My daughter is going through an intense sleep regression. In all fairness, we’ve got a lot going on and I don’t really blame her for feeling a little out of sorts… I feel it too. But as I lay on the floor beside her, reminding her that I’m here, that I love her and that it is indeed time to go to sleep, I have moments in between to think about all those mom thoughts that come to us in the wee hours.
I’m just a regular mom. I’ve had my share of issues with my weight, perception of beauty and worth, my place in a crowd, figuring out what I was going to do with my life, dealing with heartbreak, just like many others I know. I’ve battled my own insecurities with my success or what I felt to be lack there of, abusing my body and more dangerously, my mind. But it’s not about me anymore. Well… that’s not true. It’s very much about me. And my relationships with everything mentioned and so much more. Making it about me from time to time puts me in the right frame of mind to parent well, to be the best partner and friend I can be, to stop living in fear of how people view me and to enjoy the moments with those I know and adore.
I don’t think the intention of living our best life is to spend it all obsessing about how we look, where we stand in comparison to someone else, and how far we have yet to climb in some undetermined measure of success. I think if we ask those who have had the opportunity to truly reflect on their life, these amazing people would remind us to enjoy our moments with the ones we love and not worry about how we looked in the picture before pressing delete.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about body positivity and let me tell you, it’s been an emotional ride as I try and create an environment of pure self acceptance for my daughter, surrounded by one where I learned to always strive for someone else’s definition of perfection.
It’s a great deal to consider; a lot to feel in the question my 2 year old asks on repeat while I am stretched out on the floor beside her bed, coaxing her to sleep:
Are you here, Mommy?
Yes, I am. Always.
What I want her to hear, in the unsaid, eventually said, always said:
- Never let someone shake you of what you’re passionate about. Your passions are what will guide you to happiness. Follow them without regret. Follow your heart.
- Feel fresh air often. Warm air and cold. Sunshine and Rain. Dress for it and run like you do today.
- Never compare yourself to someone else. You are perfect just as you are.
- Take risks, using your mind to keep you safe. Using what you’ve learned to see you through. Falling and failing is always okay, but getting up again provides the lesson and reminds you how strong you are.
- Your body allows you to do so much with your life, to see and experience so much joy. Be thankful for it and appreciate it as it is.
- Choose good friends rather than many friends. Surround yourself with people who enrich your life, and lift you up. There will be tough days. But those days will feel lightweight in comparison if you have the right people around you.
- Be kind, always. You never know who is on the receiving end of your kindness and how much they may need it. Be kind to others, but be kind to yourself first. Stand up for yourself and what you believe in.
- Love with your whole heart. It’s terrifying and completely worth it.
- Forgive. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Forgiving does not mean forgetting your value, or letting others take advantage of you. Forgiving does not mean pushing aside feelings of anger and upset. Forgiving means feeling it fully, then letting go and moving on from it.
- Be willing to listen. Be critical and thoughtful of it. Be willing to be heard. Know when to speak loudly and when to speak softly. There are times for both.
- Read. Everything. Never stop learning.
- Set goals. Reach high. Tippy toes high. Anything you want is within your reach. You’ve got the tools to get you there.
- See the world. There is so much of it to see. It’s not all pretty but it’s all worth seeing.
- Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of body.
- I love you always. No matter what. There will always be a place for you. I am right here.
A wonderful book we have recently found and I’ll share with this affiliate link is called Dear Girl, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Talking about the connection between mother and daughter, this beautiful book shines a light on the importance of being yourself, of letting those feelings come through, of standing up for yourself and loving yourself just as you are. It’s a new favourite and is filled with the messages I want my daughter to hear ♥