I had a conversation with my daughter the other day about an upcoming appointment:
Me: I’m going to get my eyes checked so that I can go without these glasses sometimes. Do you think I’ll look weird or good?
Me: Weird?? I’ll just look like this *takes off glasses*
Jayleigh: *silence for a second* Mom you look beautiful just like you are.
Her comment was so innocent and sincere. It completely took me off guard and had me thinking,
“Why can’t I see myself the way my kids see me?”
I have struggled so much with how I feel about my looks since the kids were born. The way my clothes fit these days make me want to cry. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, but it is a hard thing to explain. I don’t look overweight and most people can’t tell that I have really gained any weight, so a lot of times I get the standard, “You look amazing after twins!”. While I appreciate those comments (honestly I do), I always feel like people don’t really mean them. I know that sounds just crazy, but when I look in the mirror I don’t see something worth calling beautiful anymore. It’s a really hard thing for me to admit, but I just don’t. Yet even with all of these feelings I have about myself being so negative, my daughter’s comment really made me stop and think. She sees me all day, everyday. The dressed up and dolled up days. The stained t-shirt and gym shorts days. And the worst offense, the skipped shower and pj wearing days. Even after she sees all of this, she still says I’m beautiful just as I am. I know she meant it and that meant the world to me.
It got me thinking, if my child can love me flaws and all, why can’t I? Why don’t I deserve the same love that I give daily to everyone else? Is it so wrong for me to take the time I need for myself? I spend all day taking care of everyone else and I sometimes let myself go. Ok, who are we kidding, always let myself go. But why? I shouldn’t be sacrificing all of myself all the time, but yet I do. So I’m going to start making myself a priority and I challenge you to join me. It is time we stood up for ourselves and our happiness. Love ourselves no matter our height, weight, hair, or style. We are all unique and all deserve to be loved and taken care of the same way we moms spend our days taking care of others.
Now I’m not naive, I know that I’m not strong enough to completely love myself overnight. It will be a process and it will definitely take time, but I’m going to start. I’m going to start trusting God to help me love myself the way that He loves me.
Here are the steps I’m going to take to do just that:
*Pray and keep a list of applicable verses
This is something I have tried to do before, but always seem to fall short. Thankfully God still loves me regardless of my shortcomings! I plan to pray over the things that worry my heart about the way I look and feel about myself and ask God to help me see myself the way He sees me. When He leads me to a particular verse, I plan to write it down in a notebook so that I can have quick access to it when I need to be reminded.
*Keep encouraging reminders around the house
One of the best ways for me to start believing something as truth is to hear it often, so I am going to keep notes around my house that remind me of what I am worth and how I was made in God’s likeness. It is important to flood the brain with powerful reminders of who I want to be! Then when I get ready, or stare in the mirror and wonder why I’m such a mess, I’ll be reminded to think better about myself because of the little reminders I have left there! Over time they will become a truth that I believe whole heartedly.
*Speak only good in front of my kids
This is one is huge for me. I have a horrible habit of speaking down about myself in front of my children and it has to stop. Many times I have thought about how I would feel if I heard my children saying these things about themselves and it just makes my heart ache. I never want them to think that their worth is dependent on how they look. I have to be the one to teach them that beauty is on the inside and that we should all be in awe of how God made us. From now on I will make it my priority to keep my degrading comments to myself. I know eventually I will speak highly of myself, but for now it’s best to just say nothing instead of a negative comment.
*Stop being judgemental
This new action is one I shouldn’t even have to say, but I admit that sometimes I am snobby towards other women. It’s embarrassing and it is something I am determined to work on. I feel that we as women and parents should pull together and lift each other up. We all have our struggles and we NEED each other. Yet too many times I quickly judge a mom by her appearance. I don’t understand why I do it and I am quick to realize what I thought and wonder why I even thought it in the first place. Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another”. We were made to help each other. We were made to encourage one another. So why are we so quick to tear each other down? I am going to work on seeing people for who they are instead of who I think they are and I encourage you to join me. We are all beautiful and deserve to be loved!
Please take time for yourself this week, however that looks for you. It is so important, not only for us, but our children too. They see how we treat ourselves and they will mimic it. They will notice if we love ourselves wholeheartedly and our families will be better for it. This community of moms will be so strong if we can stop judging and start loving.
Always remember that you are loved and you are beautiful!