10 Ways to Mother Yourself
By Christina Katz
The New Year often ushers in a frenzy of moms who don’t feel like they’re good enough. Mom, are you sure you don’t need to lose weight? Don’t you have a bit too much debt? Shouldn’t you feed your family a homemade five-course sit-down dinner that accommodates everyone’s dietary needs? Are your children doing their best in every aspect of existence, or should we just go ahead and blame you now?
Seriously, the New Year is often not a whole lot of fun for moms. That’s why I’m turning the table on resolutions this year, ladies. I’d like you to celebrate all the ways you are already good enough, for a change. To that end, I’ve gathered up ten ways you can treat your imperfect self to a daily toast in your own honor.
Put the freeze on criticism. Paint a dusting of snow or ice color on your nails. Then pull out your best ice-princess look whenever anyone suggests it might be time to get busy on those resolutions. If only you could zap them with your fingertips like Elsa in Frozen. But you can use an icy stare instead.
Eat chocolate. Most things call for afternoon chocolate, so don’t save this strategy for a rainy day. See how many variations of hot chocolate you can try (peppermint, caramel, or marshmallow?), and then share the best with the rest of the family.
Sing “Tuppence a Bag.” Worried about money? A family viewing of the classic film Mary Poppins will put everything in perspective. Then rally the family to install the largest bird feeder you can afford. Keep it overflowing with bulk birdseed from your local big box or farm supply store. You’ll feel absolutely abundant every time you fill it. And birds will follow you around the yard as though you were a Disney character!
Color all over the lines. Did you get one of those adult coloring books for a holiday gift? Great. Now try coloring all over the lines. Seriously, go ahead and break the coloring book rules. See how many ways your bursts of color can spill beyond all those very serious lines. It feels liberating, doesn’t it?
Twist and shout. Hula-hooping is a fun activity for a dreary afternoon when you don’t feel like dragging yourself to the gym. Crank up some music and hula away the blues. You’ll burn calories and whittle your waist, too. No hoop? Try twisting and shouting until the hoop you order arrives in the mail.
Take stock. You have a whole bunch of strengths. You also have an assortment of skills. Most importantly you have a plethora of passions. Make three columns on a single page and list them all (strengths, skills, passions). See how much you rock? Make sure others catch you being awesome.
Get some Zzzs. You got a flat tire, the kids have the flu, and all the people you’ve been trying to avoid are phoning you? Girlfriend, you need to call on your superpower. Go take a long winter’s nap. Practice until you are good at it.
Talk to your inner girl. Everyone else is crushing their New Year’s resolutions, but will they stick? While you are waiting to find out, why not write a letter to your inner little girl. Think of a challenging time in your childhood. Tell her what you know now that you wish you had known then. You’ll become her favorite heroine of all time.
Cook up some comfort food. Oh yeah. You definitely did not try enough soup, casserole, and bread recipes over the holidays. You were too busy juggling the hustle and the bustle. So now’s your chance.
Congratulate yourself. You did great today. And as a reward, you deserve a generous slathering of thick, scented lotion on your hands, feet, and elbows before bed. Make this your new nightly ritual and go to sleep floating on a cloud of your own essential worthiness. Ah.
Author, journalist, and writing coach Christina Katz likes herself despite a couple of mistakes she may have made once or most days. She has learned, over the years, to hide the chocolate in her home office and give the icy freeze-stare to anyone who dares to try and take it.