As moms, we aim to be Super Mom. We want to be all things to our kids and all things to everyone else as well. This can leave one person out of the picture - ourselves.
Part of self-love and self-care is learning to be kind to ourselves and ditch perfectionism for "It's not perfect, but it'll do." But how can you tell if you are being too hard on yourself?
Here are 10 sure signs:
10 You have no peace inside
Peace in your spirit is usually the core indicator that all is well with your soul, so to speak. When making a decision or when determining your schedule, if you have no peace before or after, something is possibly amiss.
You might be overloading yourself, or bowing to others' expectations of you, or neglecting something important. Always let peace guide you. If you have absolutely no peace, it might signal you are being hard on yourself or expecting yourself to do things that not even Super Mom could do.
9 You are reaching for coffee and sugar - hourly
Stressed-out moms do different things to cope. One of these is coffee. Wake up. Coffee. Take child to school. Coffee. Rush to work. Coffee. Check emails. Coffee. And so it continues until the evening when the final cup of coffee is put down and lights are turned out. A few hours of sleep and the rush begins again.
Maybe listen to what the 'coffee' is telling you. A lot of stress exists when we pile lots of expectations on ourselves and don't reach out for help. Coffee-drinking mom, could it be that you are being too hard on yourself?
8 You are snappy and temperamental
'Moody' might be the word others are starting to use to describe you. Someone asks you to 'please pass the salt' at the table and you burst into tears because no-one appreciates how you decorated the table and arranged everything. Or in traffic, you roll down your window to have a go at the poor little old lady driving next to you because she is going too slowly. Anger and moodiness are a sign that you have placed unreasonable expectations on yourself and others. Breathe in, breathe out, and readjust your diary. You're worth it.
7 You don't know what to wear... every day
Every day is the same. You stand before a respectable wardrobe and nothing looks right. It is either too bright or dull, to big or small. You stand before the mirror and your grimace at your reflection. When you go out, you don't feel like the beautiful, spunky mom that you are. You're being too hard on yourself! That pink lipstick and those curly, mascara-covered eyelashes of yours, make you look ever the queen that you are.
6 You find yourself making - and breaking - many promises
Commitments feel hard to keep when you don't feel like you make the mark when it comes to appearances and effectiveness. If you are being hard on yourself, you will say 'yes' to everything believing Super Mom agrees and everyone is pleased with her. Then you will feel overwhelmed and send messages on social media to cancel and guilt will consume you. Thing is, you should have been kinder to yourself in the beginning and been more selective in terms of what you said 'yes' to.
5 The green-eyed monster surfaces
Jealousy usually happens when we expect too much from ourselves and are no longer content with our lot. Does everyone else's situation seem brighter than your own? Are you envying others' seemingly non-rushed, relaxed existence, or maybe you are envious of a friend who seems more talented than you or whose kids appear more talented?
Could it be you have not looked long enough and hard enough at yourself in the mirror? Yes, you - you're beautiful. Don't be so hard on yourself. No-one is the unique, fabulous mom that you are and if you were honestly given the choice, you would choose your life and your kids over anyone else's.
4 You're counting the days until holiday
When your little one tells you how many days it is until Christmas, you say, "I know." Not that you're counting or anything... It's just that you are tired and a holiday seems more attractive than anything else you can think of. Burning the candles at both ends might seem the answer to being Super Mom but you are going to burn out eventually. Rather, take things in your stride and don't be so hard on yourself.
3 Shame and guilt
You feel guilty when you get to the end of the day and you have failed to meet your many goals. The next week, you set the same high goals and don't reach these again. As a result, guilt and shame accumulate and eventually you feel like something is wrong with you. Everyone else seems to be reaching their goals but yours' seem constantly out of reach. Maybe you aren't being realistic. Remember, there's a mother out there who looks at you and thinks, 'How does she do it?'
2 Other people say so
When you are being a perfectionist and being too hard on yourself, usually someone will voice this concern. If you hear, "Don't be so hard on yourself" from everyone, including your own mother, then maybe you should listen? Usually, others are able to perceive someone who is working herself to the bone, or putting unnecessary or unusual demands on herself. Feedback from others is invaluable and while we might believe we know best, if every second person is telling you that you are stressing yourself for nothing, there might be some truth in what they are saying.
1 You feel like an imposter
You might feel like you don't measure up and are playing a role, because the person you are projecting to others, isn't who you feel you are inside. This thinking will make you feel unworthy of the life you are living and make you want to try harder to achieve or keep what you think you don't deserve. Alternatively, you might have a vision in your mind of the ideal you which you never measure up to. This discrepancy between what you are thinking you should be and reality could cause stress that you don't need in your life. They say often people are hurt by unmet expectations of how they think things should be. Check your thoughts and keep them positive and realistic. You are worthy. You are beautiful. Someone worthy and beautiful calls you 'Mom' so you must be.