Feeling Beautiful for Her
Sometimes the ultimate mind, body and soul rejuvenation for me is a new hair cut. So, I booked an appointment and went to get my hair done for the first time in the three weeks since Evvie was born. I was eager for the physiological cleansing that only a new haircut can bring, and so I made the pilgrimage to see our long time hair stylist with my new baby in tow.
I must’ve expressed to him that I was looking for something drastic, because that is what I got and I wasn’t happy about it. I came home in tears, rattling off “too short” and “makes me look fat” to Justin in what I thought was the privacy of our bedroom. My defeat only worsened when Zoe came through our door chiming in that she loved it, loved it and “you look so pretty mommy”. I couldn’t say much through my tears, but I thanked her and told her how good that it made me feel that she felt that way.
I couldn’t be more disappointed that she not only heard me say the “f” word, but that I said it out loud at all.
The actual, physical act of growing and carrying a human being is one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I love it, even with the morning sickness and various other uncomfortable traits and I would do it all again. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a fairly easy time with pregnancy compared to most, and I’m very aware and grateful for how lucky I’ve been in so many ways. I’d like to say that on my fourth time around I’ve learned to be completely patient with my body and it’s lack of urgency to go back to its shape and size pre-pregnancy. It’s a process, all of it, but the feelings of frustration are definitely there especially as the weeks pass and my body barely changes.
These first few months postpartum have been, now four times around, the most insecure and uncomfortable of my adult life. Obviously I don’t like feeling this way emotionally, and keeping those thoughts to myself has been like hoarding a few ugly secrets that I’m terrified will make their way down to my children. Living confidence and teaching it are two very, very different things, but in order to teach it properly, I need to live it. And so my quest continues. This slip up was a warning sign to check myself on the inside before it got to my kids on the outside.
In parallel with the Dove Legacy film, I made a list of the things that I love about myself, and asked Zoe to do the same. For me, it was a challenge I accepted to help bring those thoughts out of my head and onto some paper. Making it real, into a tangible thing that I can embrace and a mental notecard for reference in the future when I’m feeling frustrated and exhausted. For Zoe, I just think it’s a good exercise, something that she’ll remember doing and might even do on her own in the future. Reinforcing the good, while suppressing those feelings that are unproductive and wasteful. While I’m keeping our lists private, I encourage you to do the same in your own ways, and possibly even share some aspect of that under the #FeelBeautifulFor hashtag. In honor of the 5th Annual Dove Self-Esteem Weekend kicking off tomorrow, let’s pass positive feelings of beauty to the girls in our lives, as we often influence more than our immediate family.
Dove research shows that 65% of girls describe the women that they look up to as confident. I want to be in that percentile for my daughters, for now, for the future, for all three of us.
Thank you to Dove for sponsoring this post, and thank you for reading!