I was getting ready for a fancy event not long ago, and I put on a maternity dress. For any of you who have been pregnant, you might remember the “potato sack” fashion. It’s the one that de-emphasizes your figure, and leaves to question whether you’re pregnant or not. Because, you know, when you have to be okay with gaining weight for the first time in your life, leaving that up to question is exactly what you need.
I’ll be honest and open with you right here and now – not that I’m anything less on this blog. I’ve always struggled with my body. Whether it was pimples, height, weight, makeup, pressure, anything, you name it, I’ve stressed over it. And being pregnant, well, it sometimes compounded the issue.
So, I put on this purple potato sack, and I come out into my room and Taylor comes running over. She looks up at me and says, “Pretty mommy,” and I was stunned. Me? Pretty?
And you know what I did next?
I changed into something else.
I got the purest compliment I’ve ever received, one unmotivated by anything other than honesty, and I disregarded it. “What does she know?” I thought.
And I can’t let this go. I have thought about it so much in the month since it happened that I’ve realized something very important:
I don’t tell myself that I’m beautiful. And if I don’t have self confidence in myself, how will Taylor learn to be confident in herself, whether it be beauty, intelligence, or ability? She’ll be trapped in the same cycle of self hate, insecurity, and difficulty.
We are too hard on ourselves. It’s across the board. We all do it, men, women, professionals, anyone. And yet, we are so much more free with our love to our kids, our friends. We forgive them their transgressions, and endlessly repeat our own.
It’s a vicious cycle, one that only us, as individuals, can correct. It’s why I’m excited to introduce our news contest, the “I am beautiful” contest. The one where we have to say something amazingly beautiful about ourselves. And it’s not just outer beauty, it’s what we love about ourselves, what makes us proud, what makes us happy, what makes us…moms.
I am beautiful, because I’m … because I’m … because I’m optimistic. Because I am a believer. I love to look for the good in everyone, I love to motivate, to encourage, to support. I love helping, saving, and encouraging.
And the next time I tell myself that Taylor is nice, beautiful, smart, intelligent, I’ll start to tell myself too.
Want to enter the contest? Submit your photo on our Facebook status about this contest with a reason that you’re beautiful. We’ll upload your pictures into an album! Have your friends like your submission. We’ll pick two winners – one of the photos with the most likes, and another at random. This isn’t a popularity contest, it’s a contest to encourage you to look at yourself less critically. And when you win? You get a $100 shopping spree to the Outlets at Sparks. We will challenge the winners not to spend the money on their children, but to buy something they’ve been wanting for a long time. This Mother gig is hard work, and sometimes we have to celebrate just how well we are doing it!