There are lots of things I know I want to do or be as a mother. One of my biggest challenges and changes is loving myself, but I honestly believe it’s one of the best things I can do for my girls.
Growing up as a girl is intense, and it only seems to be getting more so. Images and unrealistic role models are everywhere you look. Society tries to tell you there are certain ways you should look or certain things you should be doing to try and better yourself.
But hey, you know, we change—our morals, our outlooks, our beliefs, our lives, our dreams, our goals. We accept that. In fact, most of us embrace that.
So why do we find it so hard to accept that our bodies change, too?
I changed before children; of course, everyone changes a lot in their first 20 years.
I changed after my first child, and I changed even more after my second. Not just my body, every single aspect of my life.
But changing isn’t the hard bit. Accepting it is. Sometimes not even just yourself, others around you may not accept it either.
I don’t want my girls to grow up thinking you have to get rid of your “mum tum” within six months. Who cares if you never get rid of it? You earned it.
I don’t want my girls growing up thinking it’s normal to stand on scales, staring at numbers that change hourly let alone weekly.
I don’t want my girls growing up thinking they shouldn’t go on a coffee date with their friends because they don’t deserve a slice of cake.
I don’t want my girls looking in the mirror thinking the folds in their skin shouldn’t exist because someone they know or someone online has good lighting and angles.
We all have lines, folds, rolls, stripes, veins, spots, moles, freckles—no matter who we are. That’s life.
I never want my girls to think they are any less because they don’t fit someone’s ideal or a conception of ideal.
As their mother, I feel like it is my job to never normalize diets. Never use degrading language to myself or anyone else. Never normalize weight as a focal point of life. Never not experience life because of the way I look. Never give them any excuse to not love themselves.
I know they will grow, they will use social media, they will meet people who have opinions or get in situations when I can’t keep them safe from this.
But by that point, I hope they will have learned from me that no one else has any right to an opinion of your body other than you. Period.
Nobody is perfect, nobody loves themself day in and day out. But it is important to know that that’s OK. It’s normal. It doesn’t mean we have to try and change ourselves.
Learning to love yourself is definitely a journey, and I’m still on my journey. In fact, I think it’s a forever journey.
I want to be kind to myself, so my daughters watch me and realize being kind to yourself is really the best thing you can ever do.
Because, my darling girls, life is short, there are lots of things out there that will give you hurdles to overcome. So let’s not make it harder for ourselves.
I will love you always. Endlessly. No matter what. And I hope you will love yourself, too.