8.07.2013

I Don't Want my Daughters to be Like Me

I am totally jealous of my daughter, Ella. There, I said it. And for many reasons, too. I mean, who wouldn't want to be five again? The other day her biggest worry (after I canceled her doc appt to have a mole removed, thus eliminating that worry) was which flavor Dum Dum to choose at the bank. I mean really. That's the life, right?

Honestly though, this whole thought/blog post was spurred from our little shopping adventure the other day. She will be starting kindergarten in a couple of weeks (I am already crying thinking about it) so naturally she needs a whole new wardrobe. We were in the fitting room at none other than Target and I snapped these pictures:



She stood in front of that mirror for a solid several minutes and just posed, giggled, twirled and jumped. That little routine was on repeat with each outfit she tried on.  I could feel the confidence beaming from her. As much as it warmed my heart, it also gave me a little bit of jealousy. Yes, jealousy. 

Let me preface this by saying this is in no way me fishing for compliments. I am merely being honest and raw.

You see, each day I struggle (like I am sure most women do). I have chatted about this before publicly (I gave a "Post Secret" speech in front of my students and co workers, when I was a teacher). I have issues. My life revolves around what I look like, and not in an egotistical way. Going hand in hand with that, it also revolves around food (what I eat, what I don't eat, how many calories I consume, etc). I can never just eat to live. If I over eat today, you better believe I will under eat tomorrow. I know- save the lectures. 

I am constantly scrutinizing myself. Always. It seems to have gotten worse over the years too, which is funny, because don't most women become more confident the older they get? I seem to be regressing in that department. I think of it as some sort of sick, twisted disease that I can't seem to find a cure for. 

I know I had two children, gave them life, brought them into the world. I get that. But its because of that, and all the extra baggage that comes along with it that I have truly never felt so disgusting in my entire life. Ever. Its kind of ironic (I think that's the right word) that I am blogging, and posting picture after picture of myself for the world to see every.single.day. And I despise how I look. I think part of it is just the stresses in my life, with having two children and a business to run (but I do have the most supportive, loving, caring husband there ever was), but mainly my weight. I hate how I let that stupid number on the scale define me. I let it control me. 

Every bump, dimple (you say cellulite, I say dimple), every stretch mark, every roll of excess skin (the "f" word is so gross to me), I see. And that is all I see. I can't look in the mirror and think- "oh hey strong woman who mother's two children and has pretty decent eyelashes!" Nope. All the bad outweighs the good. 

One thing I can say that I am proud of, is that I NEVER and I mean NEVER let Ella (and Charlotte, even though she is only 10 months) see me criticize myself or pick myself apart in front of the mirror. My poor husband gets to hear all of that, which I am sure never gets old (I love you, Ry!). It is so important to me that Ella and Charlotte do not turn out like me. I often joke that I hope they have Ryan's metabolism (which is pretty amazing) so they don't have my body type or build. But you know what? Deep down, who cares? Even if they are built like me and have my metabolism, as long as they are confident and feel good about themselves, I am good with that. They are more than a number on a scale- its not what defines them (now if I could only let myself believe that).

Sort of makes you stop and think....especially if you have a daughter

I look at my daughters, particularly Ella at her age now, and wonder if I was ever that confident. I would imagine I was, but when did that end, and why? Was there every a time when I looked in the mirror and said the things Ella says about herself? "I am so beautiful, Mommy!" "Look how pretty this dress is on me!" "Aren't I smart, Mommy?" This is when the jealousy and envy kick in- to be that confident and comfortable!

I think I am partly to blame for this mindset because I let it control me. It's not my parents, because I was raised in a very loving family. I never heard my mom criticize herself, and always remember my Dad complimenting both her and me. But besides myself, I also think society is partly to blame. There is this standard that has been set that thin is beautiful. Period. Some people, like myself, try their hardest to live up to that standard while beating themselves to the ground. Why the heck should I care what society thinks of me? I mean seriously! 

I am trying to work on it though. I have been saying that for years, but I honestly think it is something I will always be working on.  

