Mamas: Be Kind to Yourself

I came to the realization the other day that I haven’t been very nice to myself lately.

In general, I think I’m a pretty decent person. I take care of my family, do my best to keep the house in order, and have dinner on the table in the evening. I strive to treat strangers as friends, and friends as family. I love the people around me and try every day to make sure they know they are loved and important to me.

So why am I so mean to myself?

Be Kind To Yourself

I would never walk up to a stranger and say, “Wow, you look fat today.” Or “You could really use some makeup to make yourself look better.” I would never say to my friends, “You aren’t doing enough for your family.” or “Why can’t you make time to do this or that?”

So, why do I say those things to myself?

I’m two months postpartum after having my second child, and for some reason, I keep expecting myself to be skinnier, prettier, and more put together than ever.

Again I ask myself, why?

Women tend to hold themselves to a higher standard.

We feel like we can put ourselves down, because, well, it’s just me. We don’t mind hurting ourselves, as long as we aren’t hurting others. But I think I am hurting those around me by hurting myself.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not in a very good mood after looking in the mirror and reminding myself I’ve got flaws or when I don’t make time for myself. When I’m not in a very good mood, my family can tell, and then THEY aren’t in a very good mood. All because I chose to treat myself poorly.

So, I’m going to stop being mean and start loving myself.

Be Kind To Yourself

The “Golden Rule” should apply to ourselves, too. Treat myself as I’d want others to treat me.

I need to say “thank you” when I receive a compliment, rather than brushing it off. I have a tendency (like most women I know) to find a reason someone is wrong when they try to say something nice. Oh, you like my dress? No, it’s just an old thing I got off a sale rack. You think I look great for just having a baby? No way – I have so much more weight to lose, I look like a pig.

I want to make sure I’m looking in the mirror at night saying to myself, “You were a great mom today; you loved your kids and your husband, and tomorrow’s going to be another fantastic day.”

I want to teach my kids to do the same, and I encourage you to try it, too.

This holiday season especially, it’s easy to get busy with all the hubbub around us and running place to place. Let’s remember to not only be kind to one another, but to be kind to ourselves:

The dishes didn’t get done because I was spending time with my family?

That’s okay, there’s always tomorrow.

We had to order pizza because I didn’t get groceries in time to make a healthy dinner?

Who cares? My family loves pizza.

My favorite Christmas dress doesn’t fit because I still have my “c-section pooch?”

Yah, that’s life, I’ll get a new dress.

In the meantime, I’m going to take time to love myself and take my husband up on the offer to watch the kids while I go get a pedicure. I’m not going to feel guilty for picking up Starbucks while I’m at Target (for the third time this week), and I’m going to keep reminding myself that I’m pretty darn great (and believe it).

I’m going to start to treat myself as I’d want others to treat me – with kindness, love, and respect.


Natalie Ivory is a University of Iowa grad who grew in Traer, a small Iowa town. She spent time living in Des Moines and Dayton, OH before relocating back to Cedar Rapids where she’s lived for 6 years. She loves her job in marketing/communications at ACT, Inc and is pursuing her MBA. Natalie has been married to Greg since 2011, and their first son, Leo, was born in the summer of 2014, 7 years to the day after they first met. Baby #2, George, was born in October 2016 making them a happy little family of 4.


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