Do you ever feel like your mind is on auto pilot with thoughts—generally negative ones that chide your every parenting decision? I have often had this brain chatter, and I used to not know how to hit the pause button and shuffle to a new number.
Moms tend to be their own worst critic using a standard we would never use on a good friend, spouse, child, or even stranger. Why is that? Doesn’t our Lord say to love thy neighbor as thyself? How can we love to ourselves when we are constantly playing a tape of negativity and criticism in our head? If you have this problem, you need to find a way to change this and be kind to yourself.
So, what have I done to replay the right track in my brain so I don’t get derailed and down on myself? I am not great at this yet but am improving.
1. Tell yourself daily that you are human and make mistakes but it is ok. Everyone is in this same place. God doesn’t expect perfection just our love.
2. When you do make a mistake, quickly forgive yourself and make amends if it is appropriate then let it go. No rehashing.
3. Replace your negative thoughts with positive thoughts mainly from God’s word. I love Norman Vincent Peale’s books for finding what he calls thought conditioners.
4. Start a gratitude journal. Each evening list 5 things you are thankful for and 5 positive thoughts you had about yourself.
5. Let go of perfectionism. You aren’t expected to do it all. That may hurt your pride a bit, but it is true. God does not expect you to kill yourself to educate your children (or to do anything else for them).
How do you deal with the brain chatter in your head?