Like most mothers I look at my daughter and often think and tell her how smart, beautiful, funny, charismatic, kind and any other positive adjective I can think of. I know and accept my bias towards her…I think we all have them as parents.
I started to think about the role I play in her life and I got this pit in my stomach. One that gave me an unerving feeling as I realized the importance of every action and word that comes out of my mouth. Greater than any role I will have in her life I am her first teacher.
She learned simple actions – how to smile, when to sleep and who are the important people in her life. Now I realize I have an even greater opportunity to teach her how to strive towards greatness through positivity, how to recognize the good in others and most importantly how to accept and love herself. As a woman I realized the great pressure this impressed upon me when I’m still on that journey myself. She learned most of how she views the world through my eyes. This has both its upside and down.
Like anyone I’m working towards repairing the body image I have of myself. I’m on a lifelong journey towards self-acceptance and quite frankly some days go better than others. On bad days my internal monologue would never be repeated to the worst of offenders and all I can see are the flaws in the mirror.
And then it hit me. I would never allow my daughter to stay in that negative place of self-loathing. I would support her in seeing the best of herself. I would help her to understand what self-love and proper self-care would look like. I would spend my life showing her the way because no mother wants to see their child in pain and suffering.
But here’s the thing about us mom’s. We don’t ever have a day off. So whether it’s a good day or not I must remember the opportunity I have, actually the second chance I have to reinforce life through the lense of love with my daughter. In fact my role as teacher plays a little double duty. While I’m coaching her on positive body image and self-acceptance I can also reinforce these lessons for myself.
Not only can I show her the way that I might have taken an extra 20 years to figure out but I can remind myself how far I’ve come, cut myself some slack and continue to move forward.
The lesson here is to never forget the power of your words whether they be positive or negative and the impact they have not only on others but on yourself.