How are you doing, amazing mama?
How much time have you spent telling yourself that you're not good enough today...?
I have a loud internal critical voice...
...the kind that says you're a bad mum, you're not worthy, you're not good at what you do, you don't deserve time for you, you should be ashamed of your messy house and your weight and your moustache...
I'm tired today. The causes of my tiredness are good (late night school music concerts, exotic trekking holidays, sleepovers with friends...), but when I feel tired, that internal voice tends to get louder.
And so this morning, that voice was on at me that I didn't go to bed early enough last night and that's why I couldn't get out of bed on time, or cope with the kids' own tired struggle to get ready for school.
It told me that I was a grumpy blamey wife, a grumpy blamey mother, that I was unable to meet my kids' needs.
That voice told me I was a failure because I was feeling tender today. Because I didn't get in the sea or have the courage to get really cold once the kids were at school...
So I guess I've spent a good chunk of this morning telling myself I'm not good enough...
I've also spent that time observing that voice. And slowly, gently, changing the way I talk to myself.
Because over the years, I've had to learn how to manage those nasty voices in my head.
I used to think that they motivated me - that somehow, using that self-critical voice to move me forward helped me to achieve all the things I get done in the world. But the truth is, it doesn't.
It just makes me feel rubbish. It makes me scared to try new things or take risks. It makes it harder for me to help others. I'm better at doing all of those things when I'm kind to myself.
So this morning, like many mornings before, I sat down with it.
I put my hand on my heart and sent myself some love.
I paused and questioned each thing that voice was saying to me.
Because whenever you really look at the heart of what that mean inner voice is saying to you... it's not true.
I came up with examples of things that prove the opposite to be true...
I was patient with my children as they took ages to get ready. I held my husband's hand and listened to him as we walked. I've swum in a cold sea many times before, and I love it enough to know that I will do it again. Plus, it's actually OK to do these things for me, when I want to, not because I feel like I 'should' do them.
And slowly, that self compassion and thought process took me back towards being able to say...
I'm not a terrible mum or a bad wife. I'm not incapable of looking after myself and my kids well. I'm not a coward or a failure.
And now, although I'm still feeling tender, that voice has gone off to do something else.
And instead of wasting my valuable time and energy on being mean to myself, I'm free to get on with doing the stuff I'm made for.
I am good enough.
And funnily enough, so are you, << Test First Name >>.
And so I have another question for you (and for myself, they're always for me too...):
How much time have you spent today celebrating yourself, pointing out your strengths, talking to yourself as if you were a friend?
Have you told yourself that you are enough yet today? (If not, now's your chance...)
Have you noticed all the things that you did well? Or even, adequately?
We often underestimate the value of doing things adequately - it's a vital skill as an overstretched mum!
Yay for being adequate!
Can you think of three things right now that you can celebrate having done adequately today?
If you're wrestling with an inner critic of your own, come join us tomorrow for our next Mamas' Retreat Party in Mamas' Everyday Retreat (details below).
Thank you for everything you do. We know how hard it can be, and how important and valuable your mothering is.
Don't forget to mother yourself with love too.
That inner critic of yours is talking nonsense. You are awesome, << Test First Name >>.
Who knows, you might even be adequate...!
We've now shared the stories of 67 amazing women in our 365 Amazing Women series!
And the love and appreciation for these women has been a complete delight to witness.
Read on for a little flavour of some of these amazing women...
"Clare is a kind and beautiful soul.
She is a fantastic reflexologist with incredible insight and great compassion - a woman whose love and care has helped me and many of the other amazing women I love through the toughest of times...
...the kind of person you can trust with your fears and your secrets, and whose hugs are magic."
Read more about Clare
"My amazing friend Lina has been through so much, coping with a debilitating condition that came out of nowhere for the last two to three years.
Despite this she is a truly wonderful mummy, and literally would do anything for anybody. She is kind, compassionate and lots of fun..."
Read more about Lina
Visit our Story of Mum facebook page to read more 365 Amazing Women. And let us know who you would like to nominate. We still have over 300 to go...
Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat: Our next retreat takes place on Sunday 18 March.
Our Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreats are soul nurturing for mamas. Time for us. To breathe. To stretch. To make. To be heard. It's just four hours, but it can feel like a lifetime - and a lifeline. We'd love to see you! Learn more and book.
Monthly Retreat Party: Our next monthly #somum Mamas' Retreat Party in Mamas' Everyday Retreat will take place on Wednesday 14 March from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.
Ths month, we'll introduce our mean inner voices to each other, and send them off for a play date of their own, while we all make time for some lovely supportive mama me-time together instead.
Mamas' Everyday Retreat is a safe kind space for mamas to connect and support each other. You can expect much me-time encouragement, compassionate conversation, gentle motivation, and surprise treats.
If you're not already a member, ask to join the group and we'll add you.
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