I'm not a perfect mom. I'm just loving my kids and myself the best I can.
- I grew up hearing my mom have negative self-talk about herself, denying she had talents or beauty.
- When I first got pregnant, I hoped it was a boy because I didn't feel ready to be a mom to a girl.
My mom is a beautiful woman and always has been. She's creative. She used to write me poems on my birthday, and to this day, I still remember them: "Nine is fine, while it's mine." We used to say that she should work for Hallmark because the way she writes can move you to tears.
She has such a warm nature. At the dental office where she works, people often compliment her and ask for her to be their hygienist.
I could fill pages of all the wonderful gifts and talents that she has outside of her physical beauty, but if you asked her, she'd likely laugh or say something to downplay or even deny that she has any talents or beauty altogether.
Her negative self-talk is compulsory. It just happens, and it used to feel completely normal to me. But as I grew into adulthood and attempted to stop my own negative talk, I found myself frustrated that she hadn't done the same.
I didn't feel ready to have a girl
When I became pregnant with my first child, I remember feeling relieved that I was having a boy. I didn't feel ready to have the responsibility of raising a girl, or more so I didn't want the responsibility of raising a girl.
I didn't feel ready to be the role-model woman that I wanted to be for a daughter. I didn't want my daughter to hear my negative self-talk in her head. I didn't want her to feel like downplaying herself was normal.
I pictured being this badass mom who never needed makeup, never even felt a tinge of being less than. But I still struggled with a constant desire to shrink myself, to lose weight, to stay young and thin forever. I wasn't ready to smash my scale with a hammer and exclaim that I was more than the number on the scale — as hard as I tried to fake it until I could make it.
I still had days when I didn't want to get dressed because I felt that I looked horrible in everything that I picked out.
I got help from a therapist
Although I was glad to not have to have it all figured out right away, I started trying to work on my self-worth after the birth of my son. I found a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in women's mental
She helped set me in the right direction and gave me invaluable guidance. I started paying attention to my negative self-talk. I posted pictures online of my postpartum body with loving captions. I put stickers on my mirrors that say "you are beautiful." I started running and set a fitness goal that had nothing to do with weight loss for the first time ever. I began to dig into my beliefs on what I should and shouldn't eat.
And despite a lot of progress, three years later, when I welcomed my daughter, I still didn't feel ready to give her the mom that she deserved. She'll be 2 years old soon, and I still haven't become the never flinching, always self-loving woman that I want to be for her, and despite my efforts, I'm not sure I ever will.
I've accepted that I'm a mom, but that I'm also human, and that's also how I see my own mom.
We all do the best that we can, and I hope that one day, my kids see that I tried hard.
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