This past weekend I attended a mindful parenting workshop with a friend here in Toronto. While at the workshop I came to find that the majority of the attendees were so hard on themselves even though they were all doing the best they could. While talking and sharing I found that all the parents offered each other so much valuable support yet couldn't seem to turn it around onto themselves.
This really resonated with me. As a parent, I can relate to that defeated, self-doubting thought that creeps up every once and a while. These self-judgments are normal. Most people can relate to thoughts like this and for that reason it is important to talk about it openly to let others know that they are not alone. No matter how great you are in any or all of the roles you take on, or how fantastic others might view you to be, most adults suffer from an overactive ego and become their own worst critic.
At the end of the workshop I came to realize that for the sake of ourselves and our children, this needs to be dealt with. We all need to free ourselves from the harsh scrutiny we put ourselves through.
Parenting is tough. Every parent faces challenging moments (some more than others) and every parent knows what it's like to have to put on your best self even when your body is exhausted and shutting down. That effort and energy deserves appreciation.
The problem with self-doubt and criticism is that it holds back greatness. An obsession over what might have or should have been takes your attention from the present moment and shifts it to something that does not even actually exist.
Trying to be a great parent and simply doing the best you can is far better than being that same great parent wearing self-doubt and defeat all over your face and in your body language. Children are extremely present and intuitive to our energy. The energy we carry around with us is seen and felt by them. It is important to not be so hard on yourself and to just appreciate that what you might not do perfectly can simply be worked at or repaired.
Since our children are gifted with presence and an undeveloped ego we should be taking notes and learning from them! Giving our wholehearted attention to our children and freeing ourselves from the negative tape in our minds will give us all a break and allow our true and authentic selves to shine bright.
Forgive yourself and use this mantra to be free all week long. Take a deep breath in when you feel that negative self-doubting tape start to play, recognizing it as nothing more than a useless thought. Smile to yourself and breathe it out, releasing the tape and whispering or thinking to yourself be free! Using the mantra throughout the day will effectively shift your mind's focus from negative to positive. Try telling a fellow parent what a great job they are doing as well.
With mother's day around the corner you deserve to be free.
Show love, grow love
Happy Living Parents
*If you are a mother from the Toronto area and are interested in joining a mindful mommy women's circle send me a message through the contact page. This will be a group for moms to get together and talk about mindful living, self-growth and kids! Details to follow once an interest presents itself.