A Letter of Encouragement to Myself

10 X0JTVjQzNDkuanBn“I don’t always love Parenthood”

I talk a lot about my life as a mom on this blog. Usually I am sharing joyful moments, techniques, and other positive themes on parenthood. I’ll be completely honest though. While a moment doesn’t go by that I don’t love my kids more than life and want to give everything to them… the truth is that I don’t always love “parenthood.” It’s a HARD JOB, often filled with stress and always requires sacrifice. I work hard as a mom. I give my whole heart to them and desire to give them a happy, structured, opportunistic childhood. I want to raise them with good character and values. This kind of parenting requires a lot of effort and I am thankful to have a wonderful husband and father to my children to share in these responsibilities. Still, all you mothers and father know what I am talking about when I say that being a parent isn’t easy.

Negative Self-Talk = Negative Mood

In the middle of the most stressful times, like getting the kids dinner and bath by yourself, when one of them has an ear infection and the other is testing boundaries like there is no tomorrow, all on an empty stomach and back ache from an injury during your work out… Yes this is me! 🙂 You have to draw strength to continue without biting everyone’s head off! 🙂 I noticed my self-talk was very negative during these moments. I was really making those stressful times even more miserable for myself and spiraling into a state of stress, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness. I want to look back and know I enjoyed my kids when they were little, not the experience I was having.

A Letter From My “Negative Self” to My “Positive Self”

When things are calm (aka when kids are in bed or entertaining one another) my mind set and perceptions about parenthood are totally different. I decided to write a letter from my calm, joyful self to my stressed, negative self.

I’m going to share this personal letter with you here.

Dear Kim,

I know you are stressed right now and feel like giving up. Raising kids is hard, especially when both of them are so young. Please remember: You are strong; You are a good mommy; Your kids are amazing; And this won’t last forever! Time will go by so quickly… it already has and you want to relish in the precious moments you have with your babies. Give yourself a break if needed! If your kids are in bed 30 minutes later… they will get an extra long nap tomorrow. If water splashes out of the tub, just put a towel down. If the kids are crying and clingy, it’s because they miss you… give them love and nurture them tonight! Take it moment by moment and remember to breath. Your babies are precious and your family is beautiful. There is no reason to stress like you are. Take care dear kimmy and focus on that warm bath and glass of wine you have planned for later tonight!

Your Turn: Writing a Letter to Yourself

Practicing positive self talk and positive affirmations is not a new concept. However, I found it very helpful to write Depositphotos_26703933_mthis. The act of writing itself is therapeutic, such as journal writing. You also have something to reference during your times of stress. We all see things differently when we are in a good mood versus a bad mood. Reminding yourself of your “good mood perceptions” can encourage you to push through and give you positive affirmations that may be hard to come up with during times of stress.

You don’t have to be a parent to use this tool. Whether you are battling an illness, training for a competition, attempting to loose weight, or studying for an exam or overall degree, this can be a useful tool to apply in your life. When you feel strong, confident, and joyful, this is the time to sit down and write down reminders to yourself about how you feel now and the reasons to push through whatever adversity you are facing.

Applying This Tool In Therapy

I find that client’s often describe their moments of distress in therapy as being really bad at the time, but when they talk to me they say things like “I know this is normal…” or “At the time it felt so hard…” Writing a letter to can be an excellent homework assignment. Have the client write a letter to themselves when they are feeling more positive and strong and use it as I have described here.

You May Also Like:

No Longer A Super Mom Wannabe
Exploring the Benefits of Unwanted Behaviors
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5 thoughts on “A Letter of Encouragement to Myself

  1. Hi Kim, I am a grad student in MH counseling at Troy University in Tampa, FL. I came across your blog and enjoyed reading your letter of encouragement! Although I do not have kids, I am married and in grad school AND completing my internship AAAND working a full time job, amongst other things, and really needed this! I am 24, turning 25 in less than a week, and currently undergoing a quarter life crisis. I know I may sound like I am overreacting, but I’m sure you can understand the stress I am going through. I will take your advice and write a letter of encouragement to myself. I think it’s definitely worth it. =)

    1. Oh my goodness, you have a lot going on Catherina! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and hope you find some techniques to help you manage your own life, as well as help others do the same! Thanks for the comment and for reading the blog! 🙂

  2. It’s very brave for people to admit that you don’t like parenthood all the time, especially when all your hear are how much people love their kids and they love being a mom, etc. etc. I’ve definitely had times when I questioned just how qualified I am for doing this or for feeling envious for those who don’t have to deal with this on a 24/7 daily basis.

    I’m big on journaling and one of the reasons is because I get to look back in time. When I read a positive entry, I know that the current madness is temporary. And when I read about a challenging day, I know that it seemed really hard then, but nearly forgotten by now.

    I’ve got to try the positive letter of encouragement to myself!

    1. Nina, that is such a great point about looking back on your journaling. It really is a diary of where you have been and offers an opportunity to review the past in a way you cannot do without the journal. Thanks again for another insightful comment!

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