Appreciate Yourself As A ParentJul 21, 2022
How often do you appreciate your efforts and celebrate yourself as a parent, or as a human? If you’re like most of my clients, you spend a great deal more of your time looking at what you’re doing wrong or where you’re not measuring up than you do celebrating and appreciating yourself for all that you give and do.
We celebrate so much for our children when they are little — learning to sit up, crawl, and walk. We celebrated everything, including going poo-poo in the potty. That deserved a party!
Yet celebrating and appreciating ourselves is not something we often do as adults. At what point did we stop?
At the beginning of each coaching session, I have my clients start by sharing what they are celebrating. At first, clients really struggle with this. They can tell me all about everything that they’ve been struggling with and what went wrong, but they have to stop and really think about what has gone well.
The reason that I have them focus on what they are doing well is that celebrations and appreciation turn on the learning center of the brain and releases dopamine. We are much more motivated to learn and repeat behaviors that we celebrate versus looking for what we did wrong or where we are not doing enough. By focusing on celebrating what they did well, I am helping my clients develop new neural pathways and habits so they learn to appreciate themselves.
We feel so much better and we like doing things for people when they appreciate it — but we have to know that as parents, we are not going to get appreciation back at the same level for all that we do for our kids. That’s why it’s important that we learn to appreciate and celebrate ourselves as parents so we don’t get resentful.
Consider that life is like a marathon and your future self is at the finish line, waiting to see you cross. Imagine that the race is hard, you stumble, and you fall. How does the person at the finish line treat you as you struggle? In the race metaphor, you’re not likely kicking her when she falls down — but that’s what we do to ourselves in our lives.
But what if you could offer more encouragement, lend a hand, and appreciate your efforts more along the way in the marathon of your life? Parenting can be hard, and sometimes just getting through the day can be an accomplishment — so take the time to appreciate your efforts and celebrate that you made it to the end of the day. Imagine looking in the mirror at the end of the day and telling yourself Yay You! Today was tough and you got through it. Great job!
July 24th is National Parent Appreciation Day, and I invite you to celebrate and appreciate YOURSELF as a parent. If you are reading this, you obviously care about how you are doing as a parent, so give yourself a high-five and acknowledge yourself for the work you’re putting in and how much you care.
If this is really a struggle for you, if you are someone that is always really hard on yourself, or if you’re meaner to yourself than you would ever be to anyone else — please reach out to me. I specialize in helping parents learn how to appreciate and be kinder to themselves. When you develop the habit of supporting and appreciating yourself more you feel better, and when you feel better it changes everything for you and your family. The days may be long but the years are really short. Take the first step to making the most out of them by lining up a free call here.
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