Mid-mornings are precious to me. After the first few hours of the day, when I change, feed, nurse, change again and play with Edie until her first nap, I have a few minutes to myself.
This morning, like usual, I take the chance to drink a cup of decaffeinated tea and tool around on the Internet. I catch up on email, check Facebook and read blogs. Today I came across the newest post from Deb at The Monster in Your Closet. She writes, “I don’t want to be or waste my time striving to be someone else’s image of perfection. I do want my kids to understand the beauty of human bodies–and faces–is not in how they look but what they do.”
Deb posted several selfies of her gorgeous pregnant self and linked to the inspiration for the post over at Square One Notes. Sandra from Square One invited other writers to post a photo of themselves. “I need to know it’s okay to live in a world where we like ourselves,” she says. “I want my daughter to grow up with a sense of self worth and confidence so that others will hold her in the same regard. Help me show her it’s okay to be in our own corner.”
Now this is something I can get behind.
I’ve written several times about my own struggle to be self-compassionate (here and here, for example). I am doing my best to model kindness to everyone, including myself, so Peeper sees what it truly means to be—and act—beautiful.
My first plan was to wait to take my selfie until I’d had a moment to clean up. Then I realized that would defeat the entire purpose of the challenge.
This is what I look like most of the time anyway. Most days I get dressed (eventually), though that usually entails swapping yoga pants for sweats. I don’t usually bother putting on mascara because I mostly play with Peeper at home and I’d rather use the minute or two makeup application requires for something else, like petting Finn or eating a muffin. (You have to set priorities!)
Edith doesn’t care if I’m still wearing pajamas at noon. She doesn’t notice if the back of my hair looks like a rat’s nest. She doesn’t mind if I haven’t worn earrings in a month.
I nibble on her cheeks, making her laugh. I read her favorite books five times in a row. I let her splash extra-long in the tub. I soothe her when she cries. I get up four or five times in a night because she needs me. I give her extra snuggles when her nose is runny or a tooth is working its way up.
That is much more difficult to show in a selfie. But that is real beauty.