What I Love Wednesday: Being Kind to Ourselves

**This week’s What I Love Wednesday is a bit different. I am going to talk much more. But I think it is something worth sharing. I promise there is a featured item at the bottom of the post. And even better? There is a giveaway too!**

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I’ve read a couple of really great articles this past week.

 

One was Ashley Judd’s response to the media criticism of her recent appearance. I wanted to give her a big high 5.

 

The second one is awesome. It put into words something that a ton of us are dealing with in this day and age- I know that I totally struggle with it. The issue of comparison with what we see on blogs on pinterest. For most of us women, we have a natural gravitation toward comparing ourselves to others. Body image, finances, parenting. Now that everyone and their mom is on pinterest and we follow a hundred blogs, it is even more in our faces. We see pictures of rooms in gorgeous houses and start to look around at our homes and wish we could afford to make it more like everything in our “dream home” folders on pinterest. I see all of the incredible crafty things that people are posting and start to question my creativity. I look at ideas moms have posted of fun and educational activities to do with kids and then a little voice creeps into my head telling me that I am not a good enough mom because I am not doing those things. I see photos of beautiful women in super stylish expensive outfits and start to covet and get frustrated with our current financial state. And then there is the whole “man- I need to loose 10 pounds!”…  On bad days, it can lead to: I’m not doing enough. I’m not good enough.

 

I’m not saying it is all bad. I actually really love Pinterest and reading great blogs. My husband will tell you that my cooking is 50 times better now that I have been finding recipes on Pinterest. I have found some really great ideas of fun things to do with my boys and HAVE ACTUALLY DONE THEM! I have been inspired to create some fun crafty things that I would have never thought of on my own.

 

It is only when I start comparing my life to my idealized versions of the lives of others that I see online that it is a problem. This is so true:

Found on pinterest. Fitting- ha!

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April’s article was a great reminder that my kids just want me- not the idealized super crafty, stylish, gourmet-cooking woman who has everything together I create in my head- because I am their mom. Who loves them more than all of the diet coke and baked goods in the world.

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All of this was a reminder to cut myself some slack. To give grace to be who I am, in this crazy stage of my life. To look at how God has blessed me and to find joy in that, rather than dwelling on things I wish I could change. To be kind to myself.

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I love this print by My Little Buffalo:

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Guess what? We are giving one away!! Woo~hoo!

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Lisa, who is the awesome designer of the print, designed my logo and blog header and is so sweet! Her drawings are cute and whimsical, while still being simple and elegant.

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Here is a little note from her:

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Thanks Courtney for letting me host a giveaway on your blog!
I’d love for someone to win this print that I created not too long ago.  I made it during the restless months of being a mom to a newborn.  I was getting so caught up in trying to make sure I was doing everything right, that I was forgetting to be nice to mah-self.  Hopefully the winner of this print can hang it up cheerfully and always remember it like I’m trying to do!

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All you have to do to enter is comment on this blog. Anything. I’m trying to be nice to you too :)

I’ll pick a winner next Wednesday, the 25th.

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If you want to, you can tell me what you do to be nice to yourself. For me, I’m going to be kind to myself by looking at the amazing life I have been given and celebrating that. Being okay if we have a $5 pizza for dinner two times a week during a busy season. Appreciating the skills and craftiness of others without comparing myself to them. Focusing on fully enjoying my two sweet boys and their handsome daddy. And giving myself down time that does not include my computer (that means you, pinterest!).

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Be sure to check out Lisa’s blog and etsy shop. She’s got super cute cards and prints and also creates darling custom logos.

20 Responses to "What I Love Wednesday: Being Kind to Ourselves"

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  1. Kristin

    April 19, 2012 at 7:01 am

    I absolutely love this post! 100% agree with everything :) And the print is adorable!

  2. Jamie

    April 19, 2012 at 11:16 am

    What a great post! When I’m having a bad day, I try to treat myself to something small. Nothing that will break the bank – maybe a bag of candy, get a manicure, etc. Something little to perk my day up!

  3. Holly

    April 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    YOGURTLAND! I know Courtney knows my secret… but I sit in the Target parking lot, in my empty car, with the ipod playing songs I like (not Veggie Tales), people watch, and indulge on chocolate (with brownie topping) and sweet tart yogurt. It is my little slice of heaven right now. (I might not like what this is doing to my waist line, but hey, this will probably only last a season and then I’ll move on to something else, so I’m enjoying it!) :)

  4. Em

    April 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    a few of my close friends are about to embark on the journey of their first child and I feel like this would be a great gift for any of them. except that I would probably want it for myself :)

  5. Keren

    April 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    This is a great post–so great I felt compelled to comment in the middle of a very busy work day. For me, being kind to myself is acknowledging that my perfectionism isn’t always going to win out and it’s okay for things to be a little out of control sometimes. A mentor of mine once told me, “in the school of life, always remember that a 93 is an A, so don’t beat yourself up when everything isn’t 100%.” Great advice that I try to live by every day. And btw, Courtney, you are absolutely a fantastic mom and incredible business woman–the kind that so many people, including me, can only hope to be some day.

