When I was reading this blog the other day (my favourite), Kelle was talking about taking part in the Dove Challenge in the US. The challenge is to build up young women to have positive views about themselves; to have healthy self-esteem.
Having three daughters has really pushed me on my own journey of understanding myself, and forcing me to re-learn some negative self-talk that puts unrealistic expectations on "what" and "who" defines ME. Mainly, my main interest in helping me love who I am, is because I want to help my girls LOVE who they are and that they have the confidence and chance to have healthy and happy dreams in their lives, and I want to be an example of that. I want to be the mum that loves, listens, comforts and encourages my girls to see that beauty is about caring for yourself, inside and outside. That includes caring for your skin, hair, and health, but mainly learning to believe that NO one else has the responsibility to make you feel beautiful, it is up to ourselves to learn to believe it and remind ourselves each day, because if you are waiting for someone else to tell you everyday...you may never actually HEAR what they are saying. (BUT...it sure is nice to have someone tell you that too...)
There are a lot of things that have changed about my appearance since I have had children. Sometimes I look at the 'new' things and I love them...because they are the signs of new life, of family and of love. But I don't always feel like that. My aim is to change that. My aim is to LOVE all of me, the parts that are real but not perfect. I noticed a few wrinkles the other day around my eyes and had a reminder that there are a lot of things that I can do to help my appearance to make me feel lovely, like start washing my face more often and using toner (I know...having clear skin means that I have been a bit LAZY...) and that eating WELL and HEALTHY makes me feel great, and have energy. And that going for long walks and doing yoga makes me feel awesome because endorphins are a natural drug hit...so why not do those things? Since when I don't...I start not loving me so much because I am tired, sluggish and know that I am not looking after myself.
Even though I am not officially doing the Dove Challenge cos I think its for the US only and I didn't actually check it out...I thought I would still dedicate the entire hour with my first princess yesterday. We have lots of lovely moments together but usually not a full uninterrupted hour.
And I was reminded of some stuff.
1.) I love playing with toys. When I was pregnant I looked forward to the days of playing with dolls with my little girl. Or playing shops like my Babcha did with me and my brother which we absolutely loved. She let us make a huge cubby house in her bedroom while we sold our 'wares' (her knick knacks) for 1 and 2 cent coins. And I love having those memories.
2.) I can actually make up some cool designs by doodling with crayons that may help me expand my mind a bit when I study my graphic design stuff.
3.) Tea parties are a great way to pretend you are having a whole heaps of empty yummy calories and ACTUALLY HAVE empty calories...
4.) My little girl is smart, funny, beautiful, inventive and LOVES it when its just me and her.
It was fun. And I was a bit sad that being an adult stops you from taking more time to play tea parties or zoos for a whole hour. So I learnt that what I really want to challenge myself more, is not just being 'around' for my kids but actually BEING THERE in the moment with them, doing the stuff they love and having fun. It was good. And even though I had to play with 'babies' (Isabelle's twins) which is what I do all day anyway...it is awesome to talk to her about being a mummy and watching my little baby who has grown up so fast.
(disclaimer: I know that these challenges are marketing tools and just a way to make money...but there is truth in what these companies are trying to achieve....and I still think it is nobel to aim high and want to create a more wholesome idea of "beauty". Check out the DOVE challenge and HEALTHY IS THE NEW SKINNY...the title alone makes me happy :)