Tag Archives: confidence

For the Love of Women series Part 4

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When I started this series, I was thinking mostly about the way women always put down other women. How we evaluate ourselves within the realms of other people’s opinions. How we feel hatred within and towards our own bodies. But it is so much more than that. How we treat others and ourselves teaches our children how to treat others and themselves. How we define ourselves will directly influence our children’s definition. 

I’m sitting here at my computer to write this post and I look over to see my daughter looking at me from her high chair next to me and she smiles, showing both newly arrived teeth. I turn my head just a bit more and I see my son setting at the table playing educational (and fun) games on daddy’s computer. We do this often, sitting together so I can get some of my computer work done. It works out pretty good, even more now that Michaela is able to play with toys.

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On two occasions, these precious children have been referred to as “overweight”. Michaela is almost 7 months old, and is just now starting to be mobile. Jacob is almost 5 years old and is constantly moving. It angered me. It angers me that these “weight guidelines” are so generic and one size fits all. Why do my children need to be the same size as yours? Or vice versa? Why is it so wrong to be individually sized?

In Part 3 of this series I stated all the things about myself that are not to my liking, my inner dialog. I feel those thoughts often. But you know what? That was the first time in a while where I have given them voice outside of my mind. I refuse to allow my son and daughter to hear me put myself down. Why you ask? Well let me share my thoughts.

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If my son hears me talk about how I need to lose weight, have a tiny waist, a smaller nose, etc., then what am I teaching him? . When he starts dating (you know, when he turns 30…J), he will think the most important thing to look for is slim, tiny waist, perfect face instead of a beautiful mind, kind heart and loving spirit. Then he is just another guy who only judges a woman by her outward appearance instead of her inner qualities.

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And my daughter, what does she learn? It will affect her the most. She learns that she is not good enough, not slim enough, not pretty enough. She learns that it’s not about being healthy but about having a tiny waist. She will fall for the first guy to pay her a compliment.  When we pass on that body hate to our daughters, guess what? They pass it on to their daughters and they to their daughters and so on. It’s a generational curse of sorts.

The recent stories of model pictures being Photoshop edited to look smaller and the new clothing sizes established by some clothing stores/lines are promoting an unhealthy and unrealistic challenge for impressionable young girls.  They are bombarded on the television, magazines, internet and from their friends.

Don’t they deserve to have someone show them that they are beautiful however they look? Shouldn’t that come from us the parents, the mothers showing them that they should love their own bodies?

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In the next installment, its time to start changing things. Time to find out how to be a body love role model and teach our children how to love their bodies. Time to break that generational curse and societies standards.

For the Love of Women series Part 3

 

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Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and criticize everything you see?

Do you talk about your forehead being too big or your lips too small?

Those are just examples but most women have issues with one or more of their body parts.

I do. I am overweight. I’m jiggly in way too many areas. Things have fallen and they no longer even try to get up. My hair is half box Red/half natural gray, (the gray started at 25). I have a stomach covered in stretch marks. Not to mention the three scars from my gall bladder surgery. And those are only some of the things visible.

Why do we do that? Why is our idea of what is beautiful so messed up? Do we have to look a certain way to be sexy?

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About a year ago, give or take, I reached the decision that despite what my internal message to myself might be, I would stop putting myself down and start acknowledging my beauty. After all, I’m the only me there ever will be. And I will embrace the sexy that I have within me.

My stretch marks are my badges of honor from forming two precious lives within me, nurturing and letting them grow.

My gall bladder scars are a daily reminder to watch what I put in my mouth. As a result, I try to cook healthier which is opening up more family time around the table as opposed to eating out or grabbing a snack.

Although I’m not sure that I am ready to stop coloring my hair, my grays are a legacy from my mother who also went gray at an early age and colored her hair. And it is a somber reminder to act my age at times. Not often but sometimes.

And yes, I’m overweight and that’s a health concern. I have started to workout. But I don’t do it to make myself more pleasing to someone. To be honest, if you don’t like me as I am now, then I can guarantee you that I won’t like you when and if I ever meet your approval. I do it because I want to breathe better, live longer and play harder with my children.

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I was recently involved in a conversation about being sexy and others perception of us and how we allow that to affect us. In the process of the conversation I made a comment that I thought was pretty profound. It is as much applicable to ourselves as to others view of us.

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Continuing to ignore the beauty of YOU can eventually spill over into areas you would rather it not. In Part 4 of this series, I will discuss what happens when that happens and how it affects your children, daughters especially.

 

Works in progress

I don’t know if anyone has read about the killing spree that took place at UCSB or the manifesto left behind by the disturbed young man responsible, but it has made me think about my babies and how they perceive themselves and others.

The killer seemingly blamed everyone but himself. He blamed his mother for not marrying into a wealthy family after his parents divorce. He blamed the girls attending college with him because they wouldn’t date him. He blamed couples on campus for having what he envied-a relationship. He video taped himself saying that he would “make them pay”. He later used his car, a knife and three guns to terrorize a campus, consequently killing six souls, injuring more and taking his own life.

Horrible though this is, the thoughts that it leaves behind with me are about my own children. I think about how their father and I are raising them.

My son: Are we raising him to respect women? Will he continue to see them as princesses or as objects? Will he appreciate all that we did for him even though we aren’t rich and he doesn’t get everything he wants? Will he be confident enough in himself to deal with rejection? Will he find acceptable outlets for his anger, that don’t include violence to women or anyone for that matter? Will he accept responsibility for his actions?

My daughter: Will she be confident enough to stand up for herself? Will she know that she is beautiful whether she fits into others view of what beauty is? Will she stand firm under pressure? Will she know that she is more than her bra size? Will she appreciate all that we did for her even though we aren’t rich and she doesn’t get everything she wants? Will she ask for help when she needs it? Will she accept responsibility for her actions?

I love my children very much. I hope they live prosperous lives and know at all times that they are always the center of my universe. But I know that they are not perfect, because well, lets face it, who is. Just like myself and everyone else, they will always be a work in progress. But while daddy and I are guardians of their lives, I hope and pray that we provide them with the tools they need to answer “yes” to all of the above.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the families that lost children in this horrific incident.

#yesallwomen and #notallmen