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role model

Moms, Parenting

Becoming the Woman I Want My Daughters To Be

Have you ever seen a behavior in someone else that turned you off, only to later realize that you are guilty of the same behavior? I have found myself in this place lately.  I realized that it is important that I become or am becoming the woman I would like my daughters to be one day. I want my daughters to have their priorities straight and be strong women each with strong character. The hard part about this is that I am their primary role model and they are influenced by me more than anyone else.  So I have been doing a lot of self examination and I don’t exactly like some of the things I have forced myself to see. I find it easy to spot someone else’s shortcomings, but when reviewing my own actions, I sometimes miss that I am guilty of doing some of the same things. One trait I see in myself that I can’t stand in others is that I am materialistic.  I am so disgusted when people flaunt there possessions or feel that a fancy pair of shoes or an expensive bag can make them better than the next person. But guess what?! I make  it a priority to have fancy shoes and expensive bags! Somehow in my mind I am not as bad because I am not showing it off on social media and bragging about it in my social circles. The truth is my children more than anyone else see that these material things hold value to me. And seriously, what stupid goals to have! I would never want my girls to set goals that consist of buying ridiculously expensive stuff to determine their worth. Now don’t get me wrong , I fully believe in caring for yourself and presenting your best self, but this should not mean that you have to spend thousands of dollars to achieve that. I would love for my girls to feel just as good about themselves in a nice clean pressed outfit from a discount super store as they would in a outfit from one of the most expensive brand name stores.  Now the big problem for me is that I need to change. I need to stop wasting money on stupid stuff and get my priorities straight. I have to be less brand focused so that my girl don’t grow up to be brand focused. With all the bragging on social media that I see, I really need to be a strong positive role model at home for my girls so they don’t get sucked into that nonsense like I did. 

 

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The Smallest Step Counts: Checking in on the 30-Day No Negative Body Talk Challenge

Calendar page
Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

It’s roughly halfway into the 30-Day No Negative Body Talk Challenge. So… how’s it going?

Did you give up? Hope not.

Are you working on it, but it’s going imperfectly? That’s perfect!

Does it feel weird? That’s OK. I wouldn’t expect anything different.

Whenever you try something new, it feels wonky at first.

Heck, even walking was hard at first, remember? Of course you don’t – you were a baby – but you get the idea. (My son, Liam, looked like a drunken sailor when he first learned to walk. It was mighty entertaining.)

If you’re someone who has a hard time trying new things because you won’t look pretty doing it, here’s my take on it: pretty is overrated.

I admit, there are some things I hesitate trying because I just “know” I will look un-pretty. For those of you who keep inviting me to wine and painting events, please stop. This is the one thing I will probably never try. Although the wine might keep me from caring about my painting… I guess that’s the point. It all goes back to kindergarten, but this is not the time or place to process my childhood art trauma.

I like to try other (non-painting) new things. As an adult, I took a French class. This was only slightly more successful than giving a cat a bath, but I tried.

As part of my training as a therapist, I learned hypnosis. Uncomfortable at first? Absolutely. It just felt right to announce to the other hypnosis students that I was comfortable with the suckishness I would feel until I got more experience.

Embrace your suckishness. Some discomfort with the new is part of the learning curve.

At some point, competence and confidence start to emerge. What felt so hard at first becomes second nature.

Remember learning to drive? When you first started, it took all your concentration to keep from crashing the car into a curb. Now you can probably drive, prepare a grocery list, sing the Dora the Explorer theme song, and hand a wet wipe to your preschooler all at the same time.

So back to the 30-Day Challenge…

Just becoming aware of your language is a beginning, even if different words haven’t come out of your mouth yet. Have you caught yourself (or others) saying negative things about their bodies? Even noticing it is a step in the right direction.Perfect blocks askew

Have you observed positive things about your body? It’s working hard for you. How about being able to hug your babies? That’s a good start.

Just start where you are, with the smallest step. If you haven’t done anything on the challenge yet, begin now. It’s not all-or-nothing. It’s okay if you didn’t join in until now. Perfection is also overrated.

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30-Day No Negative Body Talk Challenge

We’re well into January. Did you make any resolutions? If so, how are they going? (For my take on New Year’s Resolutions, click here.)

I don’t make resolutions per se. However, my email inbox and Facebook feeds have been blowing up lately with 30-day challenges. Most of them are diet and exercise related.

Some examples: Juicing Challenge; Green Smoothie Challenge; Flat Abs Challenge; Beach Body Challenge.

Many of them are accompanied by the obligatory selfie of the challenge organizer wearing a crop top and bike shorts. To be followed (I presume) in 30 days by another, more buff selfie in a crop top and bike shorts.

Or maybe a bikini.

This is not my cup of tea.

Here’s my challenge to you, moms: I propose the 30-Day No Negative Body Talk Challenge.

Language is powerful. In fact, language can create your reality.

So…

No whining about your post-baby abdominal slackness.

No complaining about your muffin top.

No grumbling because you used to wear a smaller size.

Promise this, even when you are with your girlfriends and they are complaining about their thighs.

Because friends don’t let friends diss their bodies.

Make sense?

And while I’m on a roll, I’m going to give you a parallel challenge.

Every day, find something positive about your body.

Today, I’m grateful my shoulder has the range of motion to lift things over my head.

It’s small, but significant. Being able to lift something is easily taken for granted. But when I had a shoulder injury, I couldn’t move my arm more than an inch or two in any direction. Not a happy time.

So find the positive.

Your body works hard for you, but focusing on the negative makes that easy to miss.

Your language creates your experience, so be careful with your words.

Your un-flat tummy grew a baby.

Your crow’s feet are well-earned by staying up all night with your children. And by squinting in the sun as you pushed your baby in a stroller.

You’re beautiful. Truly.

This challenge is for your well-being. And for the well-being of your children.

Your kids listen to you, even when it doesn’t seem like it.

Do you want them to grow up dissatisfied with their bodies, too?

I didn’t think so.

Let’s do this.

No crop top or bike shorts here.

No crop top or bike shorts here.

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July 6, 2017
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August 1, 2016
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April 6, 2015