves beyond the point of exhaustion to get “just one more thing done.” We tolerate an unkind remark rather than risk upsetting someone by speaking up. And we deny our feelings by saying “yes” to requests for help when everything inside us screams “no, no, no!”
In the spirit of good mothering, I thought it might be helpful to remember how it works in everyday life. For example, you know you’re being a good mom to yourself when:
- You send yourself outside to play in the fresh air and sunshine on a regular basis.
- You give yourself a nap or put yourself to bed before you feel overtired.
- You share things like household chores with other family members or extra projects with co-workers at your job.
- You prevent stomachaches (and negative self-talk) by stopping yourself from overeating when you feel full.
- You give yourself regular treats like an afternoon movie or a sleepover with a good friend.
- You take a “time out” when you feel frustrated, angry, or impatient so you can settle down and think clearly.
- You speak gently to yourself when you’ve made a mistake.
- You reassure yourself that everything will be okay when you get scared or when you feel lonely.
- You remind yourself to be kind, not only to others, but also more importantly, to yourself.
Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we all became good mothers? And yes, that means you guys, too . That’s the challenge for this week. Catch yourself in the act of self-neglect and do something loving for that sweet soul of yours. I have no doubt that good mothering makes for a good world.