Are you a good mother to yourself?


Mother’s Day is a time to honour the skill of good mothering. Many people are fantastic mother figures to others but have never
learned to nurture and care for themselves in a consistent way.

  • In the spirit of good mothering, I offer you this checklist. You know you are being a good mum to yourself when…
  • You take “time out” when you feel frustrated, angry and impatient, so you can settle down and think clearly.
  • You give yourself regular treats like an afternoon movie, an outing or time with friends.
  • You grow your self-confidence by focusing on the positive things you do.
  • You limit time in front of screens and send yourself outside to play in the fresh air and sunshine on a regular basis.
  • You are able to see your shortcomings and love yourself anyway.
  • You give yourself regular, nutritious meals, so that you can perform at your best.
  • You treat yourself with kind encouragement and understanding, because you know that criticism, punishment and berating yourself don’t make you behave better.
  • You honour your talents and passions (sport, music, dance) by prioritising money and time to develop and enjoy them.
  • You speak gently and encouragingly to yourself when you make a mistake, or fall over.
  • You give yourself a nap or put yourself to bed before you feel overtired.
  • You trust in your potential and encourage yourself to continue practising when your first attempts at something are clumsy and unskilled.
  • You don’t exhaust yourself by taking responsibility for jobs that other people could do, and are comfortable asking for and receiving help and support.
  • You avoid meltdowns by allowing yourself time with nothing planned or scheduled to putter about at home.
  • You know how to comfort yourself when you get scared, overwhelmed or lonely.
  • You stay home when you feel poorly, because you know that resting may be the most productive thing you do.
  • You value yourself and set firm clear boundaries with people who are disrespectful or overly demanding.

Action challenge
Reflect on how well you are mothering yourself.

  • Are you berating yourself for not doing enough?
  • Are you pushing yourself beyond the point of exhaustion to get just one more thing done?
  • Do you tolerate an unkind remark, rather than risk upsetting someone by asserting yourself?
  • Do you keep adding more and more to your schedule, because you feel guilty or uneasy saying no?

Extreme self-care is at its core good mothering, so whether you are a man or woman, look for ways to mother yourself in a more deliberate way. Catch yourself in the act of self-neglect, and do something loving and supportive to nurture yourself.
Let’s celebrate Mother’s Day every day.

Annemarie Coulson is a Hamilton based happiness coach.  She aims to help you become happier with yourself and your life now, while also making changes to improve your future.  If you are curious to know more, visit her updated new website at or phone 021 076 5450. The new website has three interesting quizzes to take, and heaps of useful free information to download.


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