Wow so there went all of my heart I just poured out to you all. If you get anything from this post at all PLEASE let it be that you are more than the number on the scale, or the stretchmarks on your stomach, or the dimples on your tooshie. Don't let any of that define you.

And now, to end on a positive and funny note (and because I can't be serious all the time)


Have a wonderful day!

Linking up with Shanna today!



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30 comments:

  1. I am beyond proud of you for sharing this with all of us. I know it isn't easy. I am the same as you, always have been. Obsessed with my weight... hating to look at all the dimples and rolls and excess weight in the mirror. It's an awful thing to live with. I get jealous of all the skinny people I see eating ice cream and not putting on a pound! One time, I dieted with my roommate at the time, I ate a 100 calorie ice cream and the next day gained 1 pound. She ate an entire Ben and Jerry's and lost 1 pound. It's simply not fair! However, you are so beautiful inside and out and that is what is the most important thing. You have raised a lovely daughter in Ella with confidence and charm and I know Charlotte will be the same way. Keep on working on yourself from the inside, out. Not the other way around. One day, sooner than later, I hope you see what we all see when we look at you! Love you girl.

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    1. Thanks, Eryka- means a lot :) Love you too! I will eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's with you any day

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  2. Aw love this! She is so stinkin cute!!

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    1. Thank you! I like to think she is pretty cute too :)

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  3. I have ALWAYS been in awe of your beauty and not a thing has changed. You're raising two adorable, sweet, confident girls, a job well done. I pray that you'll see that your external self is just as beautiful as your internal is and always has been. Love ya!

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    1. Thank you so much, Marisa. Prayers are always a good thing :) Cannot wait to see you!!

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  4. Your daughter is so beautiful and you are too! As a nanny I can't help but be jealous of the kids I'm around everyday (not just because they're spoiled) because they are able to look at themselves and say "I know I'm cute", "I know I'm smart" as I question myself on the same qualities and traits everyday. You're a good mother for not letting your daughters see your criticize yourself, I love my mom to pieces but my entire life I've watched her complain about being "fat" (she's not), having "too thin of hair" (it's beautiful), "being too short" (she rocks every but of her 5'2"), etc, etc. My mom had an eating disorder as a teenager, and though not nearly as serious, so did I. I don't blame my mom for my past body issues but I don't believe our similar insecurities are a coincidence.. I really think being a good role model for your daughters is more powerful than you could ever expect.
    xxoo,
    Jordyn

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    1. Isn't it crazy how effortless these little ones are with their confidence? I think we as adults could learn a thing or two from them, right?!?! Hope you and your mom are doing well and continue to be well! :)

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  5. First, I want to tell you how brave it is of you to open up and talk about what so many of us women go thru daily. Second, how different would we all feel about ourselves if we all had the ability to see ourselves thru the eyes of our close friends? Even though I know how often I engage in negative self-talk, it still actually surprises me to hear my gorgeous lady friends do the same. The same women whose hair I would kill for, bodies shapes or sizes I dream of being, etc. You are a knock out, even if you don't realize it or feel it. I have made more than a few Target runs in an effort to copy your look! :)
    -Lori

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    1. So true, Lori! The things my friends complain about the most are often the traits or characteristics I would die for! It baffles me...heck I baffle me! Thanks for reading!! And Target is the best...isn't it?! :)

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  6. This was absolutely brave and beautiful to share. You captivated me because this is so damn true. What it must be like to be 5 and just twirling in your dress outfit and not having a car in the world. I have lost over 100 pounds and let me tell you, sometimes I still cringe looking in the mirror. It's a big part of our society. And the pressure on women. We can only try and teach our children to love themselves for who they are and not to spend their whole life caring about their outer appearance. This is my first time coming to your blog and I am glad I did. Great entry!

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    1. First of all, congratulations to you! That is quite an accomplishment and something to be so proud of- good for you!! Society is what scares me the most- I can teach my girls to love themselves until I am blue in the face, but when they are out there on their own I just have to trust they are confident enough to not let society standards affect them! One can only hope, right?!?! Glad you stopped by...thank you!!!

