No Parent Is Perfect - How To Practice Kindness Towards Yourself

No Parent Is Perfect - How To Practice Kindness Towards Yourself

When we have a baby, we envision ourselves as being the perfect parents to this beautiful new addition to the family. 

But we soon learn that being a "perfect parent" is a total myth. In reality, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. 

Not even one. 

We all make mistakes, and we all know how to learn from them and correct them. 

No parent is perfect. 

Here is how to practice kindness toward yourself while navigating the world of parenting

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Even Our Kids Feel Better

Even our children feel better when we practice kindness to ourselves. 

Kids are great at perceiving our moods. 

But this also means that they can also pick up on when we are feeling down or upset with ourselves, so if we take care of ourselves and take time to practice self-kindness, you, and your whole family will begin to feel better. 

So, lets get down to brass tacks and learn how you can practice kindness towards yourself. 

Positive Self-Talk

Each day, try to stop for a few moments to pause and reflect upon your thoughts. Are you saying nice things to yourself? 

Are you speaking to yourself in which a manner Speak to yourself in the same manner in which you would give positive and encouraging advice to a close friend or family member of yours. 

Being kind towards yourself can help to even help to reduce anxiety and depression at times. 

Put YOU First

As the old adage goes, "you can't pour from an empty cup." It is true, too. 

In order for you to be the best parent that you can be, you need to take a break for yourself. 

Doing kind things for your physical and mental wellbeing will help you to feel more at ease. 

If you can find time, perhaps at night, you can try to make time for yourself at night and do something nice for yourself. 

This could include catching up with a book that you are reading, chatting with an old friend, drinking a nice hot beverage, or drawing yourself a bubble bath. 

There are so many activities that you can do for self-care. Simply think about what one of your favorite things to do is, and then find time to do it! 

You will feel rejuvenated and ready to take on anything the day should throw at you. 

Stay Mindful

Staying grounded within the moment is an important part of parenting

Sure, our minds can get carried away by all kinds of imaginary scenarios, but we mustn't let that happen. 

Finding ways to keep yourself within the present moment is important. 

Meditation is a great way to calm and ease your mind, and there are actually plenty of five-minute or less mediations out there, so you can take five minutes out and just meditate. 

Breathing exercises are also another great way to get ahold of stress if it has you in its grips. Inhaling in through your nose and out through your mouth to the count of four each time is an easy and quick way to help calm yourself. 

Even if it is just one small little breath, inhale the stress in, and then blow it out, away from you. 

Get Plenty Of Rest

As parents, we tend to give our children a sleep routine. 

But as adults, we often forget to put ourselves on a sleep schedule, too, because it is just as important as your child's. 

No, you don't have to give yourself a rigid, set, and strict schedule, but give yourself an hour or two each night to wind down, and try to avoid things like blue light, which could interfere with your sleep. 

Try to aim to go to bed around the same time each night, that way you will be able to wake feeling rested the next morning. 

Talk It Through 

It may help if you make time to reach out to a trusted friend or family member to talk to about how you are feeling. 

They may be able to help you find your inner self-compassion. 

You can also find a counselor to talk to, who will help you to learn how to practice self-kindness, and self-care as a parent. 

Talking to someone can be very cathartic and helpful.  

You can easily find counselors using our module below.

Eat Well 

We always strive to feed our children the best food for their ever-growing bodies. 

We also need to show the same courtesy to ourselves, as well. 

Make sure that you are eating at each meal. Not only does this refuel our bodies, but it also shows us as models to our children - eating healthy. 

If they see us doing it, then they are going to follow in our footsteps, too. 

Try to cut back on processed foods and focus on healthy meats, dairy and vegetables instead. 

Laugh Often 

 Laughter and levity can lift our spirits up in mere minutes. It also helps with stress reduction.

A great way to make sure that you get a hearty dose of laughter in each day? 

Try being silly and laughing with your kids! 

It will only drive your happiness higher and create a fun environment for both of you. 

It has even been shown that laughter can bring upon stress relief. 

That saying that adorns walls, "Live, Laugh, Love?" they are sending the exact right message. 

So make sure that you take some time to get some giggles in with your littles each day! 

You will feel all the better for it. 

Conclusion

No parent is perfect, indeed. 

Nor should anyone aspire to be "perfect." It is a set of standards that does not exist.

You should always strive to do your best, of course, but your best is the best that you can do! 

Practicing self-kindness and compassion towards yourself is an important step we all need to take in our parenting journeys. 

By practicing some of the steps above, you will be able to be a more mindful parent, ultimately leading you to parental success. 

Resources 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

https://raisingchildren.net.au/grown-ups/looking-after-yourself/anger-anxiety-stress/self-compassion-for-parents

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_parents_need_a_little_self_compassion

https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/3180-loving-yourself-as-you-are-there-s-no-such-thing-as-a-perfect-parent

https://www.doinggoodtogether.org/bhf/blog/how-to-renew-yourself-and-raise-kind-kids-with-the-same-six-tricks


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August 13th, 2022