How to Be a Good Mother to Yourself

Click the play button to listen to the Audio Blog: Being a Good Mother to You

I hope you’re beginning to see that there are many ways you can practice self-care and nurture yourself even if you’ve struggled in the past to take care of you, and even if you don’t know where to start. (Find out more in my last article.)

When you are filled up with your own unique self-nurturing practice — which happens over time and with baby steps — you are naturally more peaceful and joyful.

And when you are more peaceful and joyful it changes how you think about and approach everything. It makes all the difference when you’re resourced, rather than feeling depleted, empty, and despairing.

There are three simple ways you can tell in any given moment that you are treating yourself in a less-than-nurturing way, or struggling to be a “good mother” to yourself:

The first sign is that you are criticizing or attacking yourself.

Most of us have a high tolerance for self-criticism.

But ask yourself, “Would I say the things I say to myself to my daughter or another woman I deeply care about?” Of course not!

The second sign that you’re not nurturing yourself is that you’re engaging in some form of self-neglect.

You may be neglecting everyday activities like eating nutritious food, bathing, or doing the laundry.

Or you may be neglecting yourself in big ways like not setting boundaries or not leaving a relationship that is unworkable, persistently painful, or even abusive.

The third sign that you’re struggling to self-nurture is that you are indulging yourself in some way.

For example, if one piece of chocolate for dessert would be wonderful, a giant family size chocolate bar would be even better!

Or you indulge yourself by nurturing old hurts and wounds, or telling yourself that you have a right to be emotionally or verbally abusive to another person because they hurt you in the past.

Pia Mellody calls this “offending from the victim position.” And while it’s extremely tempting to do, it is toxic to your relationships and ultimately to you.

Self-criticism, self-neglect, and self-indulgence are sure signs that you are struggling to take care of yourself.

You may be thinking, “I’ve been treating myself like this my whole life. I’ve never known how to take care of myself. I don’t see how this can ever change.”

If this is true for you, you have fallen prey to despair and a defeated self-perception.

Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel?” If you want to feel better, if you want this pattern to change, you can do it.

And what better time is there to start than now?

You may be thinking, “I’ve got so many people depending on me, I don’t have time. I’ll take care of myself later.”

Sure, there are times (not many) in our lives where for a short season we need to prioritize another person’s care over our own.

But if this is has become a chronic excuse for not taking care of you, or if you feel powerless to do otherwise, imagine telling another person, “You don’t deserve to take time to care for yourself. You need to take care of everyone else first.” Ouch!

Imagine what it would feel like to:

  • Trust in your ability to prioritize you, even in the face of pushback or the disapproval of others.
  • Put yourself first and teach your daughters or other women you love to do the same — through modeling self-care and self-love.
  • Know how to nurture yourself, even if no one ever taught you how to do it.
  • Have an actionable framework for repairing the hurts from the past that block you from caring for you, so that you can heal yourself in the present.

You deserve the life you want to create, and I would love to show you how to make it happen.

In my next post I’ll be sharing with you an opportunity to go even deeper, working with me and a small intimate group of women, so that you can heal past wounds and learn how to nurture, affirm, and stand for yourself as your fiercest ally.

In the meantime, what one small step would you like to take now in the direction of eliminating self-neglect, self-criticism, or self-indulgence? I’d love to hear what you’re committed to doing for you in the comments.💙


© Victoria Priya, LCSW [formerly Vicki Tidwell Palmer] (2023)

Radiant Threefold Path articles are protected by U.S. copyright laws, and may not be reproduced, distributed, or re-published without written permission of the author.
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I want to support you to Return to the authentic truth of who you are, Reclaim what is yours, and Receive everything that is meant for you. So that you can Regenerate your life, your relationships, community, and the world.

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