Learn to love YOU!

Hey everyone! Today I want to talk about something a little more personal than my usual “Tip” blogs.

I want to talk about self-worth and self-esteem. And learning to be able to say:

canstock20568552

Everyone has a self-image. Everyone also has an opinion about their self image. This is called your self esteem or self worth. It encompasses and intertwines with all that you do. It touches every aspect of your being and effects every decision you make.

The problem is, a lot of times, our self-image is distorted. We look in the mirror and when we see ourselves, we do not see the real person standing before us.

self-esteem-view-of-selfSeriously, just ask yourself, when you look in the mirror do you ever:

Think about your flaws?

Do you point them out one by one?

Or think about how you could do this or that better?

Do you ever feel worse about yourself after looking in the mirror?

Even if there is no mirror, do you ever just think you don’t quite measure up?

Do you feel like you could have done more, when you have done all you could?

I have news for you, these symptoms are a part of a very serious condition. It is not fatal, but it can be life threatening if not monitored carefully. This condition is called: Motherhood and it is associated with a general feeling of “I could do better”.

The feeling that you can always do better, is one that I have always dealt with throughout my life. But that feeling never had as much weight, as when I had my baby girl. With every choice I made, I questioned myself. Wondering if I could be doing more or doing better. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t always make sure you are making the right decisions and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t want to do more and better. But, when it begins to weigh on your self-image, that is when it becomes a problem. An encouraging criticism of “You can do better” is perfectly acceptable, so long as your self-image and therefore your self-esteem is not affected. When self-esteem is affected, you have to take a step back and look “through the mirror” to see the person you really are inside.

5 ways to better your perception of yourself

1. Make a List

This tip is one I have suggested to many people over the years. It was a simple homework assignment I had during my days of therapy. For 2 weeks straight, every morning, I had to make a list of 5-10 things that I liked about myself. I had to include, at least, one physical trait and one personality trait. The rest could be anything that made me feel good about me. The first day, I struggled for about 30 minutes to come up with five. Especially that physical one! The seventh day, I could easily come up with five (including a physical one) and often had 2-3 more. By the end of the two week period, I could easily list 10 things I liked about myself every single day. Usually, I would come up with a few new ones each day, meaning I had more like 30 things I liked. It really helped me to see myself differently. I started seeing that, though there may be things I don’t like, there are far more things I do like about myself. I don’t do it everyday anymore, but when I am having a bad day, I just look at myself in the mirror and start with #1.

2. Take Time

Often times, the reason why our shortcomings seem so big is because we are already run down. When you become a Mom, you become a Hub. A hub is like the central location that is used by all. As the MomHub, it’s not only your job to manage the entire household as a whole, but to be there individually for each family member. Ask yourself, when is the last time you took a day for you? A day where you didn’t do anything for anyone else? If you’re like me, your answer is probably something like “Um… well… There was that solo grocery trip two weeks ago where I took my time picking out a new shampoo!”. Most Moms find it hard to find time and then to keep the time. But, if you don’t take time to recharge yourself, then when things get stressful, you tend to put it all on your shoulders. And, unlike when you’re refreshing yourself and recharging, you get so broken down and weak, that you can’t handle the weight. You end up letting it alter your perception of yourself. So, make sure to make time for yourself. Whether it’s 30 minutes once a day or a whole day once a week. Just take time, to relax and de-stress yourself. Make a list while you do it, lol.

3. Ask for Help

If you have a significant other, this is their time to shine! If you don’t, find a friend or family member and let them help you out. I once thought there was something wrong with me for wanting someone to reassure me of my value. But, as my psychiatrist, oh so long ago, explained: We need positive feedback from people we value. This allows us to strengthen our bond and to reaffirm all of the positive things you struggle to accept about yourself. It’s one thing to say to yourself you are beautiful, believe me, there is a HUGE value in being able to do that. But there’s something about hearing it from someone you love. It helps make the idea concrete. And you don’t have to necessarily ask someone to compliment you. You can always just ask someone for a hug. Or if they can just let you cry with them. Either way, just remember, the people in your life see the real you, so they can offer a real vision of your true self.

