I’m Doing a Great Job and I’m Proud of Myself

This morning as my daughter finished her handwriting assignment, she said, “I’m so proud of myself!” I loved that she said this. She had worked really hard and persevered through some challenges while working on her handwriting and she was able to acknowledge that she’d done a good job. When my husband was leaving the house, she called out to him, “Dad! I finished my whole handwriting book!” It was obvious that she was bursting with pride and felt confident in her work. I smiled at her and reveled in her joy. Her reaction inspired me to think about when I’ve felt proud of myself and whether or not I actively acknowledge when I do things well. I have to say, for the most part, I don’t.

Unfortunately as moms, we tend to focus on and build up the negative things we do or fail to do. If I lose my temper with a kiddo or forget to do an important task, I quickly slip into talking badly to myself and feeling down. Sometimes I don’t even realize the discouragement as it overwhelms me, I just let it in. What’s interesting is that I wouldn’t do that to a friend. When a friends tell me about a temper flair up or a mistake they made, I respond with compassion and empathy. I meet them where they are with a gentle listening ear and words of encouragement. I remind them of the truth of who they are and how we aren’t defined by our mistakes.

Last fall I started working out at a new gym. I’ve gone pretty regularly including some early mornings. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to go work out before leaving on a long road trip. This is not something I would’ve usually considered as we all know that preparing for a road trip with kids is a full time job! But since I had gotten into the habit of working out, I knew I would feel better if I got up early and went before driving ten hours (solo with three kids, might I add!). When I finished that workout and got on the road, I thought to myself “I am so proud that I did that!” And honestly, I couldn’t remember the last time I had truly felt and acknowledged feeling proud of something I did. I needed that boost and it encouraged me to start tracking what I am doing well. What if we took more time to celebrate our accomplishments as moms? At any given moment I could probably list off my failures, but could I just as quickly list things I’ve recently done well?

I’ve noticed that when I do take into account what I’m doing well, it gives me the energy to continue! The other day I took time for a long drawn out imaginative game with my girls. As I chased them through the house, their laughter filled my heart and I recognized that I feel like a really good mom when I am playful with my kids. This acknowledgment fueled me to continue playing rather than moving on to chores or urging them to do something else.

Yes, we all lose our patience at times, it’s a daily battle for me! But think of all the times we keep our patience. All the lunches we pack, dinners we make, bottoms we wipe. Think of the ways we care for our family, the mental burdens we shoulder, the creativity we employ to make life fun and special for our kids. If you haven’t lately, stop and consider: “What have I done recently that I feel proud of?” Write down a list of what you’re doing well: you deserve a thumbs up and a “job well done”, even if it is from yourself. When was the last time you felt proud of yourself?


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