How to Start with Self Love
You know self love and find time to love on yourself amidst all the chaos that life has in store every day is not very easy. Especially when you are a mom…
Neglecting your needs won’t make you a good mom.
Years ago, I was this mother with a little baby and a toddler who always felt that she should give her family a little more of her. Often, this was at the cost of my health and mental well being.
The first thing, every mom should know before she realizes she needs self-love is that her needs matter.
We women, I feel, we are so good at giving others advice but we then go ahead and make the exact same mistakes. I remember telling my best friend with little children that she needed to think of herself also… but there I was, just a few years later, doing the same thing.
Like every mother out there, I wanted my kids to have the best of the best. I wanted to be a good mother, raise awesome well mannered, intelligent kids. I was sure I had a “genius” child on my hand and that I had to do my best to make sure I was not “hindering” his progress.
I recorded my baby and toddler’s milestones every month; I made sure to take their pictures and hand prints and weigh them too. I was sure that some day they’d want to look at it. 😐
After four kids, I laugh at myself now. I wish I could go back and tell myself that what my kids needed was a happy relaxed, calm mother who looked after herself just as much as she cared for a home.
If instead of recording my baby’s milestones and comparing them to other people’s children, I had loved on myself and recorded milestones of all the firsts I learnt as a mom, I’d have something to celebrate today.
The day I realized I needed self-love
‘I wish I had taken more pictures of my children with me in them.’
How many mothers do you know who have said this? Because honestly, I wish I had clicked pictures of me doing things with my children. All the activities and crafts, I have are process pictures with them … where was me having fun??
I had fun with my kids, yes. But I did not stop to think this. It was after I lost my daughter (second child) in an accident when she was a year old, that I realized that I didn’t have many pictures of us together.
That’s the day I started asking myself all the whys that I had never asked myself.
- Why didn’t I take pictures with my kids?
- Why didn’t I reset when I needed to? Why did I continue till I broke down or got sick?
- Why do I hurt myself knowingly. I knew what hurts me.
- Why don’t I do what I love any more?
- Why did I change? Where is the old me?
Dear Mom, don’t make my mistake. Love yourself. Because mothers who are happy raise happy kids! The best way to love on your family is to care for yourself first.
Your family deserves a happy, well kept, mother.
There are certain things I wish I could go back and tell my younger self. I can’t but I can tell you not to make these mistakes.
- A clean home is not a guarantee of a happy home.
- Your children don’t need you to plan play activities. They need me to be just be there happy and joyful.
- Kids aren’t hard work. We make things harder.
- I don’t need to adapt to their routine or go out of the way and make my life difficult. They are babies. They need to be taught how we live. Normal people don’t sleep rocking all night!
- They learn by watching me, not by hearing me.
I can go on and on with my mistakes but the one thing I can share with you that will change your life is that happy moms are confident moms so if you want to be confident and happy, you have to learn what makes a mom happy.
Happy moms are confident moms
I started this blog, because I want to help you be a happy mom. In my experience, I have learnt that there are two things that are important for mothers to be happy.
- She needs to feel totally in control of her time and
- She needs to love herself.
When mothers are organized and productive, it gives them confidence and peace. Time management skills can make or break how a person functions, so it is one of the most important skills for life.
Secondly, mothers need to love themselves because unless she cares about her well being, she will not want to change things in her life. She will continue being content in whatever conditions she is living.
Mothers who don’t have self love, only serve.
A mother’s job is not to serve. Mothers are CEOs of their home. They have to lead. And a person can only lead when they know how important they are.
As a mom of four kids, I have known this struggle for the past 15 years. We mothers have this habit of prioritizing everything, except us. The family – school, work or education, sports, manners, what they eat, how they are doing day in and day out, their emotional needs, rest or the home – cleaning, maintaining, decorating, what not. We mothers are so good at making time for others, but never for ourselves.
My dear Sis, you cannot pour from an empty cup. You need to keep filling yourself with love first, if you want to love your family or home. Or else there is only going to be resentment and depression.
What exactly is self love?
Self love is the act of caring for one’s health and happiness. It’s not that complicated. Nothing selfish here… just a little care for your own well being.
When you care about your rest, your mental, physical and emotional health; when you take time to think about what you like too, and whether you want to do something or not or how you feel about matters, it helps us feel good. It encourages us to think positively, builds our confidence and helps us stay strong with resilience.
Self love is important because when you prioritize yourself, you are respecting and caring for your own needs. You give yourself grace; you accept your shortcomings and see your strengths.
Self love heals. A little care, and being kind to ourself time and again, helps us deal with life’s challenges with renewed energy. In a world full of busy people who don’t have time to care, we can be that one person who gives us love.
Self help builds our resilience, confidence and positivity.
How to start with self love
Most people don’t know how easy it is to love yourself. They think self love requires pampering, time and money. No. That’s not true. Let me give you some examples of how to love yourself.
1. Simple acts like making your hair and getting dressed head to toe is self love.
Doesn’t getting dressed and looking good make you feel good? Maybe put on some makeup if you like, or take a quick shower, but even just clean clothes and brushing your hair into a pony can make us feel respectful and fresh.
2. Taking out time for yourself is self love.
Don’t rush about… sit down. Take the time to sip your coffee, taste it, enjoy it. Give it a name – call it your Ten Minutes of Me-Time! People who regularly take out “me-time” don’t feel burn out or anger easily. That’s because that little me-time rejuvenates you!
Learn about my Muslim Mom routine here.
3. Have a hobby that you enjoy.
May be you like drawing, painting, crochet or sewing. Or you like to take pictures or go for a run. Whatever it is, have a hobby. People who take out time to do things they enjoy, are much happier than those who are always doing “work”.
Do you enjoy books? Here’s a book list for moms to get productive!
4. Be kind to yourself when you make mistakes.
Believe it or not, people who don’t beat themselves up over mess-ups are actually loving on themselves. Yes, so it was a mistake. So you should know better. Yeah, next time you have to be careful. But… you don’t have to lose sleep over it.
5. Forgive yourself for not meeting deadlines.
Yes, there are dishes in the sink and the laundry pile is getting higher, but that’s okay. Your housekeeping skills are not what define you. People get tired. People constantly fall behind on chores and things… that’s okay. There will come a day.
6. Believing in yourself is self love.
Trust yourself to succeed, sis. Not everyone is perfect. Not everybody knows how to do everything but do you know who are those people who succeed? They are those who don’t giving up. They keep at it and hope to see themselves succeed. This trust – when you remind yourself of “the things you have overcome” and trust yourself that somehow you will figure things out, that is self love.
7. Walking away from things that hurt your mental peace is self love.
When people annoy you and you know that you can walk away from them and that you don’t need to put up with their nonsense, that is called loving yourself.
8. Educating yourself in things you don’t know is self love.
When you accept that you don’t know things and you try to learn them, that is because you want to better yourself. You care to make yourself perfect. That is self love!
9. Staying strong in your faith and practicing what you believe in is self love.
When you practice your religion, dress or pray the way God commanded, it is because you love who you are.
10. When you choose ‘progress over perfection’, that is self love.
That is positive thinking and getting things done. It makes you feel good to have done something rather than criticizing yourself or beating yourself up over the many ways you failed. You chose to move on to the next thing.
Now that I have come to the end of the post, tell me what do you do to include self-love in your life today? Reply in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!