About Sheryl Sandberg’s Mother’s Day Facebook post dedicated to single mothers.
Why do I care?
It was an eye opening and heartfelt post about what single moms go through as they attempt to raise their children alone.
Tell me more.
Just over a year ago, the Lean In author and COO of Facebook lost her husband in a tragic accident and became a single mother. While she, admittedly, is more fortunate than most, she has found herself navigating this new single mom world. A world of making decisions on her own, playing the role of both mother and father, and more. So, as Sheryl tends to do, she dug deeper to learn more and she took to Facebook with her findings. On Mother’s Day she wrote a poignant post about single mothers. It was a post that addressed how she lacked a true understanding of the challenges women faced when they did not have a partner, prior to losing hers last year. In part she wrote:
In Lean In, I emphasized how critical a loving and supportive partner can be for women both professionally and personally—and how important Dave was to my career and to our children’s development. I still believe this. Some people felt that I did not spend enough time writing about the difficulties women face when they have an unsupportive partner or no partner at all. They were right.
I will never experience and understand all of the challenges most single moms face, but I understand a lot more than I did a year ago.
Sheryl also cited sobering statistics in her post:
- 30 % of families are headed up by a single parent, 84% of which are single moms.
- 40% of families headed by a single mother live in poverty, compared to 22% headed by a single father.
- 36% live with food insecurity on a regular basis.
Finally, she brought into the discussion the state of US maternity leave and how that affects single moms – a conversation that has taken center stage nationally in recent months for a variety of reasons.
That’s What She Said
When you think about how you regard yourself, would you say that you think you have a high self-esteem? Would you say that you encourage your kids to have a high self-esteem?
One expert argues that it’s better for all of us to aspire to have self-compassion in lieu of self-esteem. Kristin Neff, a Psychology professor at the University of Texas argues that while there isn’t anything wrong with being confident, it’s the way in which you achieve that self-regard which can be damaging. When your self-esteem comes from the comparison of yourself up against others, that’s where it gets dicey, because self-esteem is usually based solely on successes.
Who here has succeeded 100% of the time? Yeah, us either.
So, what is self-compassion? In a nutshell, it’s allowing yourself to fail, being mindful of how you feel, and being kind to yourself in the process of failure when it does happen. It doesn’t mean you don’t celebrate your successes, it simply means you don’t berate yourself when things don’t go as planned. In the interview, it is mentioned consistently that we should be treating ourselves as we would treat a friend or our child when they fail. Another important point made is that self-compassion, unlike how self-esteem is sometimes achieved, is not done by boosting yourself up on the backs of others, because A) that’s a jerk thing to do, and B) it does not offer up a lasting result that is emotionally sound. This approach can lead to depression, isolation, and worst case scenario, you evolve, according to Neff, into an narcissist.
Not awesome. So, let’s be kinder to ourselves, shall we?
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Raise your hand if you want to sleep better, increase your interest in having sexy time with your spouse, and improve your mood? Good deal, we’ve got the answer for you – it’s all in the calories.
Hey, don’t get mad at the messenger, we’re just delivering the news we find.
According to a two-year study, just released last week, if you restrict your caloric intake, you can improve your sleep, mood and yes, your sex life. During this study, one group’s goal was to restrict their diet by 25% while the other continued as they normally would. In actuality, the group who was to restrict only manage to get down to half of that (12%) but, they still reported significant improvements in all of the before mentioned areas.
In a statement to CNN about the findings they said: “The key message from our study is that achieving about a 12% calorie restriction over two years and losing 10% of your body weight resulted in positive effects on mood, quality of life and sexual function.”
We’re thinking we might give it a go.
Parting Thought for the Day
They eat, they crap, they sleep, and if they’re crying they need to do one of the three and they’re having trouble doing it. Real simple.
– Matthew McConaughey on parenting. He’s pretty much got this gig on lockdown.
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