During a recent counselling session I described how one of my kiddos is having serious behavioral issues. I said I was completely lost and didn’t know what to do. I felt like a failure of a mother for obviously not doing something I was supposed to, there had to be something I forgot to check off that “Parenting 101” list that we are given with each child. I clearly lost my list. None of these issues arose with the others. What did I do wrong? I sit in the hallway crying to myself as I make sure my child doesn’t come out of their room listening as they call me all sorts of names.
I know these things aren’t true. In the back of my mind I’m arguing with myself telling one part of my brain to stop listening, those are just words, it’s not who you are. The other side is arguing back. Of course that’s who you are, you’re a terrible person(not just mom), why would your child lie about that? The arguing can go on and on and ON!
My councilor told me it sounds like this child (actually 2 of them) may have ADD. So I’m diving deep into all that I can find and going to the doctor. And then she said she wants me to work having better self-compassion.
I thought I was doing good with practicing this. I’ve turned my negative thoughts into positive for a long time now and I can spot when my brain is trying to turn itself against me, hence the arguing with myself. I told her I know it’s wrong, I know I’m an amazing person and a great mom and so much more. Should I really be concentrating on that so much when I should be doing more to reign in this behavioral problem?
Yes because you are worth it. Yes because you deserve it. What would you tell your friends who might be dealing with this? What would your friends tell you?
I forgot about her telling me I need an “imaginary friend” 🙂
So what is Self-Compassion???
According to many sites, self-compassion consists of three main parts.
Mindfulness: Recognizing when you are stressed or struggling, without overreacting or being judgmental towards yourself. Seeing yourself objectively.
I can recognize when I’m stressed but I feel like the struggling comes first and I don’t always know when I’m struggling until after I’m stressed. I need to look at myself with more of open mind.
Self-Kindness: Being supportive and understanding towards yourself during a hard time, rather than being self-critical. Being non-judgmental on yourself.
I’ve most definitely come a long way in this area over the past few years. I still tend to numb myself out when things get hard though. And then I berate myself for it afterwards.
Humanity: Recognizing that you are not alone in the mistakes you make or the difficulties you might experience. We all make mistakes.
This one is hard for me. I always feel alone, even though (logically) I know there are millions of parents out there that are going through and have went through the many different obstacles I deal with daily. I don’t necessarily agree with the word mistake though, purely because I try to look at “mistakes” as learning opportunities. So I would change that statement to “We all have learning opportunities”. But maybe that’s just me “snow-flaking” it.
“Common humanity is an aspirational concept that challenges us to consider that we all have something in common…we’re all struggling in some way, and we all wish to find peace. When I realize that I’m not alone in my suffering, I feel comforted.
Common humanity reminds you that you’re NOT the only one struggling. In fact, your suffering makes you a part of Team Human.”
I realize that self-compassion is more involved than I originally thought and it takes work! I can also see that I’m not the only one who had no idea what all this consisted of. Who knew life would be so interesting?!