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Jun 262012
 

There is something to be said for the huge responsibility weighing on our shoulders as parents. What’s even more straining is being in a position to help a child’s self-esteem flourish all while knowing you may have your own challenges with esteem. It’s not surprising that so many of us have issues with our own sense of self. After all, our parents weren’t given tools to help “fill our buckets”.

Perhaps if we’re going to really take on this mission of “filling buckets” we need to start with filling our own. Of course, that’s much easier said than done. However, just being aware that becoming more fulfilled personally brings a flow of fulfillment to others could be enough.

So while we consider the best approaches (and by the way, there’s no one-best way to approach this) consider giving yourself some loving tender in the process. We may have the added responsibility of nurturing our children but we can’t forget the story of The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs. If all of our energy is spent caring for those little eggs (our children) we’re going to run out of steam and perhaps self-esteem.

Be well to your children, Be well to yourself!

Jun 052012
 

 

When our children are first born we look at them in awe. We’ll sit and stare at them, falling deep into their eyes. For many of us it’s hard to put these moments into words. Often times we don’t know what we see but we know it’s the best feeling in the world. As our children grow up there are less opportunities for that type of lengthy gazing. Heck my kids won’t sit still long enough to eat some food let alone for me to ponder their souls. However, that same feeling we had when we were able to sit and stare is still there.

While in those moments we were seeing with our eyes we were actually aware on a much deeper level. That awareness allowed us to see their inherent qualities and all that is good and true about them. Some of the inherent qualities I talk about are lovable, valuable, worthy, precious, creative, beautiful, and many others. These qualities look familiar to us because even though sometimes we question their validity they are all true about us as well. Inherent qualities may be dismissed or denied but they are with us at birth and never leave.

As our children get older there are plenty of reminders about what is “wrong” with them or how they need to perform or do things beyond just being themselves to gain attention, affection, acceptance, and appreciation. This sets the stage for them as they get older to go find ways to feel loved, lovable, etc. Perhaps if we appreciated those inherent qualities in them a little more often they would know that they don’t need to search past themselves to find love. Just maybe when they received messages from others like they’re stupid, or ugly, or unworthy, etc. they would question them instead of learning to accept them.

In the very least, I can’t think of many better ways to honor your child and help them to establish a sense of self than giving them appreciations. Appreciations can be kept very simple and would probably work best when they are not in the middle of “doing something”. I advocate this approach only because you may not want to associate them having to do something (ie; painting, cleaning, performing) in order to be appreciated for who they are. This is a time for them to be reminded of what’s true about them regardless of what they do. Again, this deeper level of awareness is a reflection of their “being” not their “doing”. Just before they go to bed at night would be a great time to let them know that you appreciate how creative, loving, lovable, valuable, precious, curious, and smart they are. These are just a few examples of what you might appreciate about them. When they are old enough you might want to write a few out and have them read them to themselves. Hearing themselves remind them can resonate even deeper.

In a world where we can guarantee we’ll be hearing a lot of false things about ourselves isn’t it nice to know that a simple reminder of what is true can go a long way? What are some ways you’ve found to remind your children what’s true about them?

May 102012
 

Unless you’ve been completely offline today you’ve surely heard and/or seen the controversial cover on Time Magazine. There’s been plenty of talk about how old the child in this picture is – he’s 3 – and whether or not women should be breastfeeding a child this age. It seems all the controversy online today (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) has been around the topic of breastfeeding. Of course, this is an important topic and one that will be debated for years to come. I am very much in support of breastfeeding. Having said that, this post is actually going to talk about something much more important. It’s going to cover a topic that I’m not hearing anyone talk about and yet is, in many ways, killing millions of women and men alike.

Shame.

The cover of this photo states, “Are You Mom Enough?” Has our society become so used to being shamed, put down, questioned that we don’t even see shame when it’s staring us in the face? We wonder why so many of us have self-esteem issues and yet we don’t see some of the causes. One of the most common questions I hear women asking is (in one variation or another) “Am I enough?”. Whether it’s in the form of weight, beauty, intelligence, career, financial, caregiving…and the list goes on and on.

The bottom line is that every women who is blessed to have a baby is ENOUGH from the moment she gives birth to that beautiful child. No woman can ever be MORE THAN or LESS THAN enough of a Mom.

There is no judgement in truth.

“More than” and “Less than” statements are judgements and there’s only one truth. All Moms are enough all the time!

Why must our society/media put into question something as basic as this? Why must they keep our Moms doubting themselves? As if there isn’t enough things to call into question about our performance and even our inherent nature. The sad truth is that this is so common. What’s even more sad is that so many Women and Men alike don’t even recognize that this is abuse and it’s called, Shame.

Someone(s) at Time Magazine has a warped sense of what’s “Real”. Don’t let them fool you into thinking you ever have to meet some condition as a women and a mother in order to be enough. This is a complete fallacy and says much more about the owners and content creators at Time Magazine than it ever does about our Mothers.

On this Mother’s Day I want you to remember one thing Moms. You were, are, and will always be enough.

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