One evening, as my husband was helping our children brush their teeth and get pajamas on, I sat in my nursing chair and scrolled on my phone. As I did, I started comparing myself to other women and mothers. Slowly, I began to have unkind thoughts toward myself.

I became jealous, I became sad, I felt small and unseen.

Then I heard little feet padding into the room and looked up. It was my 2-year-old son holding his favorite picture book over his head. “Mommy read book!” he said cheerfully and immediately climbed into my queen-sized bed, settling himself among my blankets and pillows.

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I smiled too, put down my phone, and laid his baby sister in her crib. I settled down next to him as he scooted closer and laid his head on my shoulder to get a better look. He showed me some of the images he recognized and proudly beamed up at me when he could name his colors and shapes.

His eyes told me he loved me. That I was important, that I mattered. That I am his entire world.

The thing is, we spend a lot of time caring about what other people think of us, and we always seem to forget what the most important in our lives do. We spend our time burying our faces in tablets, phones, and computers and rarely meet the eyes of the ones longing to love us and be loved by us.

When I feel lonely, or ugly, or unworthy, I try to see the love my children have for me. They may not be able to verbalize it, but they show it the way they know howthrough their actions.

So mama, if you are feeling those things right now, I want you to take notice.

To notice when they slip their hand into yours. Or when they lay their head on your lap, and you brush their hair with your fingers. How they run and leap without fear of whether or not you will catch them.

When they take shelter in your arms out of fear or hurt.

As they throw their head back and laugh at something silly you did. When they offer a hug or a reassuring word when they can see you feel sad or down. Or even when they snuggle up close for a book.

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Your lifeyour worthit is not determined by what you posted or how many likes you got. It comes from moments like those. The next time you feel those things, those lies, take a look at yourself through your children’s eyes.

That–that is the truth.

Christie Luibrand

Christie Luibrand, MSW, LISW is a mental health therapist turned stay-at-home mom. She currently writes about all things faith, motherhood, and wellness at HerDailyFiat.com. She spoke most recently at the National Virtual Catholic Women’s Conference 2021. Christie is a monthly contributor to CatholicMom.com and has been featured on Spoken Bride, The Young Catholic Woman, and the Blessed Is She blog. When she is not chasing around her three little ones, she is enjoying hikes with her husband and discussing books with her girlfriends. You can find her on Instagram where she shares more day-to-day life and musings at HerDailyFiat.