Kicking off the day with self love.

I'm the mother of two young girls (nearly 5 and nearly 2). We are a matriarchal household, and no matter their choices in life, I hope they feel secure in their strength to lead themselves and/or others in their households one day.

So, how do I create a mood of self-love, self-confidence with my girls? Every morning when the girls and I wake up, we have our basic goal of getting my older daughter to school on time. She's in pre-K so she's able to get herself ready with me double checking as she goes. That's the goal we have to achieve. The route in which we get there is the fun part.

To add fun and motivation, I've incorporated girl-power songs to our mornings. We sing, we dance, we have fun, and we still manage to be on time for school.

The songs I've selected are some of my favorites that have messages I feel are female-centric and powerful. If you are familiar with some of the songs, you may think that the message of self-love is actually a bit narcissistic. I disagree. I recall reading an insightful post about a girl who accepted compliments from me. "You're body is amazing," they'd say. "I agree," she'd respond to which the man couldn't handle her confidence and would try to shame her. This is why self-love matters. Women and girls should be allowed to love themselves and be proud of their entire being. The basic act of being * allowed * to accept a compliment shouldn't be a point of contention - but it is!!! I feel society permits men to love themselves more than girls. In my household, that shit stops at the door. In my house, girls matter. My girls matter. We support and love girl power.

"I thank god everyday that I woke up feeling this way. I can't help loving myself and I don't need no body else." -- Meghan Trainor

Here are some of the songs from our morning repertoire. If you are raising girls, I suggest playing songs that act as a positive mantra for them. Dancing away the morning is fun for us and it's a great way to kick off the day.

Before I end this ... here's a conversation that took place here the other day.

We went to the beach one afternoon, came home, showered and got dressed.
While getting dressed, my older daughter said, "Mommy, I see your butt."
"It's a fabulous butt. I love my butt," I said to her while smiling
She said she loved my butt too.

Why was that little conversation important? She didn't negatively or positively say anything about my body in her remark, but I did. I didn't initiate the conversation at that moment but when I told her that my butt was fabulous, she smiled, agreed and looked at her butt and agreed about hers too. It doesn't matter what body part it is we chat about. That part is completely irrelevant. The purpose of my response and the reaction I got from her (which was a big, happy smile) was about who we are, how we feel about ourselves and why it matters.

I'm * still * losing my baby weight. The process is slow and torturous. But I'm doing my best to keep that to myself. So long as she sees my self love, that's what matters. So long as my words and actions (in front of them) are positive, then it's a step in the right direction. I have my own demons to battle. I've had years of building a horrible self image from my two pregnancies. Fatness and me were enemies (which means I became an enemy of my own body!) but I'm working through it. I'm focusing every day on identifying my doubt and filling it with bits of love until the love overcomes the doubt and the battle ends.

Instead of chatting about how much I hate my body, I do yoga every evening. They join me normally. They do the postures, they crawl under me, they giggle, they are horribly distracting little creatures who I love dearly. They know how to do pushups. They are learning balance and flexibility. We have fun with it and I am already noticing a change in my body. It feels GREAT!!! But I also notice a change in the girls. They are starting to love yoga because they see me do it and want to be like me (because all kids want to be like mommy or papi!). On quite a few occasions, they'll do some postures on their own and I love it. It makes me incredibly happy to see them do a balancing pose on their own and feel proud of what they are doing.

I often tell my girls they are beautiful but they are more than that. They are smart, funny, silly, creative, adventurous, courageous (we talk about that word a lot) and so many other non-physical descriptions. Acceptance of our physical self is important but it's not the only thing that matters. It's just one component of who we are.

But for my children ... I want to do better. I think I haven't done that well in the past few years but change in the right direction is never too late. The girls are young so if I can fill them with the impression of love, worth, confidence, happiness, peace, etc., then I feel I am a successful parent.

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