I know its something we all say at this time of year, often without giving it too much thought. But, I seriously mean it. It is my wish for myself, and for all of you - a happy year. Even if you don’t reach your goal weight, or win any parenting awards, or develop the app that makes you millions, I hope that you are happy.
My personal goal for this year is just to be a bit kinder to myself. Parenting is hard, and with young kids, I feel there is definitely an unequal burden placed on the mother. Even when you are blessed with a hands-on, committed husband like I am. We are expected to work like we are not a mother, and to parent like we don’t have any work commitments. It often leaves you feeling spread very thin. You are doing a LOT but don’t feel like you are doing any of it particularly well, or ‘right’.
I think its time we give ourselves a break. Wouldn't it be amazing if we could see ourselves through the eyes of the people that love us most? Everyone has at least one person who thinks the world of them, whether its a friend, a sibling, a partner, a tiny human you created, or the humans that created you. We are so hard on ourselves and tend to get hung up on our flaws, but what do they see when they look at you?
I find it strange that we are almost more comfortable talking about the things we dislike about ourselves than the things we like or are proud of. Try something quickly; think of five things you dislike about your body and would change if you could. Now, think of five of your best physical attributes. Why is the latter always so much harder?
Is it because we are trying to be humble? The reality is that humility doesn’t mean thinking any less of yourself, it just means thinking of yourself less. If you are constantly beating yourself up over the areas in your life where you feel you have fallen short, and agonizing over things you dislike about yourself, you are still making yourself the centre of attention!
I quite like Australian comedian Tim Minchin’s take on happiness. His advice is, “Don’t seek happiness. Happiness is like an orgasm: if you think about it too much, it goes away. Keep busy and aim to make someone else happy, and you might find you get some as a side effect”.
So here’s to 2019. May it challenge and inspire you. May it teach you more about yourself and others, and may the side effect be…happiness!
Mama on the Run
Link to Tim Minchin's full UWA address here.