This blog started with a conversation that lead to 3 more, then a few more after that, then a quote I read: “Be WITH someone who makes you happy!”
This is a question that I struggle with all the time. Do I love myself? Often I make poor choices for myself; ones that if someone else made them for me I would say not to or stop or at least think about what that choice might mean. But no, if it’s me making the decision, I just take myself for granted I guess. So how do we get to a place where we love ourselves, so that we value who we are and try to make good choices for us?
You make decisions all day as a parent that are hopefully in the best interest of your child. Nutritious food to put in their lunch box or wearing clothes that are weather appropriate. You choose a loving childcare arrangement or buy the safest car seat. But what about the choices for you? Do you love yourself enough to make the better choice for you? The better decision for you?
Is it a relationship that you keep going back to? Is it an over indulgence in a food? Is it procrastination from dealing with something or someone? Is it those dreaded cigarettes? Binge drinking? Whatever your ball and chain, do you do what is in your best interest? We all have issues and life experiences that make us who we are. We often make choices based on our history and how things have worked out in the past. But that doesn’t mean that they are good choices. Loving yourself means putting you first. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get up in the middle of the night with a fussy baby because you love yourself and know that you need 8 hours of sleep! I’m just putting out the idea that a lot of personal choices are not really in alignment with what we think or feel.
You go back to the same broken relationship over and over because you think it will change or it will be different this time, but you keep getting burned. You go out with the gang and drink until you black out, every time you go with them. You eat the whole box of cookies, but you then hate yourself because you are trying to get fit and healthy.
I really don’t have a magic pill or a three-step program that will make it all better. I’m just looking for myself, and asking you to look as well at how your best intentions often get sidelined when the decision is about you and not someone you love. How do you get to a place where you love yourself enough to take a second look before you make that decision? You know that your head is already saying no, but you push that back because what you want outweighs the consequence. Often you know the consequence already, and you do it anyways.
So here is my two cents – today, be mindful. Think about yourself and the decisions that you are making for you. Then switch your lens and ask yourself what your Mom would say or your best friend or your sister or someone else who loves you. If the answer is no, don’t do it. Try it just once. See how it feels. See what the outcome is this time. Live in it and know that you can change it with the next decision, but be mindful of you. Love yourself enough to try it just once. You all have many who love you and you have children who love and rely on you. But, to love yourself, well that actually can have the best benefit of all. It affects every other relationship you have because it’s a better version of you.
Young Parent Outreach is a dynamic resource program providing services and support to young pregnant women, young moms and dads, and their children in the Greater Victoria area.
These services – provided by The Cridge Centre for the Family – are designed to give young pregnant women and young moms and dads the help and support network they need to have healthy babies and to be effective, successful parents. Whether it’s housing, income assistance, food back or dealing with child custody or substance abuse, The Cridge Young Parent Outreach program can help.