This picture of me was taken a few years ago...I am glad I had it done when I did, because my stomach isn't as flat now, I have more lines on my face, and my hair is shorter and grayer now than this moment saved by the camera. But you know what? I am much more comfortable in my own skin today than I was when I took that picture in 2011.
And I intend to get even more comfortable as the years roll on.
This has happened because I have taken the time to really get to know who I am and accept myself "as is". I have shed the masks, including the image of pretending to be perfect (though Tom would be the first to say I still struggle with feeling inadequate at times), I have owned my life choices, and worked at improving my relationships with Tom and with my kids.
I have done so because I realize THAT is what is most important in life.
There are a few other thoughts on motherhood I'd like to share as we enter this special weekend celebrating the women who, if we are lucky, truly inspire us to become our best selves:
- It's important to remain teachable. If there is one thing we can be very defensive about, it's our parenting, right? I just finished the second level of a course given by my favorite parenting author, Dr. Shefali Tsabary. Boy did I learn a lot about being a parent through her book and classes! Such as...we cannot truly hope to become the best guide for our child without (a) looking at the way we were raised and (b) confronting and working through our own fears. This is a daily practice, not a destination...it is unfair and extremely unhealthy to continue to dump our anxieties and stresses onto our kids in the name of discipline, hoping to get them to behave/become the people we want them to be. They came through us not for us.
- Motherhood is one of few crucial callings. (So is fatherhood, of course). The next generation will develop in a way that reflects how we have treated them. If you want to see change in the world, it starts under your roof. We can shift blame to any number of places (technology, the school system, the friend's our kids choose, the media...), but at the end of the day you are behind the adult your child becomes.
- The connection you have with your child, that is, the quality of your relationship, is a direct result of the kind of time you have put into that relationship. Same can be said for your marriage, and ultimately, your relationship with God and yourself. If you aren't emotionally connected, the quality of your relationships will be sure to show it.
What has motherhood taught you about yourself, about your children, or about life in general? I would love to hear your thoughts! Share here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.