Lots of ads and promotions focus on helping moms have a good image – look their best, feel their best, do their best. Sometimes they can be helpful, but at the same time, they can be detrimental, both when we get discouraged because we don’t measure up, AND when we miss out on better and more important things because we’re so focused on having a good image. Sometimes embracing a “bad” image is really the best image we can give, especially for our close family and friends. Let me explain:
1. Get in a swimsuit. The Mom Creative explains it beautifully. Even if your body image isn’t ideal, you’ll feel much better about yourself by being their for your kids and having so much more fun with them by being actively involved than you would on the sidelines. Your kids will also have a much better image of you – they aren’t focused on how you look in your swimsuit, but on how much they enjoy you being with them. Please, head over and read more about this topic from The Mom Creative!
2. Get in the picture! This is a little like getting in the swimsuit. Our general fear is that others will see us looking less than our best. But, believe me, that’s not really what other people see! If you show any picture with you in it to your kids, your spouse or other friends, I’m sure they’re not thinking that you look “awful” – they’re soaking in the smiles and thinking about the wonderful moments and memories depicted. This is even more important for your kids. When they look back on the pictures 20 years ago, they’ll be seeing the mom they know and love. They’ll be remembering all the great things you did TOGETHER. If you’re out of the pictures, it will always feel as though something important was missing when they flip through the family photo album.
3. Don’t worry if you’re a few pounds overweight! I’m not saying you should TRY to be overweight. If you can maintain a healthy weight, that’s great. But what if maintaining a healthy weight means you never make those cookies with your kids, or you make them, but don’t join in eating them? What if it means your kids see you eating like a bird at different meals or stringently avoiding “enjoyable” foods because you’re worried about your weight? Being a few pounds overweight doesn’t threaten your health, and it sometimes might be worth it to have enjoyable, fulfilling experiences with your kids for the sake of togetherness. You’ll have plenty of time when they’re older to focus on losing a few pounds. Disclaimer: I AM NOT suggesting that you ignore your doctors’ advice or medical needs if you are actually an unhealthy weight. I am referring to times when we feel pudgy or awkward, but our weight isn’t threatening our health and therefore doesn’t necessarily need to be our first priority.
4. No makeup (at least sometimes). Sometimes it’s good to just look the way you are. It teaches your kids to be proud of how God made them – they don’t always need to improve on their looks. It also gives you extra time to spend with your kids, or your spouse, or working around the house – whatever will mean the most to you and your family. Honestly, I think sometimes authentic, natural joy shines through even more when we don’t have makeup on than when we do!