I’m using the word better here reluctantly, but bear with me and you’ll understand what I mean. Lets’s start with the basics…

What is self-awareness?

Self-awareness might sound like some abstract millenial BS term that’s currently being banded about, it’s not! It might also seem selfish – it’s far from it!

It’s actually about realising that tailored therapeutic care starts with understanding yourself. What might work for you, might not help the next person so understanding the difference starts with understanding who you are and what works for you.

The first thing you need to know is that self-awareness isn’t static – it’s ever-changing, always developing. We change through each situation and event we go through,  accepting that is the beginning to you being you. Self-awareness is about understanding and getting to know yourself. It’s about knowing what makes you happy, what makes you upset, what makes you frustrated –  so you can decide how you want to behave, how you want to react.

Being more self-aware allows you to have more control over how you behave, it can help you to be the person that you want to be, rather than the person you think you should be. It’s about being comfortable with yourself and accepting yourself so that you’re happy to be you.

Why is self-awareness important to be a good parent?

We live in a world where we’re constantly comparing ourselves to other people – we’re judging ourselves according to someone else’s standards. We’re living according to someone else’s expectations.

By being more self aware will you’ll be able to understand what kind of mum you want to be. It will help you to stop looking around to tell you what’s ‘right’, but instead look from within – your maternal instinct. It’ll give the the freedom to be who you already are as well as the confidence to accept it. Being self-aware will allow you to feel less guilty and make the decisions that are right for you.

As a parent, it allows you to accept yourself, have more control over how you react and be confident in making choices that work for you and your family. Knowing yourself and making choices according to your life, makes you also feel less-guilty. You’ll stop comparing yourself and be more confident. This will mean you’ll be a better parent and build a relationship with your child that works for you.

Beyond that, when your child grows up watching you be comfortable in your own skin and someone who doesn’t let anyone else’s opinion affect them – they will naturally follow.

How can I be more self-aware?

It’s a lot easier than most people think, but just like anything worth having in life, it takes willingness, commitment and effort.

Self-awareness is a holistic process that includes your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. These 3 different ways will help you to explore each of these aspects further…encouraging you to be the best parent you can be!

1. Journaling

Journaling is so powerful and therapeutic, something I didn’t really understand until I started doing it myself. Regularly journaling allows you to reflect on what’s happening within you, your emotions and feelings. It’s not just for the negative stuff, but journaling about the positives can help you figure out what really makes you happy. Try to take 10 minutes a day to jot down how you feel about the day: What’s made you happy? What’s made you sad? What are you grateful for?

2. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a great way to get in tune with your body, your breathing and your surroundings. it helps you to focus on that moment. When you feel an urge of frustration, anger or sadness – take a deep breath and feel your body. Ask yourself:

“Right now I’m feeling…”

This will make you confront your feelings and question them so that you can understand them better and become more familiar with them. It will help you to manage those negative emotions as well as make it clear what situations make you unhappy – so you can avoid them.

Like journaling, mindfulness can be done at any time, but it is most effective if done regularly. It’ll help you to manage your emotions and anxieties batter, and create a calm space around you.

3. Talking Therapy

Talking therapy is something not many people know much about and how effective it is. It can really help you to explore what’s going on within you. Talking to someone who’s sole focus is on you, where you’re able to talk without the fear of judgement in a safe space can give you so much clarity.

One thing is that talking therapy takes courage, because you have to admit you need support but also because saying something out loud.  The thought of verbalising your thoughts can seem harder than thinking about it; because you don’t know what to expect. The reason why talking therapy works though is because you do say it out loud. It makes it feel more real and if it feels more real – it motivates you to learn more and confront yourself in a way you’ve never done before.

Becoming self aware can be quite scary because you’re learning things about yourself that you never really knew.

But if you know yourself better, you’ll be more authentic. If you’re more authentic, you’ll be more confident and accept who you are. If you’re more confident and accepting , you be a ‘better’ mum – instead of comparing yourself to others, you’ll be able to create your own expectations and be the mum you already are!

If you’re struggling to manage your anxieties during pregnancy or after having a baby, I offer 60 min sessions to talk through any challenges you’re facing right now. Get in touch with me for more info…