A lesson in body positivity as a mom. How my 2-year-old daughter opened my eyes to being more confident in my body and my mom body image.
I’ve always struggled with body positivity. I’ve never felt I was thin enough, in-shape enough or very pretty. I’m friends with confident women. I tried to emulate their attitudes and behaviors to give off my own confident vibe, but it’s a lie. This may be surprising to most people because I don’t wear makeup most days or fix my hair. It’s not because I’m confident. I just don’t think it makes a huge difference.
In the privacy of my home, I’m harsh and mean to myself. When I became the mother of a beautiful baby girl I knew that I needed to change my attitude towards myself. I don’t want her to think any less of herself due to my poor example. So, I put on a happy face and kept my comments to myself, where I felt that they were safe from her. I recently realized that lying to myself still isn’t living the confident, self-loving attitude. And I wasn’t doing anyone any favors. Not my daughter, and certainly not me.
How my 2 year old daughter opened my eyes to being more confident with my mom body image and not dwell on my insecurities.
It All Started With Swim Lessons…
About a month ago, my daughter started taking swim lessons at Goldfish Swim School in Richmond. Since she is so young I’m required to be in the pool with her. This was a problem for me for several reasons:
- I haven’t worn a bathing suit since having a baby.
- The only suit I owned was a tiny bikini.
- I was 4.5 months pregnant at the time and not feeling like my bump was very cute.
This led to me wearing a giant t-shirt over my bikini for our first lesson. It made the class difficult because the shirt was in the way and I was distracted by how I looked the entire time. I decided that I needed to invest in a different swimsuit that I could use for the remainder of this pregnancy and beyond. Lucky for me, Target puts out their swimsuits at the end of January for some odd reason.
My daughter was with me when I went shopping and I didn’t make her ride in a cart. I just wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible. While I was trying to look at one pieces and cover-ups, she was doing some shopping of her own. She kept picking out the most vibrant and tiny bikinis Target had and saying “Oooo! Pretty! Pretty for Mama.” Or I’d pick up a suit or pair of bottoms and she’d say “No. Mama have Orange” while pointing to the orange tag on the hangar. Orange is for size Small.
I Let My Negative Mom Body Image Show
I found myself making rude comments about myself in reply and rolling my eyes. At my toddler! It dawned on me as the words “Mama is too fat for that” came out of my mouth that I was doing a crappy job teaching my daughter how to be a confident woman. I stopped in my tracks and almost started crying in the middle of Target. That was not the kind of example I wanted to set for my daughter. We continued to shop and I forced myself to obsessing about my body for 10 minutes.
I even bought a suit that I hated at first but have come to really love. It’s a tankini that covers what I want to cover and that I’m starting to feel good in. I came home after that shopping trip and really sat and thought about what body positivity should look like. And how I could change my attitude towards myself. It doesn’t come easily to me and is something I’m going to have to work on every day, but it’s worth it. Not just for Mara, but for me.
Having More Body Positivity for My Daughter
I’m a mom to an amazing girl (about to be two amazing girls)! They are watching me and my example. I’ve never been happy with my body, but it’s done amazing things. It’s carried one beautiful girl and is currently carrying another. My body has run races and hiked amazing places. It’s pretty darn awesome! Sure, it’s changed a lot over the years, but I’ve never been happy with it. I have always been self-critical. Honestly, I have not idea what loving my body feels like. But I want to find out. I want to see what my daughter sees when she looks at me. And more importantly, I want her to see a woman that loves herself and feels confident in her own skin.
Delightful post. You are thinking in the right direction. Thanks for sharing.
Stunning. Love you and your story so much!
Beautiful Ashley <3
I’ve tooootally thought about this and we don’t even have kids yet, haha. I’m thankful that my mom is a pretty confident woman so I feel like I wasn’t subjected to negative body talk, but it’s STILL a hard thing! Definitely a good thing to be aware of in general but especially around a little one! I’m glad Mara reminded you!! 🙂 P.S. (It obviously goes without saying but you’re totally gorgeous inside and out!)
You are gorgeous Ashley! I appreciate you sharing this and wanted you to know that you are gorgeous before during and after pregnancies!!