Hello dear mama,
I know it's a bit late to be talking about the New Year but I have an IMPORTANT MESSAGE THAT MOST CONSCIOUS MOMS REALLY NEED TO HEAR.
And I figure since we're still (albeit barely!) in January, I can probably still slide by with this recommendation for the new year, which I'm sure you'll be happy to get behind.
Because it's not about eating better, exercising or pushing yourself to do anything, but about being kinder to YOURSELF.
TREATING yourself better, having a kinder relationship with yourself.
Treating yourself more like you strive to treat your children.
In 4 very specific ways, which I describe for you below.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
But before I dive into the HOW, I want to talk about WHY I'm urging you to do this, and would love for you to make it one of your resolutions for 2019, if you do this kind of thing.
Or if you don't do resolutions, that you make it a COMMITMENT TO YOURSELF this year.
First of all, it's because as a human being, just like your children do, you deserve to be treated well.
Also, the way you treat yourself is what has the most impact on your quality of life. And that's something you actually have control over!
But the last reason I urge you to heed my advice, since I'd bet it's why you follow me, is that it is critical in being the parent you long to be.
It's so obvious when you think about it!
Just picture a day, or time in your life, when you felt great. Rested, well fed, your body felt good, you enjoyed your activities and your friends, and felt close to your partner.
How would you react to your children's challenging behaviors when living from that place?
Now think of a different time, when you were tired, didn't have time to eat properly, your life felt like drudgery, you were worried your bff was more interested in a different friend than you, and you had a fight with your partner.
How would you THEN respond to your children's challenging behaviors?
Pretty obvious, right?
I LEARNED THIS THE HARD WAY, ONCE IT WAS TOO LATE FOR ME
A lot of what I'm sharing with you in this article, I learned the hard way.
And once it was too late for me, in terms of my life with my children growing up.
Though I was blessed to experience ease and harmony in my parenting, through an unwavering commitment to raising my daughters to be WHOLE and getting the support I needed to make it happen, I completely failed when it came to learning to care for myself as well.
And my family suffered quite a bit as a result of it.
On this photo, I was 30 or 31, a young mom to 3 children, crushed by one of the worst and the longest depression of my life (I've had many, ever since I was a child.)
Because of how I was myself parented, though I very quickly learned the importance of fully meeting my daughters' needs, I was absolutely clueless that mine were also worth meeting, never mind knowing how to go about meeting them.
It took a complete breakdown 3 years ago, when my little Gaby who's on the photo with me was 18 and the other 2 had left home, for me to finally realize how critical it was that I learn how to treat myself in the way I'd always treated my children.
My biggest regret in life is not having known this when my girls were little, so I could have enjoyed my life with them more, and been a lot more present to them.
I do not want you to experience this.
I don't want you to, like me, look forward to having grandchildren, as a second chance to get things right with your children, to be able to finally be fully present in their lives.
Which is why I'm so committed to teaching moms what I wish I'd known at the time of that picture taken 20 years ago.
4 WAYS TO BE BETTER TO YOURSELF
So here are 4 specific ways I would love for you to be better to yourself this year, if you're not already practicing them.
1. Find ways to meet your own needs
One of the biggest mistakes I notice in peaceful, attachment, Continuum Concept parenting and homescholing moms is that like I was, though they’re acutely aware of how important it is for their children’s needs to be met and single-mindedly focused on making sure that they are, they ignore the fact that they are humans too and therefore also have needs.
And that it’s critical for themselves, in order to be the best possible mom to their beloved children, in order to have a chance of thriving as a family, and just because they deserve it like all humans, to have their needs met too.
THE ONLY WAY you can thrive as a family (and in relationships in general) is to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.
That includes yours!
Your needs and ability to enjoy your life are equally as important as your children’s.
It is true that for the first year and maybe a tiny bit in the next few, you sometimes need to set your needs aside as parents, or at least postpone them a bit, because babies are unable to meet their own needs and theirs are more urgent.
But this should shift very quickly as children grow. (And you should always look for a creative way to get your needs met as well your children’s, if at all possible.)
Children need to know that others have needs and feelings too. And they are totally able to accept that if you strive to meet yours and others’ in a way that doesn’t conflict with theirs and is respectful and honoring of them.
If you’re familiar with my work, you know that my goal is for families to live what I call family homeostasis.
And this goal is impossible to attain and maintain if moms don’t commit to making sure that their own needs are met, as well as their children’s.
So my wish for you for 2019 is that you get very good at meeting your own needs.
