Thursday, July 16, 2015

Summer love

I took a walk tonight.  The light was dimming as I hurried home, and I noticed hundreds of fireflies, dancing around the park at the end of the street.  It occurred to me that I hadn't seen fireflies in a while.  In fact, I couldn't remember the last time I really saw hoardes of them like that.  Maybe I haven't spent enough time outside at dusk in recent summers.  It made me smile, thinking about catching them in my backyard when I was little.

I'm trying to be more mindful of things these days.  I keep seeing this commercial, the one where the moms are busting their butts to exercise in front of their kids.  Sometimes it makes me feel good, because I take my daughter out in her jogger and show her how great it is to be outdoors and running.  Sometimes it makes me feel bad, because it makes me feel like I could be doing more.  I could make better food choices, or I could run more. I could spend less time on Facebook, and more time reading. I could write more.  Kevin and I could get a babysitter more.  I could take Kit to the zoo.

That commercial always makes me tear up, though.  Those moms are working so hard.  Setting an example.  Do the kids see?  Do they get it?

As a mom, it can be hard to feel like you're doing enough of anything.  Or everything.  When did being a mom start carrying so much pressure?  Has it always been like this?  I wonder if cavemoms worried that their cavebabies weren't getting enough attention.  Did cavemoms worry about what they looked like, or other cavemoms judging them?  Or is this pressure something that has largely come with a more digital age, an age where all of our private lives are displayed for all of our friends and families to see?

I walked around our mile-long block tonight because I wanted to make sure I was coming in under my calorie goal today.  I put a lot of pressure on myself.  To lose the rest of my pregnancy weight, to get faster again.  I can't count the number of times I've been told to "just worry about enjoying the baby" (toddler now) because it all goes so fast.  I can agree with that; Kit turned one in the blink of an eye.  But see, we have a responsibility as moms to set an example.  An example of love, loving ourselves.  Showing our little girls and little boys how to do that.  Moms, we have to take care of ourselves.  You have to go for a run, or do yoga, or just get your toenails done; do whatever it is that makes you feel human.  Don't do it to punish yourselves, because your children are intuitive little beasts,  They will pick up on those cues.  Do something that makes you feel like celebrating, because those are the things that make you feel great about yourself.  Your kids will pick up on those cues, too.  Do what you love.  You'll feel good.  Your kids will feel that.

And hard as it is sometimes, you have to love what you see.  So many strong women I know look in the mirror and see weakness, see ugly, see fat.  So many look in the mirror and see something dysmorphic, something that isn't even there at all.  How can we expect our children not to carry on our negative feelings when we constantly vocalize them? Find a dress that makes you feel amazing in the body you're in. Love yourselves.

And for me, maybe that love comes from taking a walk by myself, instead of spending 20 minutes on Facebook.  Life is too short, guys.  Do what you can, and feel good about it.  The firefly show was awesome.

until later...

"Power is not given to you.  You have to take it." ~Beyonce

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