Hi everyone, and welcome to the very first episode of the pick me up podcasts. If you haven’t already then be sure to check out my welcome episode to give you an insight behind how these Podcasts came about, and behind Personal Development Time itself. I am so excited to be on this journey with you, and look forward to sharing many future episodes with you.
The topic this week couldn’t be a more important and relevant one for me right now, and I feel confident that many other mums will be feeling this way too. It felt like the perfect way to start the pick me up podcasts, so I hope you enjoy it.
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Transcript of Be Kind To Yourself Episode
I’m Emma, founder of Personal Development Time and host of the pick me up podcast: the perfect go to for a quick but effective pick me up at the times when you need it most. Designed for mums with their needs in mind!
New episodes are released every Wednesday and I look forward to sharing them with you, so be sure to subscribe to be notified! Enjoy, and thanks for listening.
Today’s topic is all about being kind to yourself, and I must admit it is a topic that the universe is definitely sending my way a lot at the moment. As I was having a conversation with somebody about it just the other day I thought “This has to be shared! Way too many of us need this.” So when I am talking to you today, please know that I am also talking to myself here too.
Now I don’t know about you but I am the first one ready and waiting to apply criticism to myself for how I am doing. It has been noted that I may be a bit of a perfectionist, so that certainly doesn’t help right! And what I am learning is that a perfectionist is something that you certainly can’t be as a mother! You simply don’t have the time, energy, or the control over circumstances for that! But hey, that is perhaps something for another episode.
So, on to the topic of today… I really wanted to share with you something that I feel very connected to and that is the importance of being kind to yourself.
If I am honest I think I have always been a harsh critic of myself even from school age, so I know that this is going to take some work for me as well as there are some real deeply ingrained habits there, but it is something that I have noticed even more since becoming a Mum. As mums, we certainly don’t have it easy do we, I was writing a blog just the other day around tips for pregnancy and one thing I felt compelled to talk about was the importance of dealing with everybody’s need to comment or give you advice once they know that you are pregnant. And I think that’s exactly it, that’s the problem that we are facing, when it comes to parenting EVERYBODY has an opinion, even people who aren’t parents. So this can very much leave us feeling judged, inadequate and maybe even uncertain about our approach. All of this is not good for our mental state. Couple that with the use of social media and so many people only sharing the good stuff and creating this obscured view of their world, that it leads us to comparison and again, not feeling like we are good enough.
What does all of this lead to? Telling ourselves that we are failing, or looking at another mum and saying to ourselves “well they are doing this or that, or coping so you should be too.”
So let me start by asking you: What is your self talk like? There is always this second person in our life isn’t there, this voice in our head which feels the need to comment on absolutely everything that we do, feel or say throughout the day. And I bet you that voice isn’t a kind one. One question I think is always interesting to ask is “Would you talk to a friend like that?” I can bet your bottom dollar that if your friend came to you with some of the things you spend your time thinking about, there is absolutely no way that you would confront her with some of the things that you say to yourself. You would be empathetic, understanding, listening and nonjudgmental right? More of a motherly figure than that of a Sergeant major that you apply to yourself? It’s interesting isn’t it! A really great way to see how you talk to yourself is to listen to the language that you are using, is it nurturing and compassionate? Or is it full of words such as should, must, could, need… These are all great words for just filling you with a whole load of guilt! (ah mum guilt… we can host a whole podcast channel just on that I think couldn’t we!)
One thing that was recommended to me to view motherhood as, and something that I totally connected with and took on board was the importance of recognising we are on a journey. The world of parenthood and us entering it and going through it really is one big journey! I mean, just think about it… you go into labour and no matter where you birth your baby (let’s just use hospital for ease of explanations), you enter hospital as a person. You have your baby and you leave as a whole new person…Just like that! So all of a sudden, you are a mum and you are expected to know exactly what to do, and not only that, feel completely OK with this complete change of identity if you like as I guess that’s what it is right! I mean come on, what else in life happens in that way? No matter what we are doing, whether it is training for a profession, working towards a set goal, or even working through some mental stuff in counseling for example, all of it is seen as a journey and we allow ourselves the time and space to develop. But there is no time with a baby, so how can you expect to be perfect at this and get it right. This is going to take some adjusting, you’re going to have to trial things, get things not quite right or make some changes. And that’s OK! Because actually, yes, technically you walked out of that hospital as a mum, but in actual fact it is now a lifelong journey of learning and developing that you are on. So having the conversation with yourself that you are doing a great job with what you have available to you at the moment, and you are on your own journey which is naturally evolving all the time will be much more beneficial to you then telling yourself that you are not doing a great job and need to make some changes, you should be doing much better than you are …. Need I carry on?
Talking of things not quite going right… we are quick to recognise those aren’t we, but are you recognising when things do go right, are you celebrating your wins? I bet the answer to those are no… we just don’t do it do we! But why, these are achievements, and no matter how big or small, every win is worth celebrating. So the next time you actually get a shower and put some make-up on, or the next time you deal with a situation with your child well, or you all manage to actually get out of the house, take a moment to recognise it! Say yeah girl!!! You’ve got this! That… was awesome, well done!
Now a lot of this that I am talking about all comes down to your expectations? So what are yours? Are they set way up there that you’d have to actually be superwoman in order to achieve them? I can tell you that mine certainly are! And what happens when we set our expectations so high that they are unrealistic? We end up leading ourselves down a path of pure negative self talk, telling ourselves that we should have and could have done better.
So as with everything I do, I like to give the information and then provide you with some practical things that you can go and apply if you wanted to put these tips into action. So here’s three things that I hope you can go and do off the back of this podcast.
First of all, Listen to your own self-talk over the next few days. Is it nurturing and compassionate or is it judgmental? Is it going to serve you or is it going to hold you back?
Secondly, acknowledge that this is a journey. Be OK with the fact that you’re not perfect, and that you’re not going to get things right all the time, and also that there is some adjusting that will always be needed along the way.
Thirdly, celebrate those wins, no matter how big or small. Just make sure you congratulate yourself and take the time out to recognise and acknowledge them. You will soon feel that you’re doing a lot better at this parenting thing when you allow yourself to see the amazing work that you are doing.
So there you have it, your be kind to yourself toolkit, available to you whenever and wherever you need it. Don’t forget to subscribe to automatically be updated when the next episode is released, and let’s all do a little good by sharing this with other mummies that you know need this the most.
Sending love, as always, because I think you’re wonderful!
It has been great to connect with you
Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you found it useful. Please feel free to share any comments or questions you have below, and if you have any requests of topics you’d like to hear then I would love to know.