Thursday, April 26, 2012

Loving Yourself First

What does that mean exactly?  Me being the positive, the glass-is-half-full kinda girl - I'm drawn to sayings such as this one: love yourself first, and everything else will follow.  Okay, I get it...however more recently when I read this advice it was in a parenting article.

I thought to myself, okay; they must mean that by portraying love for myself, my child will be more apt to display similar habits and be more confident in general.  But, then I started thinking, as I often do. What about by loving myself, I'll then be more forgiving of my children, therefore more patient, kind....loving.  You get the point.

Or...what about this; love yourself first meaning, giving yourself enough time, whatever amount that is, to rejuvenate.  To be a better mother because you have real you time.  Allowing yourself to get back into that hobby, whether it be writing, drawing, painting...scrapbooking- even if it's just 30 minutes a day, an hour a week, whatever.  If you have more time for you, you'll make sure the time you have with your kids is quality time.  And overall, your family is a healthier, happier unit as a whole.

Or, what about taking care of yourself?  If you love yourself enough to say, I care about how I look, period.  I'm not going to let myself go as so many moms do.  I'm going to eat well, I'm going to excersice.  I'm going to wear makeup or do my hair, or whatever it is that I consider pretty.  I don't know about you, but I always feel better when I'm in better shape, when I've had time to shave my legs...dye those grays...etc.  Doesn't that make me a better mom?  Doesn't that teach my children to take care of themselves as well?

Or is loving yourself just simply saying, I'm good with where I'm at.  I've morphed into this wonderful woman, this great mother.  Yes, I'm not what I was in my 20's.  I'm frumpy some days, I'm carrying around an extra ten pounds, I don't have enough me time, and I don't really care if I have hair long enough on my legs to braid; hey, I'm just lucky if I get in a shower these days. 

I've determined I do love myself.  Maybe not first, but somewhere in the middle.  I'm also my biggest critic, which I'm painfully aware could pass down to my offspring, so while I'm working on this, it is a work in progress.  I think at the end of the day I believe loving yourself is more than just being confident.  It's knowing your flaws, and embracing the ones you can't or aren't willing to change; and working on the others.  It's also knowing your strengths, and while you don't have to flaunt them (yes, we all know a few too many self back-patters) you should use them to your advantage.  Acknowledge them.  Appreciate them more than you focus on the flaws.

For me, loving myself entails much of the above.  It's taking the time I need for me, to be a better mom.  It's having my own life, no matter how little time I actually get to spend enjoying it.  It's feeling love toward my children, and never resentment because I've found a true balance.  It's feeling good about how I look because I take pride in looking good.  I'm just not okay with frumpy, period.  Loving yourself first isn't about being selfish, it's about figuring out what makes you happy, and what makes you, you.  While it's different for everybody, it's much more than simply being confident.    ~ Trina

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