  6. Cindy O

    April 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Courtney, I love you and I love this post! <3 I also have to remember that God, my family and friends love me just as I am! Thank you for reminding me that I can appreciate others for their awesomeness without comparing or feeling down on myself. <3 I love to create something beautiful for someone when I'm feeling blue (with my contemporary folk music blasting)…it takes my mind off of my imperfect self and puts it on to making someone else smile! P.S. You sing real pretty too!

  7. Jess

    April 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Thanks Courtney. I really needed to hear that. I am not very kind to myself. I feel guilty and ashamed every time I hear my daughter cry instead of sleep, everytime I see her be unkind to someone else or say no to my mom… I think “I must be doing somethig wrong” Or when I feel like a failure from doing all this crossfit and still not seeing the results I want to. Even when I dream about that 640million $ lotto I could have won (yeah right) … All the problems it would have solved. Ahhh, where does this come from?! I know better than to think this way and I never would want my daughters to feel this way. Sheesh!! Thank God for all your amazing blessings. To be kind to myself I am going to breath and laugh outloud next time Ellie throws a tantrum, and then Im going to let it go!!! … I am also going wine tasting this weekend with my husband and friends and I am going to enjoy every minute of it. <3

  8. Lisa

    April 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    You are lovely! Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog :)

  9. kristin @ petal and thorn

    April 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    i was wondering who did your adorable logo! her portfolio is amazing. i would LOVE to win that print and hang it in my office, but is that fair since I won your last giveaway? at any rate, today i was very nice to myself. i took sisi to fashion island, grabbed a nordstrom coffee and cookie (broke my diet!), enjoyed the sunshine, and bought a super cute toy for sisi i’d been eyeing for a long time. sisi benefits too when i’m nice to myself :)

  10. jess

    April 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    YES!! I enjoyed that article too. It was so sweet and SUCH a great reminder. I find the best and most simple medicine for being kind to mah-self is sunshine and fresh air!! I unplug, take the boys outside and we all feel better. That or an encouraging heart-to-heart with a girlfriend; drinks included. ;)

    And because I’ve only won blog giveaways when I write, I must…

    Pick me, pick me, pick me, pick me!!

    I think random number generators have a sense of humor.

  11. denise @ victory rd.

    April 20, 2012 at 12:49 am

    great post, courtney.
    i’ve so been struggling with the comparison game. i need to chuck the comparison game and be content with who God has made me.

  12. Amy

    April 20, 2012 at 1:18 am

    AMEN, Courtney! My heart agrees with yours – both in the struggle and the truth. We were just talking about this at a moms group, and I have a huge passion for having and helping other moms have freedom in this area. Sing it sister! :)

  13. Lori

    April 20, 2012 at 1:19 am

    Loved this post Courtney! Being kind to myself means turning off my computer and brain and being with my sweet little family or putting my feet up and watching mindless tv.

  14. Natalie Lisk

    April 20, 2012 at 4:42 am

    Courtney: I read your post this morning and just now. So good! A lovely reminder and so elegantly written :) thanks for sharing!

  15. Laura

    April 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I love that you share your heart so openly,Courtney. And this is such a timely message for so many of us, if not ALL of us! Life doesn’t get easier as you get older and your young children are now adults – it gets different, for sure. And the feeling of maybe I am not such a good mom can actually intensify, for me anyway, as I heart-breakingly watch my lovely daughters struggle with their life choices. How am I kind to myself? I am encouraged and reminded by what my mom told me long and long ago – if you get compliments from others about how well-behaved my kids are when away from home, yet are openly cranky and rebellious and what -have-you at home – you have done a great job at being a mom. They let down with the one they love most and are secure in their acceptance. Wow. I have been doing the right thing, and by the grace of God, they will, too.
    Grace and peace to you, lady!

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  17. Keren

    April 21, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I know that this may sound backwards, but one of the things that brings me the most joy – and is therefore one of the kindest things I can do for myself – is doing something that will make someone else happy. One of my favorite ways is through cooking or preparing food for others. Today, I made blackberry sage iced tea for my family. It didn’t take that long to do, but I know that the flame of joy through giving will ignite all of our hearts for hours to come. :)

  18. julie

    April 21, 2012 at 12:58 am

    I have had some rough days lately. First with a medical diagnosis that has lead to some major anxiety. More than one person has said this exact thing to me. I am trying, but it can be so hard.

  19. aubrey

    April 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    how funny that I should come across your blog today. i’m wrapping up my seminary degree, writing a greek paper on a passage in Romans (which I should be working on right now!) Basically we’re not to compare ourselves to others because we’re all messed up and all of us equally receive God’s grace. comparison kills unity.
    anyway, just last night I was in the funk of comparison and worry. but working on this paper along with this blog was a the reminder i needed as i enter this new season of finding direction, looking for a job, entering back into “normal” society, etc. so thanks for saying something :) i needed it.

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