And I would love, if you do this kind of thing, for you to make it one of your New Year's resolutions or a commitment to yourself this year.
2. Honor your feelings
Another very common mistake I see conscious moms make is ignoring and even judging their feelings.
Our feelings are not right or wrong.
They provide information.
They let us know when some of our needs aren't being met. Or that something that's happening in not in alignment with our values.
Ignoring our feelings always backfires in the long run.
And prevents us from addressing issues that need to be.
If you're in the habit of judging or ignoring your feelings, I suggest you try instead to pay more attention to them.
What are they telling you? What are the unmet needs they're pointing to that need to be addressed so that you can be kinder to yourself and can more sustainably be the loving mom you aspire to be for you child?
Read this article for more on this topic.
3. Tune in to and trust your inner guidance
Your inner guidance is the most powerful tool you have to:
When trying to make a decision, our mind can only consider a limited number of factors at a time. But our inner guidance is usually taking ALL of the pertinent factors into account.
So learning to tune in to it and trust it is a wonderful gift you can give yourself and your children.
It will insure that you're moving in the right direction for you and your family, making the right decisions and can lead to a beautiful quality of life.
After working with hundreds of families, it's very clear to me that there's rarely a right way for anything.
But there's often a right way for a specific family or situation.
And the only way for you to know what that is for you is through your inner guidance.
No one else can know what’s right for you, for your children, for your family!
For a lot more information and guidance on following your inner guidance, click on the two articles linked above in this section.
And one kind way you can start following your inner guidance is to notice when you want to talk yourself out of your impulses or feelings.
Then ask yourself if this might not be your inner guidance speaking to you.
And if you think it is, start honoring them (and you!) by taking action on them.
4. Set needed boundaries
One of the 2 videos I most frequently share with moms I work with is the one below, by the incomparable Brené Brown, on compassion and boundaries.
(And here is the other one, in case you're curious. It turns out to also be relevant to this topic.)
Because holy cow is setting boundaries something that many of us women really suck at!!! Especially those of us who come from families that dismissed our feelings and neglected our needs.
And the thing is, everyone around us pays the price for it.
Our children do when we fail to set a limit or say 'no' when it's what we're feeling, and we then end up snapping, yelling or even worse at them, because we end up way out of our window of tolerance.
Our friends, partners and loved ones do when we don't speak up for ourselves, when we say 'yes' even though our insides are screaming 'no,' and we end up closed off and resentful of them, without even giving them a chance to have a healthier relationship with us.
Our families suffer when we take on too many obligations that leave us stressed and with little time for what and who most matters to us, and again bump us right out of our window of tolerance.
Our families suffer when we remain in toxic relationships (or don't set needed boundaries in them) that make us feel shitty about ourselves, drain our energy, stress us, take up all our mental space, AND SABOTAGE OUR ABILITY TO BE THE PARENTS WE WANT TO BE TO THE PEOPLE WHO WE ARE LEGITIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR.
We also fail to teach our children how to have healthy relationships, so they're likely to unfortunately continue our sad dysfunctional pattern.
So please start valuing yourself enough and listening to yourself so you learn what's okay with you and what isn't.
And then start speaking up for yourself.
I'm intimately familiar with how scary and excruciating this can be at first.
But I promise you that it does get easier with practice. And boy can it change our quality of life!!
For some inspiration in this, watch this powerful video from Lady Gaga. That sentence, about going to bed with yourself!!! Do you love it as much as me?
WILL YOU COMMIT TOO?
How does that all sound?
Are you ready to commit to YOURSELF in this way in 2019?
I sure hope you are!
I was forced to do it in 2016 after my breakdown.
Forced to finally give myself what I'd yearned for from others my whole life, essentially re-mothering myself.
And it has been one of the most beautiful and fulfilling things that's ever happened in my life.
I had no clue life could feel like this. That I could wake up at peace, and fall asleep at peace.
And I would love for you to experience this as well, if it's not what you're already living!!
So I urge you to commit to yourself.
It's the greatest gift you can give not only yourself, but your children as well.
And if you would like my guidance and loving support in learning how to take care of yourself along with fully meeting your children's needs and establishing your solid parenting foundation, I'd LOVE to work with you! And maybe mother you a little. ♥
I happen to have a Clean Parenting group starting Monday January 28th in which I still have 2 spots left. Is one of them for you?
Email me at Eliane@ParentingForWholeness.com if you're interested in my support and we'll set up a time to chat to determine if this program or another one is right for you.
Lots of love,