4. Lighten Up

I still struggle with this often. Every time I make a mistake, I tend to take it to the extreme. If I am late getting my daughter to school, suddenly I am a bad mom. If I forget to wash my husband’s work clothes, suddenly I am a bad wife. With every mistake I make, I connect it deeply to a personal flaw. Often, creating the flaw simply because of the mistake. It wasn’t until I met my current husband that I learned I needed to lighten up. Every time I would begin to freak out about some minute detail, he would just start laughing and joking about it. He wouldn’t stop joking until he had me laughing. So, I learned to adopt it. Like I said, I struggle with this one, but I work on it. Any time I start feeling like my mistake is really some great character flaw, I stop and say this: “Does ________ really make me a bad ________?” And, I start to think about how this one mistake is a drop in the ocean of who I am as a Mom/Wife/Daughter/Sister/Whatever!

5. Stop Comparing

However much we struggle as Moms with the previous problems. I would say, no problem is more common than comparing ourselves to other women. This isn’t just a Mom problem, it’s a WOMAN problem. All our lives we compare ourselves to models, movie stars, singers, friends, family… pretty much any woman with which we come into contact. We compare our clothes, our looks, our Facebook posts, our life position, EVERYTHING! And we end up either secretly or subconsciously trying our best to out-do all of the women around us! But here’s the deal: We are all so different that really, there’s no way to compare. Everyone is a different combination of nature and nurture: genetics and raising. It is in our differences that we see the beauty within us all. I know, it sounds so cliche, but it’s true. We have to stop comparing ourselves to one another and instead, learn from each other.

I hope these tips can help you see yourself as the Wild Mommy you are to everyone around you! It’s not easy changing the perception you have of yourself. But with those 5 tips, some time and some patience, you can truly begin to love and accept yourself.

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@WildMommyMC

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

Advertisements

STOP the holiday CHAOS!

Are YOU caught up in the holiday Chaos?

Holiday-stress

The holiday season comes but once a year and for most Moms out there, it’s a good thing. While the holidays are a wonderful time that bring family together in joyous celebration, if you’re anything like me, the holiday season also brings on enough stress to be crushed under! So, this season, instead of stressing, let’s focus on some tips to

STOP the holiday CHAOS!

As much as I’d like to deny it, most of the stress I experience during the holidays has nothing to do with outside sources. What I mean by that, is that most of it comes from my anxiety over wanting the occasions to be perfect. There have been very few time that another person is the source of my holiday madness. So, the easiest way to mange that stress is to plan ahead. If you tend to freak out during the holiday season, join me over the next 2 days to see if some of these tips can save your sanity this holiday season.

The first category I want to talk about is

Dinner and House Preparation.

woman cooking and cleaningIf your plans for the holidays are to travel to another person’s home or another location, then these tips may not be necessary for you. However, if you’re like my family, though we travel for the holiday season, we may also have a small gathering for our immediate family and/or friends. And, these tips are helpful when hosting ANY event in your own home as well!

In my case, the first stress I have when hosting in my own home is cleaning. Though your house may be clean (most days, if I’m lucky, lol) and well kept, there is a special kind of clean when hosting a party. I call it “Deep Cleaned”. For me it means scrubbing base boards, washing windows, dusting things I don’t usually dust and basically scrubbing every surface of my home. When it’s holiday season, however, you usually have a lot more on your plate and cleaning seems to be the biggest and most tedious task.

My first suggestion: Hire Someone.

Don’t be shamed into thinking that hiring a local maid service to deep clean your home is not an option. I know a lot of Moms out there who are hesitant to hire someone because of the stigma of

A) Not being able to do it yourself, B) That it must mean your house is disgusting

and/or C) That you are a snob or lazy.

