If you’re like me, you have moments (or days or weeks) when you feel like crap about your parenting abilities. Spearheaded by self-doubt, its inner dialogue harps worse than you nag your kids.
It sounds a little something like this:
Was I too strict, was I too lenient, I shouldn’t have said that, I didn’t respond well, I didn’t engage enough, I was on my phone too much, I don’t cook enough, I didn’t play enough with him, why is it so hard for me to sit and play?!
Thought patterns become habitual – a mental default, constant background noise, your own personal soundtrack. All to often we accept its presence and carry on.
It’s not acceptable. Think of the self-doubt script like a nasty sewage leak: It permeates everything, it stinks, and it doesn’t go away unless you do something about it.
Yes, you can do something about it. It is possible to kick self-doubt thought patterns. For your own sanity and well-being, it’s essential that you do.It’s possible to kick self-doubt thought patterns. For your own sanity and well-being, it’s essential that you do. Click To Tweet
Here’s how to clean up self-doubt sewage. Think about one thing you did right today. If necessary, go clear back to the moment you woke up.
Note: I’m using parenting examples, but the practice is applicable to any area of your life that’s been flooded by self-doubt.
Did you say good morning to your kid? That counts. That’s a win. Parental point.
Did you make breakfast for your kid? I’m not talkin a pots-and-pans spread. I’m talking pour the cereal, zap the frozen pancakes. Serving any type of food for breakfast – whether it’s processed, leftover, or all carbs – counts. It’s a win.
What about getting them dressed. Or if you combed their hair. (That’s an if. You don’t lose points for not doing it.)
Think about when you heard their question and answered it. Or when you asked a question and actually registered their answer.
Think about that time you sat down with them and weren’t on your phone.
How about when you sang along to a song with them.
Or when you laughed together.
Are you gaining traction?
Keep going. Keep listing your wins, no matter how small. This is where to focus your attention. This is how to combat self-doubt.
You’re a mom, and while mom’s have saint-like attributes, we aren’t actually saints. As a wise woman recently told me, “All the Saints I know are dead.” In other words, you can’t be perfect all the time.All the Saints I know are dead. In other words, you can’t be perfect all the time. Click To Tweet
You will mess up. You will have times when you over react and under engage, and you will have moments when you feel like crap about yourself. It comes with parental territory. The trick is to not let crappy moments become days.
The next time you catch yourself bathing in self-doubt sewage, consciously think about your parenting wins instead. It’s the mental equivalent of calling Roto-Rooter. Focus on that. It’s how to find the ode to joy within this commode-like scenario.
* BONUS TIP *
For a quick fix, go through the photos on your phone and find a picture you took of your child smiling. Even better if it’s a smiling pic of both of you. There’s one more affirmation of your abilities.
I’d love to hear from you. In the comments, leave an example of one thing you did well today.
Send this to a friend who could use a boost, or share it as a feel-good reminder, and thanks for stopping by.