It took me 34 years to like myself. As I approach my 34th birthday in this doozy of a year, I’m taking a different approach in my personal growth. Instead of being my own worst enemy filled with self-doubt, I’ve decided to be my own friend. I like myself now, and it’s a freeing feeling.
This won’t come as a surprise to the people I’m closest to, but I can be very hard on myself. Until now, I dumped an overwhelming amount of self-doubt onto myself. I used to lie awake thinking about things I’ve said or done, the most cringe-worthy moments of my day or week. Whether it was in a social situation, a work call, or a heated discussion with my husband, I would replay my part over and over and recoil, hating myself. If I made a mistake at work, I would analyze and over-analyze that mistake for weeks afterward, kicking myself, doubting I would get anything right again. I would fight the urge to apologize after a conversation, simply because I didn’t like what I said or did after the fact (and nine times out of ten, the other person hadn’t given it a second thought). My dreams at night usually consisted of embarrassing childhood memories, and I took that energy with me throughout my days. I put myself under my own private microscope and the ridicule was harsh. I did not like myself.
None of those cringe-worthy moments mattered anymore. Social distancing helped relieve me of those trivial anxieties because there were so many more important things going on in the world, things I’d rather pay attention to than my own inner dialogue. Those self-doubts fell off my shoulders. Now I’m only embarrassed that I cared about what I cared about in the first place. None of it mattered.
My day-to-day is now filled with keeping a 3-year-old and a 6-month-old safe, healthy, entertained, fed, bathed, and on a sleep schedule. And I’m damn good at it. Yes, we have our bad days and I have small moments where I don’t think I can handle it all. But once that self-doubt starts to creep in, one of the kids will smile at me, and all those doubts go away.
I like myself.
I like myself because I’m focusing on my mom wins and shoving the mom fails away.
I like myself because I’m determined to raise my babies to be good human beings.
I like myself because I have stopped criticizing my mombod. I like my mombod.
I like myself because instead of beating myself up, I build myself up.
My 2020 motto is “give yourself grace.” I’ve seen it used all over, and I am here for it. It came when I needed it most. It only took me 34 years to figure out that grace, and not doubt, is what I needed.