The daily hustle as a mom and the toll it takes on oneself is the topic of today’s guest post from Meredith Ethington. If her name sounds familiar, it is because she is an award-winner author and the founder of the Perfection Pending blog. In her new book The Mother Load, Meredith gets real about her motherhood journey, providing suggestions for those not-so-pretty moments and including honest, raw anecdotes. Today, she kindly guest posts on common signs of self-loathing for moms to watch for, and how to boost self-love in response.
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What self-loathing looks like when you’re a mom
Guest post from Meredith Ethington
As a mom, I know firsthand the pressure that comes with trying to be everything to everyone. It’s easy to fall into the trap of self-loathing, constantly comparing ourselves to others, and criticizing ourselves for not measuring up. But what does self-loathing actually look like when you’re a mom?
Comparison is the thief of joy. Especially for moms.
For me, self-loathing often manifests itself in comparison to other moms. Social media can be a blessing and a curse this way.
I find myself scrolling through social media, comparing my messy house, my lack of homemade meals, and my uncoordinated outfits to the seemingly perfect lives of others. But, we often compare our worst day to the highlight reel of someone else’s perfect day. What else are we going to feel when we do that besides inadequate and small?
But, we don’t just do this through social media, you might even compare yourself to your own mom, or to your best friend rather than focusing on your own personal strengths. The old adage – “comparison is the thief of joy” – really is true.
The voice in our own heads can sometimes be the loudest.
Negative self-talk is another common form of self-loathing for moms. We are often our own worst critics, constantly telling ourselves that we’re not good enough or that we’re failing in some way. This negative self-talk can have a significant impact on our mental health and well-being.
When I was a new mom, and sometimes even now, I found myself constantly telling myself I was screwing up. I guarantee you that if you were to ask your kids how you are doing, they would only have nice things to say. We get in our own heads and criticize and berate instead of reminding ourselves that we’re doing pretty damn good.
So why are self-love and acceptance so crucial for moms?
For one, we are setting an example for our children. If we constantly criticize ourselves, our children will learn to do the same. What would we tell our kids if they were beating themselves up all the time? We certainly wouldn’t high-five them and tell them that it’s fine to be their own bully.
Besides, practicing self-love and acceptance can improve our mental health and well-being, as well as enhance our relationships with others. In my book, The Mother Load, I talk about how the pressures on moms today are so great that we often put ourselves last. What happens as a result is that our mother load becomes heavier and our mental health suffers. The cure is to give ourselves praise and grace and compliments.
So how can you love yourself more?
No one is perfect, and it’s important to embrace our flaws and imperfections. Remember that our imperfections make us unique and special.
I named my blog Perfection Pending shortly after I became a mom because I realized real fast that there is no such thing as perfection in motherhood. Once you let go of that idea, you’ll more easily be able to love the imperfect job you’re actually doing as a mom.
It’s easy to put ourselves last when we’re busy taking care of others, but it’s important to prioritize self-care. This looks different for everyone, but in my book, I mention that showers don’t count as self-care. Sorry, but those are basic human needs mama.
Find something that refuels and rejuvenates you. Find that thing that makes you feel alive! It doesn’t have to be something too complicated, but it does have to make you feel more like YOU.
When you put yourself as a priority, the self-loathing is going to slow down naturally. That’s just because you’re reminding yourself that you matter. Because you are worthy.
Self-acceptance is a journey, and it’s not always easy to get there.
Society often tells us that we need to look a certain way, act a certain way, and be a certain way in order to be accepted and loved. And as a mom, there can be even more pressure to live up to these ideals because we don’t want to fail our kids.
But, I guarantee you that what we would tell our kids is that making mistakes and being ourselves is what makes us unique and interesting. When we can learn to embrace and accept our flaws, we can start to let go of the self-loathing and negativity that can consume us.
My book, The Mother Load, is all about self-love and acceptance and how crucial that is for our own mental well-being. As a negative Nancy myself, it’s way easier to beat myself up. I’ve been doing it for so long! But, by practicing self-love and acceptance, we can improve our mental health and well-being, enhance our relationships with our families, and set a positive example for our children. They’re always watching us, and we want them to love themselves right?
Well, I have news for you – it starts with showing them how much you love YOU first.
About today’s writer
Meredith Ethington is an award-winning writer and author of The Mother Load, a book about the journey through motherhood and mental health. She started writing on her popular blog, Perfection Pending and her viral essays have reached millions of struggling parents.
She lives in Salt Lake City, UT with her husband, three kids, and muppety dog, Millie. In her loads of spare time, she is studying to become a licensed mental health counselor.
6 thoughts on “Self-loathing looks like THIS when you’re a mom, explains popular author and blogger”
Excellent points … essential, really. Good luck to Meredith with her book and in general! Thanks for sharing, Christy 💕🙂
Hi Harmony, I really appreciate your being here. xx
Thank you, Christy, for hosting the post by Meredith Ethington. Contrary to popular belief, motherhood is challenging. Society often expects mothers to deny their own needs for a child. Meredith gives sound advice for mothers to take time for themselves and to accept their imperfections.
Hi Linnea, I really like how Meredith writes. It’s real and helpful.
Agreed ~ Nice to see you!