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  7. I know you're not fishing...but you are lovely. And your writing skills, your willingness to share your experiences with others, and your wit are truly charming. I understand your struggle...as I still feel that way sometimes, too. What a wonderful mother you are, though, to recognize and address it in this way.

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    1. Thank you so much- and thanks especially for commenting on my wit and writing skills. I have never been complimented on either of those two before so that's a new one- thanks! hehe :) It's a little more comforting to know we aren't alone in our struggles thought!

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  8. Man, it's like you read my mind! Since finding out this little one is a girl.....i've been thinking A LOT about body image and what I do not want to pass on to her.

    Carly
    www.lipglossandcrayons.com

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    1. Oh the new worries you start to have when you are a parent!! The fact that she isn't even born yet and you are already thinking that just proves what an awesome Mommy you are going to be!!! xoxo

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  9. Wow. This post is amazing. It's so raw, and so truthful. I honestly admire you for posting something like this. It's wonderful that you are instilling this confidence and self worth in your children, because it is so so important from the very beginning. I feel the same way as you; I hate what I see when I look in the mirror. I can't have fun at the beach because I am constantly self conscious of how I look, and making sure I don't bend at all to avoid causing a roll on my stomach. It's an awful way to live, and I've been like that since as long as I can remember. When I was little my grandma used to call me fat all the time (I wasn't, by the way. But I was really tall and therefore proportionally larger than other kids my age). I remember being 8 years old and not wanting to eat or wear a swimsuit. At 8 years old; it was ridiculous. I hope your children (and mine) never feel that way about themselves, and always have the confidence of a 5 year old! :)

    Again, I love this post!

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    1. wow- 8 years old is so young! That's a concern for me because things like that seem to be starting younger and younger in girls! Yikes! And oh the beach!!! My cousin and I used to just park it in a beach chair and play the "do I look like her?" game. "See this girl coming? Is that what I look like? What about her?" It was torture but we did it all time time. You are gorgeous, Amanda!! Thanks for reading!!

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  10. Powerful stuff!! And so relatable.. Thank you for sharing something so personal! XO

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    1. Thanks, Luc. :) Now lets go eat some pizza. xoxo

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  11. I have never posted here before but have followed your blog for a long time. I also follow several other fashion blogs but yours is my absolute favorite because I feel like you represent what normal, real women look like. I love your posts And pics because based on you I can actually get a feel for what clothes and styles will look like on me. I so much appreciate you putting your self out there. You are beautiful. Period. Keep it up you are an inspiration to many!

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    1. This is the bets comment ever. Thank you SO much for posting!! This just made my day. I am glad I am able to be an inspiration (although its weird to think of myself that way!), no matter how small! It means a lot that you took a moment to let me know!! I will do my best to keep it up! Thank you again so much.

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  12. Just found your blog through "Because Shanna Said So" and omg, you just described me! I think it is very brave of you to share this with the world as, like you said, only my husband gets to hear everything I say about my issues. I too have two kids and my youngest is 18 months old. After I had her, I was determined to lose the 70, yes 70, pounds I gained. And I did so in about 5 months, but of course it wasn't quite good enough. I can totally relate to your good days and bad days of eating and how tomorrow I will make up for it. I wish I could eat freely and not count calories, but it's so hard for me to let go of that. Working on it too. I appreciate you writing this as it makes me feel better knowing that I am not the only odd ball and that others struggle with this too. I love being a mom and I wouldn't change that for the world, but I definitely believe that when the pounds started showing up and the stretch marks too, that is when my self image just got completely morphed. Thanks again for sharing.

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  13. Hello
    I know this is an older post but it TOTALLY rings true with me
    I totally GET what you feel, although my daughter is only coming up to 6 Months I am already starting to think about how to ensure she has a 'good relationship' with food, unlike me.
    Then I stress because I think...I shouldn't be thinking like that and I should just let her GO WITH it
    BUT I also hope she doesn't inherit my genes and gets her fathers instead BUT then realise I just need to ensure she is confident with who she is
    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post
    AND BTW I think you are bloody STUNNNING
    Seriously I love how you post pics of you and you look good in everything! That is one of the reasons I really wanted to follow your blog, because you look fab in everything and it is inspiring

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