A Quick Self-Nurturing Tip from Dina Friedman

A Quick Self-Nurturing Tip from Dina Friedman

Here’s a simple self-nurturing exercise from my parenting teacher Dina Friedman. To learn more about Dina’s Chanoch Lnaar Parenting Course starting November 27th, visit www.CLParenting.com. Enjoy!

At the top of a page write: “Because I love myself I will…” and then write down all the things you will do to take care of yourself and your needs.

For example: Because I love myself, I will nourish my body with healthy foods.
Because I love myself I will set aside time for myself to do the things that energize me.
Because I love myself I will be kind and gentle with myself.
Because I love myself I will acknowledge and appreciate everything that is good about me.
Because I love myself I will surround myself with loving people. Because I love myself I will protect myself when others hurt me. Because I love myself I will take care to dress myself and groom myself.
Because I love myself I will take the time to connect with Hashem and I will hear Him whisper in my ear, “I love you my child. I am holding your hand and protecting you and providing with all of your needs now.”

Now make your own list…

Try to read over your list and nurture yourself every day. If you nurture yourself, you will see, IY”H, how much energy you will have to take care of your family and to spread love and light to everyone that comes in contact with you.

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8 comments

  1. Permit me to suggest an alternative point of view.

    A woman can rationalize almost anything by saying “as long as I am good to myself, my family benefits too”

    I have to leave my kids and go to the Bahamas for a week, because “as long as I am good to myself…”

    I have to spend three hours a day at the gym and leave my baby with a bottle, because “as long as I am good to myself…”

    There is certainly wisdom in this mindset and a place for it. No woman should or has to neglect herself to be a good mother. But it has to be used carefully – otherwise it could become a convenient rationalization that ends up hurting children chas v’sholom. We’ve all seen it happen, haven’t we?

    Three cheers for the middle road. Taking care of ourselves, yes, but not to rationalize that whatever makes us happy is ultimately for the children’s benefit too because a happy mom is a better mom. Risky.

  2. In response to the above comment, I am in agreement because in general I am of the mind to steer things away from myself and steer them towards others and THAT will give me energy. Rather than be kind and gentle to myself (not sure what this means?), how about be kind and gentle to your husband and children. Personally, when I show patience and kindness to my family that gives me an energy and a happiness that makes me smile and sing all day.

    I like Dina Friedman’s reminder to connect to Hashem. Things get so crazy and rushed with little ones (!!) that making time to daven, etc. gets thrown onto the back burner when in reality bringing it to the front burner will be good for everyone!

  3. Hi Rishe,
    I am relieved to read your comment. I was reading this article and was bothered by the fact that I just couldn’t relate to it. When I think about why I love myself- first and formost it is because I am a wife and mother who gives her all (or tries to) to her children. I also run a succesful career, but this is secondary. I also am a creative writer, like to draw, am good at math but this does not give me a lift when I think about it. When my husband tells me, ‘you are such an incredible mother’. I feel blessed and I am flying high.
    I cannot relate to this great big focus on my character traits to lift my self-esteem. My mothering IS who I am.

  4. I love JewishMOMs so much! I can’t believe these comments! You moms give so much to so many people 24/7, and here Dina Friedman suggests that in order to give well, it’s important for us to take care of ourselves, and you protest that you are getting spoiled…

    I have to say though, from my own experience, and I’ve believed this for a long time way before I took Dina Friedman’s parenting class, that in order to be my best with my kids, first of all, I need to be at my best.

    And even though I’ve never taken a trip to the Bahamas:) treating myself with self-nurturing outings such as regular visits to the gym or long, fun walks on my own or making it to shul for at least a little bit every Shabbat morning has made a tremendous impact on my life. Taking care of myself has davka made me a better mom to my children and wife to my husband.

    Again, I’m in awe of you JewishMOMs who give so much, and who get such koach from the act of giving itself. That’s something I’m going to strive towards as well:)

  5. I do not dream about manicures, the gym, etc. The thing that gets me feeling like a rag and an overworked mom is when I’m sooooo tired.
    All i need is a little sleep during the day and I feel pampered 🙂
    Cheers to the ZZZZZZZ’s.

  6. oh Shana i can relate
    for 20 years all my fantasies were about sleep
    all i dreamed of was sleep
    and i promised myself for 20 years that the SECOND my youngest child started school, every day I would put him or her on the schoolbus and head straight into my bed where I would stay until s/he came home a few hours later. I promised myself full days in bed once they all go to school. of course the day came when my youngest (now 15) started school. by then I was getting full nights of sleep, nobody was waking me anymore. I was rested. so she left to school and I smiled and said, “This is nice!” but I didn’t want to sleep.

  7. I really love the turn this whole post took with the comments, while I also vigorously applaud the original sentiment behind the post.

    My little “niggle” here was that I don’t see myself starting this exercise with “Because I love myself…” It’s great in writing but when I said it to myself it just wasn’t comfortable. Maybe if I redirected and said: Because I love my family…… my answers would come out ENTIRELY different.

  8. I also find the comments fascinating!
    I side with the post.
    Of course, you need to know who you are talking about. I’ve never gotten a manicure and would never run to the Bahamas!
    For me, the kinder I am to myself, the more everyone gains: my family on top of the list. The more I push myself to look at their needs more than I already am, the more downhill I go, and everyone suffers! I have 4 small children and I work part time: and I need to work hard to really put myself in the picture at all.

    YL: A person really should love themselves: it means you are selfless but there is what to work on! If you want sources from the Torah about why you are worth loving, and how Love your friend like YOURSELF means you need to first love YOURSELF etc, I’d be happy to give you lots! The fact that it wasn’t comfortable is likely because you are giving and that is even more in yourself to love!

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