If there’s one thing in this world that’s hard, it’s learning to love yourself. Rewind to a year ago, what was even harder to do was learning to love myself as a mother. Not the way I should have. I write in past tense because I’m still slowly learning to fall in love with myself again. I don’t mean to come off in a vain way but surely you guys know that saying, you can’t love another human being until you’ve learned to love yourself.
I will be the one to admit that as soon as Gabriel came into my life, I had so many reasons as to why I shouldn’t care for myself. It showed with the bags under my eyes, the extra weight I carried, my demeanour and the way I looked at myself in the mirror as I didn’t recognize myself. Let’s just say I lost myself but also didn’t expect motherhood to teach me how to love myself again.
Decide that you matter. It starts with deciding that you are important. Nobody will do it for you. Maintain your sanity by going out, doing things for yourself before your crumble. Remember the things you enjoyed before becoming a parent. Don’t let the things that made you who you were before parenthood disappear completely. Pursue a passion, do something you’ve always wanted to do. It’s not selfish because I realized that I want Gabe too see me as a mother who is joyful and not resentful. Someone who has engaged with life, not someone with anxiety. How can I be a place of nurture and support if I wasn’t in a place of loving myself.
You’re not perfect, but nobody is. You are made to be imperfectly perfect. Not saying that I enjoy all the changes in my body after giving birth but I love that my body is powerful. I housed, nurtured and birthed a child. It went through an experience that not everyone gets to go through. My physical appearance won’t define me but I have learned to take care of it more lately. This also doesn’t mean not caring about yourself physically, actually quite the opposite. Getting enough sleep, breaking sugar cravings, and just learning to listen to my body.
Unplug. Unplug from social media and the online world once in awhile. I’ve had to do this a few times. On top of social platforms that show smiling families, perfect homes and the best angle of every account I see online, there has been comparison. It’s easy to lose ourselves and forget who we are as individuals. Unplugging could also mean releasing relationships that leave you feeling discouraged or depleted. I also stopped saying yes out of obligation when that meant saying no to my little Gabe.
If you are on the same journey with learning on how to love yourself, know that your children look up to you. They mimic you, they want to be you. If there’s anything they need to learn, it’s self love and it starts with you. Mother hood is a great gift of life.
Big thank you to Nina Paul for capturing these photos of me and Gabriel. She had the brilliant idea of using babys breathe as a headpiece for her boho inspired shoot. She made it from scratch and it looked amazing! Somebody go tell her she needs to start her own business with this and that she is amazing!