love yourself written in cubes

This year, I’m taking part in Blogtober, over all 3 of my blogs. This is a blog linky, which you join in with every day and interact with the other blog participants. Today’s prompt is The One I Love. Most people will probably talk about their significant other today, but I’m not most people… So with that in mind, I am sharing how self-love doesn’t come easy to me. Read on to find out what I did to address that.

Self-Love Doesn’t Come Easy To Me

When I was a kid, I was frequently the target for a particularly mean girl in school. Just the usual name calling etc. I was twice her size, so she never tried to get physical – well, except once in year 10. But she didn’t try again after that. Anyway, the name calling left me with a pretty low opinion of how I looked.

I spent all of my teens and even my twenties absolutely hating the person looking back at me in the mirror. It didn’t matter whether I was a size 10 or a size 20. (Trust me, I was both, a couple of times over). I just never felt like I was worthy of anyone or anything. Also, I was insanely critical of everything I did.

self-love doesn't come easy to me. A board with "be you, love you, all ways, always" written on it.

The Youngest

Maybe it’s because I’m the youngest of 6 kids, and I was always being compared to someone else. For example, I was rarely Tina… I was always “someone’s” little sister. When I left school and my siblings left home, I became “Tee”. Suddenly I was my own person and felt like I could breathe for the first time. I was still really negative of myself all the time though. I’d spend hours replaying and re-hashing the way I’d handled something, or the way I looked.

Now I’m a Mum, I do that more than ever. I’m so critical of everything, it’s unreal. Whether I’m blaming myself for Sam’s Autism because I didn’t take him to enough baby groups, or blaming my exhaustion on the fact I was working until after midnight. It’s always my fault. I’ve tried to practise what I preach and be more positive around the kids, but self-love still doesn’t come easy.

My eye with a matchstick holding it open. DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME

My eye with a matchstick holding it open. **DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME**

How I Practise Self-Love

Around the time my marriage ended, I was feeling just about as low as I ever have. I woke up one morning, just after we’d called it a day and thought, “Nobody can change how I feel but me, so let’s get to it”. That day, I went out and bought some new (less drab) clothes. I took the dogs out for a huge walk and used that time to clear my head.

Within a couple of hours, I’d decided it was time for things to change, and to put myself first for once. Firstly, I took on extra slots presenting on the radio. (The one thing I did for myself). Next, I told the kids’ Dad he would be looking after the kids some evenings moving forward, so I could get some time to myself. (We were still living in the same house at this time).

It was amazing how getting those few hours to be Tee and not Mum helped me to see straight. I couldn’t help but wonder if things would have been different, had I got more of a break when we were married.

Now

I’ve moved on since, and am in a new relationship. This person makes me feel good about myself every day. If I’m calling myself “mum of the year” because of a nappy leak or such like… Rather than ignoring or agreeing with me, he tells me to take a breath and reels off all of the good things I’ve done that day.

It’s amazing how someone breaking the cycle like that snaps me out of the critical moments. It was like a revelation to me. So much so, I started doing it myself, and it really has helped me to grow.

So the next time you’re chastising yourself for something which didn’t go to plan… Try to remember all of the things which did. That one thing is usually a drop in the ocean compared to the successes you’ve had.

Finally, you can check out more Blogtober posts here:

#Blogtober20
P.S. I’m also joining in with #WOTW for the first time in ages too! Check out more of those posts here:
Word of the Week linky