This conversation happened recently with my 4 year old daughter:
E: Mom, who in this room do you love?
M: I love you, Will, and me (husband wasn’t home I promise)
E: You love you? That’s weird!
M: Why is that weird? Do you love yourself?
E: Yeah, it’s just weird…
And then she moved on to wondering why I gave her the red cup because she wanted the yellow cup and when are we going to Nana’s again. 4 YO attention span, amiright?
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But, it is a little weird. It is something that isn’t talked about very often because it makes us uncomfortable. It is especially hard for women. Loving yourself ‘out loud’ makes women worry “am I coming across as conceited?”, “is this intimidating for others?”, “do all women hate me now?”, etc. And then there are the mommy martyrs out there acting like if you’re not miserable, exhausted, and depressed, you’re not trying hard enough.

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IS it weird to love yourself though? I would argue that it is weird NOT to love yourself. You are the only you that has ever been on Earth, and you are the only you you get to be! What a travesty it would be if you spent your one lifetime not loving the only you you are! That was a little hard to follow but I think you get my point…

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This doesn’t mean that every second of every day you love every single thing about yourself. You can love yourself and wish that you were a little stronger. You can love yourself and not love a part of your past. You can love yourself and be disappointed with the way you behaved that day. Really, loving yourself is like loving another person.

How do you treat the people that you love? With respect, kindness, forgiveness, understanding, etc. Do you treat yourself the same? Would you tell your sister ‘you look ugly today’? I certainly hope not. Would you tell your husband he was failing as a parent because he yelled at the kids too much that day? Not likely. So why would you say that to yourself?

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Let’s do an experiment! Say the 2 sentences below out loud and notice the way they make you feel when you say them.

1. Of course I give my kids their vitamins! I love them and would do anything to keep them healthy!

2. Of course I take my vitamins! I love myself and I would do anything to keep myself healthy!

Or…

1. My kids are in soccer and baseball all summer long. It’s hard to find the time, but their health and fitness is my number 1 priority!

2. I make it to the gym and yoga 4x a week. It’s hard to find the time, but my health and fitness is my number 1 priority!

Gets a little squirmy feeling doesn’t it? It really shouldn’t though. Should you love and cherish your children for the enormous blessing they are? Of course! Does your life change and do you make sacrifices for them daily? Duh! But does your life cease to exist? No! Do you become less of a priority? You shouldn’t. Think about it this way… Does your first born become less important when your second child comes? No. There is just more love! All of the sudden your heart just starts pumping more out. That’s the amazing thing about love- we never run out. We just keep making more.

So trust me, there is enough for you. You might need to practice a little bit. It comes more naturally to some vs. others. But it’s there. Take yourself out on a date, buy yourself a drink, and treat yo self real nice…
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