As mamas-to-be, we can feel immense pressure to get this whole parenting thing “right” and perfectly fit into society’s mold of a mother. What if I told you, starting today, the pressure is off?  

Just like your little one, you deserve the opportunity to be authentically you as you transition into motherhood. The good news is, you have endless access to a toolkit of resilience within yourself. It might seem hidden beneath the fog of exhaustion, but trust me it’s there. All you have to do is learn to embrace it.

Here are three ways you can do just that.

  • Acknowledge perfection is backwards and self-criticism is ineffective.
  • We strive to be perfect for our children, partners, boss, family and ourselves, but craving perfection often brings out our inner critic, which is more harmful than helpful. If you find yourself falling into self-judgment, acknowledge the thoughts and feelings without holding onto them. If you struggle to let go of them, ask yourself these three questions:
  • Why do you feel guilty?
    • Do you feel bad for things like not finishing chores? Or not being able to give your children more opportunities?
  • What are you afraid of?
    • Where do these fears come from? Do the criticisms stem from your childhood? Your partner? Social constructs?
  • Can you change the situation?
    • If so, figure out where you can take action to improve things. If not, don’t worry about it. Let go and accept the situation is out of your control and that is also okay.

Working through these questions will allow you to regain a full-pictured perspective and remain objective, from both a practical and emotional perspective. This will empower you to move forward in a positive direction and tackle the problem head on, rather than dwelling on the unnecessary—or fixating on people, things or situations you can’t control.

Give yourself grace.

Self-compassion is not selfish! It may sound cliché, but taking it one day at a time is truly the best mindset when entering into motherhood for the first time. Every child is different, every home is different, every family is different and that’s a beautiful thing to embrace. Every milestone your new child experiences for the first time, you also experience for the first time. So, being kind to yourself in this time of transition for you both is the key to success—especially when your inner critic wants to remind you of all the “cant’s.”

Instead of listening to your negative thoughts, make the choice to celebrate the small victories, embrace the hard lessons and remember that all you can give is your best. When things go awry—and they will—you’ll have built a foundation of authentic positivity and strength that won’t leave you sweating the small stuff.

Take action.

As moms, we read and hear about self-love and taking breaks. Taking breaks? How is that possible? Whether you’re a mom who’s in the boardroom or the play room, how can you “take a break”? Everything will fall apart! The truth is, this inner critic’s mindset and the voice that says, “You can’t take a break or you’ll fail” is actually the very thing that will make everything “fall apart”.

Instead, find practical ways in your personal daily routine to find joy and extend some kindness to yourself. Whether that’s getting outside for fifteen minutes, enjoying a five minute guided meditation (Check out my FREE 30 Day Meditation Challenge here) listening to a song that makes you dance on the way to work or simply closing your eyes and counting to ten, there are very simple ways to take action and extend grace to yourself.

All of these intentional self-care practices will create a momentum that leads to healthy habits not only for yourself but as an example to your family as well.  The same patience, kindness, encouragement and support you plan to give to your child as he or she grows, you can offer to yourself as well. Not some time in the distant future, but in the here and now.