For one, if I had the money to hire someone to clean my house ALL of the time, I would. There is nothing wrong or lazy about allowing someone to clean your house. Plus, there are many Moms out there who are in the business of cleaning houses. That makes it a Moms helping Moms situation! But especially hiring someone to deep clean your home before you host an event is just sensible. By taking that pretty big task off of your plate, you make room for doing the things that you can’t necessarily hire someone to do. Consider it an investment and breathe easy! To help find a maid service near you try Care.com

However, I know times are hard and money is tight already, not including the holiday extras, so if you need to cut the cost, hire a kid. It could be a friend’s kid, the baby sitter or a youth from Church or the neighborhood. By hiring a kid you cut your cost, but you also allow a kid to make money for their holiday season!

My second suggestion: Ask for help.

If you’re a Mom to a child basically 5 and up, you already have one volunteer for cleaning! lol But seriously, let your child(ren) help with the cleaning. Give them a task at a time and reward them with something they will enjoy for every task completed. You can even make certain tasks that may be harder or take longer worth a larger reward. And don’t be afraid to ask your family and/or friends to help you either. Find that friend, sister, brother or cousin that wouldn’t mind rolling their sleeves up for a nice dinner and/or movie. Then you get help, plus some bonding time with the person!

The next stress that I have is with the food. Good cook or bad cook, either way, most Moms out there do not have just a TON of experience organizing, preparing, cooking and serving LARGE meals. Sure, we may cook for our family of 5-8, we may make very intricate and detailed dishes and we may have served food plenty of times. But doing all of it from top to bottom for more like 10-20 people can be a daunting task.

My first suggestion: Keep it Simple.

If you’re like me, the holiday season is the reason for new recipes, as well as old favorites and traditions. For example, one tradition/old favorite I have developed over the last couple of years are cheese balls. I began doing it one year and have since perfected 3 recipes and thought of about 15 more. So for me, every year, it’s about making something that is better than the year before as well as bringing back the favorites collected over time. But when you’re hosting an entire meal, it’s a different story. Time won’t always permit you to do ALL things bigger and better. So, keep it simple with some of your dishes. You still have specialty dishes, but make them special. Not every side needs to be an intricate affair. It can be refreshing and exciting to have simple sides, with just a few specialty dishes.

My second suggestion: Plan Ahead.

Cooking several dishes, several additions and a large hunk of meat can be overwhelming. However, there are ways you can plan ahead that can help you keep your dinner running smoothly.

For instance, prepare your table ahead of time. Set out plates, bowls, cups, utensils, etc. Have it all done before you even begin to cook, that way even if you happen to need more time on your turkey or ham, you can allow guests to sit and begin on salad, rolls or even sides. For suggestions on easy holiday food, check out “25 Tips for an easy holiday” from www.Food.com.

Another tip is to prepare as many dishes as possible a day in advance. Many dishes that are served during holiday season can be made and stored over night. Then all you have to do is put them in the oven the next day for heating. For this, I suggest buying the disposable aluminum pans. They come in just about every shape and size, most often with lids for storing and they are obviously, oven safe. And, you don’t have to clean them afterwards!

aluminum_pans

My third suggestion: Ask for Help/Hire Someone.

Now, there are two ways you can ask for help with preparing the holiday meal. One way, is to just ask a friend or family member who will be attending the party to come early and help you with the food. If you don’t have anyone that can be available, try hiring someone to be your Sous Chef. Basically, a person that can do the more tedious aspects of the cooking, like stirring and mixing. You could, again, hire a teenager you know or you could place an ad on CraigsList. There are MANY chefs and/or caterer’s that would be willing to help for a few hours for extra cash.

Hopefully, you found at least one tip that can help you eliminate some of your holiday chaos!

Join me tomorrow when we talk about the second category: Presents and Gift Giving. Where we will discuss ways to minimize spending and eliminate gift-giving stress!

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@WildMommyMC

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com