Who’s your biggest critic?
We are so hard on ourselves. We are our own worst critics. We really like to chastise ourselves whenever we haven’t managed the situation in the way that we wanted to. Every time we have:
- snapped our children
- had an outburst with our partners
- not handled the situation very well
- acted like a small child
- behaved in a way that is not appropriate
- not enjoyed every moment of motherhood
- not been perfect
We seem like pretending, as mums, we are not human, that we don’t have human emotions, that we’re not allowed to feel the whole range of emotions that we feel, that we’re not allowed to snap or sometimes feel angry or feel frustrated, or feel exhausted.
Super human mums
And when we like to pretend that we’re super human, we end up getting very angry with ourselves. That anger builds and it grows physically and emotionally on our body and it becomes a very uncomfortable feeling. And often then it becomes programme/go-to reaction.
We need to be much more compassionate to ourselves. We need to start speaking to ourselves as we would speak to others. We need kindness.
We don’t behave in ways we are unhappy with when we are feeling happy, fulfilled, cared for. We only behave in these ways when we are tired, stressed out, depleted (emotionally, mentally, physically and nutritionally), have too much going on in our poor heads.
Consider if you’re friend was in your situation and explained that she snapped at her children because she’d only had 4 hours sleep per night for the last week, or because her partner was at work all day, or because she’d had to try to fit in 5 million jobs that day. What would you say to her?
It’s like you’d turn around and would say to her, “I’m not you that you did that cause you were absolutely exhausted or you were finding that really difficult”.
It’s ok to not love every single moment of motherhood
Before you had children and you were working, did you, did you enjoy every moment? Most of us didn’t. I cannot say hand on heart that I ran into work every day before I had children and enjoyed every moment. And I think we need to be much, much, much more compassionate with ourselves when we are mums all the time. We can’t be superhuman. We can’t enjoy absolutely every second of it. That is unattainable – it’s an unattainable goal. We need to be much more accepting of ourselves and accept that we are absolutely doing the best that we possibly can at any moment in time.
Change the dialogue
Start putting a distance between you and the situation. Speak gently to yourself and by changing the dialogue you will start to notice changes. Treat yourself like that friend. When you notice yourself snap or behave in a way that’s not appropriate – say to yourself – “I’m not surprised you’re feeling like that… it’s because…” Creating that distance between you and the behaviour can be really helpful. It is really helpful at starting to understand what your own needs are. Once you are aware what they are, then it’s easier to start finding solutions.
I know that the reason that I snapped at my children or the reasons that I act like a small child or the reasons that I’ve like throwing my toys at the pram have been because my own needs aren’t met, then I can then start to do something about it and then look at getting my needs met.
Even though I’m not happy with my behaviour, I accept myself and I know I’m doing my best
Obviously I love in EFT, and it’s super helpful here. What is great about EFT is we do have a compassionate elements. With EFT we have two parts of the set up statement.
The first part is what we are feeling, specifically the uncomfortable feeling that we don’t necessarily like to feel such as “even though I’m really angry with myself because I snapped on my children”.
The second part of the EFT set up statement is called the balance statement, “I accept myself and I am doing my best”
It’s about accepting that every moment in time we are absolutely doing are based on, and I think we need as mums to recognise that none of us are perfect.
We are doing the best we can do all the time
We absolutely can’t be perfect – we’re doing our best all the time. It also helps to creatively think – how do we learn? What do we teach our children? I teach my children that they can’t be perfect, that they’re going to find situations difficult, but that they’ll learn from those situations. When we start to do that and have that reflective practice and use tools such as EFT or mindfulness or other therapies that we find helpful and have that compassionate approach, then we can start to break those habits/patterns because we can start to be reflective about what our needs are. Affection and compassion to ourselves and reflection all help to create change.
Mums needs NEED to be met
When we have our needs met then we can meet the needs of our children and our family and it ripples to our community and society. The ripples get bigger and bigger and better and better. Being compassionate to ourselves teaches our children about how to be compassionate to themselves which has a wide reach and massive positive impacts.
If you’re interested in supporting your wellbeing as a mum, then join our Overcome the Overload community which is reopening again in June. If you would like more information about that then do feel free to get in touch and I’m really happy to help you. Alternatively, you may be interested in some one to one parent coaching or EFT support. In the meantime, you can get access to these videos which will reduce your overwhelm by clicking here.
Much love, Tricia xxx