This is an older post I wrote in 2012 for the Washington Post blog, On Parenting. It is still relevant because it applies to anyone who wants to live and parent more wholeheartedly.
Self-compassion is hard for some people to embrace because it sounds self-indulgent. This is a misnomer because practicing self-compassion actually gives us an incentive to try, not because we want to be the best but simply because we care about ourselves. Interestingly, most people find it is easier to care for others then to be kind to themselves.