As a mom or caregiver, it’s often hard to feel appreciated. Our days are full of picking up socks, wiping down counters, chasing small people, and making endless snacks and meals. If we want to be thanked we often have to remind the children we are helping to thank us. It’s no wonder that after a while of this we start to feel like we aren’t worth more than the million tiny tasks that we do day in and day out.
That kind of thinking assigns our value to what we do instead of who we are. While it might seem harmless at first, the constant imbalance between what we do and how much it’s appreciated starts to add up. It’s not long before we’re wearing our pajamas all day long and hiding in the bathroom with a bag of Cheetos.
Before you struggle through another day, repeat after me:
“I’m valued for who I am, not what I do.”
Write it on a post-it note so it’s the first thing you see in the morning. If you want, you can download this lovely quote from Max Lucado and set it as your lock screen on your phone. Every time you pick up your phone you’ll be reminded that your value has nothing to do with what the world or other people think of you. Your value comes from who you are.
When it comes to being overwhelmed by literally everything, I’m a pro. I make to-do lists, thinking that it will simplify and streamline my day and that by finishing them, I’ve created value for myself somehow. And then, I’ll get carried away and list far more things than I can do in a single day, including things I’ve been putting off for weeks, if not longer. No matter what, I’d get to the end of the day and have more things unfinished on the list than when I started, and then I’d feel horrible about myself.
Doing this creates a horrible cycle of feeling bad then working harder to fix it, then feeling worse, then falling into the pit of despair and eating ice cream until I feel better – which in turn makes me feel worse.
There are still days when I am hard on myself and try to fix it by simply doing more, but then I remind myself that more isn’t better, and I still have the same number of hours in each day that was there the day before.