Every time I belittle myself or question my appearance I think about Eriana, and how I want so much for her to be an independent, strong, self-aware but strong and self-confident person. I think about this post that Noemi wrote about her daughter and making sure she knows how beautiful she is no matter what. And then I think about Elizabeth’s post about being aware to not disparage her own body since the day her daughter was born. I am so bad about this. I so want Eriana to be confident with her body and her face and herself in general.
She is INCREDIBLE and beautiful and amazing and wonderful and smart and, oh, you guys, I’m in awe of her every single day.
But then she watches me putting on makeup and pretends to put on eyeliner (with her finger – it’s really cute), and I say something like “Oh, you don’t need makeup. You’re beautiful!” Or she sees me undressing before I shower and points to my baby house (the apron of fat leftover after two c-sections that I fear will never go away) and I say something to the effect of “You don’t have a big belly like Mama.”
Why do I say things like that? I don’t want her to hear me say “fat.” I don’t want people to tell her she’s skinny. I don’t want either one of those words in her ears because both of them have negative connotations! She doesn’t need to think thin is in and have issues with her sweet chubby cheeks or hammy thighs. And if she doesn’t get my body type and is thin, I don’t want her to struggle with the idea of too thin (see Jess’s post here).
I might struggle with my body, but I’m healthy, and constantly striving to be healthier by working out and eating right. I am setting a good example in that respect, but a bad example in so many others. Why do I do that? Why do I make those comments about my face or my stomach? Jim has called me “Beautiful” since we were dating. That’s his pet name for me. Eriana hears only how much he loves me and how wonderful he thinks I am. Instead of using the word “brat” we call each other marvelous. Instead of getting frustrated at little annoyances we tell Eriana how much we love the other. She hears nothing bad about me except from me.
Do you deal with self-confidence concerning your children? How do you curb your self-doubt so your kid(s) do(es)n’t pick up on it?