My not-quite-two-year-old daughter stepped on the scale the other day. She giggled, looked down at the number, and stepped off. She was totally unaware of what she was doing, other than copying something that her mommy does. But it caused quite a stir within me. I thought forward to what I would do if, years from now, she were to step on the scale and make a sound or comment to herself like I often do. A seemingly simple “ugh” or rolling of the eyes. A sound of dissatisfaction.
My daughter is energetic, funny, healthy, smart, loving, sweet, and full of life.
At what point in her life will that not be enough for her?
At what point will my beautiful daughter decide the scale is too high, that her pants don’t look right, that her nose should be different or that her hair is too straight or curly? It pains me to think about this perfect little girl growing up and not believing she is a perfect creation of God.
As her mom, I am a critical piece in this.
I was sitting amongst the women in my church group last night. We somehow got into a discussion about spider veins, which then led to discussions around tummies that won’t go flat after childbirth despite a dedicated gym routine and other parts of our bodies we are not totally happy with. One woman spoke up and said,
“If only we could see ourselves in the same way that we see one another.”
Something so simple but I didn’t know how to respond. She was so right. I realized that I looked at each of those other women in this light of perfection. Yet, I was sitting there spinning around about how my stomach would never be the same after two kids.
At what point did being energetic, funny, healthy, smart, loving, sweet, and full of life stop being enough for me?
I refuse to let my son and daughter grow up in a house where their mom puts herself down or struggles to just say “thank you” when someone compliments her. Typically I want to somehow make a joke when I get a compliment, I don’t know why.
Our kids will face challenges. It’s inevitable. But if we can raise them to know that they are enough, that they are all the things we know them to be – then perhaps they won’t let society or bullies win and get into their heads.
I am an advocate for being fit, strong, and healthy. I work hard in the gym – not only for my health but also because it makes me feel great. I hope my daughter finds passion around something that makes her feel confident. If she grows up and decides she wants a tummy tuck or to tattoo eyebrows on (yes, this is a thing), I will support her. As long as she loves herself and can look in the mirror and give a genuine smile. I want her to always be the energetic and full of life person she is today.
Let’s make a deal. Let’s stop the nonsense. Let’s build our kids up, and build ourselves up as well. The next time someone compliments you, what if you simply said ‘thank you’ and actually smiled and believed their compliment? What an amazing example that would set for your daughter.