Identifying Esteem Blockers
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I turned 40 last year. I had thought that when I got older, having good self-esteem would get easier. I’ve heard women say that you “grow into yourself.” But I still struggle with my self-esteem.
Sometimes I’m my own esteem blocker, talking to myself in a way that is bad for my self-esteem. The best advice I’ve gotten is to talk to myself the way I would talk to my daughter. When I start getting down on myself, I think, Would you say that to your daughter? Often, the answer is no. So I think Why am I saying it to myself? That gives me the chance to take a step back and start over.
—Antoinette Cheney, DO, a mom of a seven-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl, a family physician with Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, CO and from Lone Tree, CO
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Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: I think a big block to self-esteem is guilt. As a parent, you’re only as happy as your least-happy child. Whenever one of my children is unhappy, I worry that I could have done something better. This really erodes my self-esteem.
Some of this is useful because it helps me to try to be more balance in life between work and home. But the reality is that balance for a working mother is an illusion. I feel like I’m one bad grade away from being tossed off the ball I’m balancing on.
I try hard not to focus on my children being perfect and instead focus on their mental equilibrium. I don’t get too concerned about each individual performance, but rather I make sure their overall trajectory is good and that their understanding of overall concepts is reasonable.
—Amy Baxter, MD, a mom of 15- and 12-year-old sons and a 10-year-old daughter; the CEO of buzzy4shots.com; and the director of emergency research, Scottish Rite, of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta