Posts tagged ‘self-esteem’

“Psst… Are You Pregnant Again?”

I just got back from a BIG family vacation to Disney World a few weeks ago.  It was a crazy, awesome time!  But more on that at a later date.

All at Disney - Majic Kingdom

Me and the Crew at Magic Kingdom, Disney World!

 

Yesterday was Sunday.  I would like to take a moment to focus on a little question that was made to me yesterday.  I was volunteering at my church, like I usually do, teaching in the 3-5-year-olds’ class.  It was near the end of the service when an associate of mine approached me and engaged me in a short conversation.  After exchanging pleasantries, we chatted briefly about our children.  As I was returning to my room to finish up, she whispered down the hall, “Psst…Are you Pregnant Again?

How should I feel?  Should I be shocked, dismayed, angry, annoyed, criticized, self-conscious, disgraced, scored and/or maybe embarrassed?  Doesn’t everyone know not to ask that question unless they are absolutely sure that the answer is “yes”?  Am I so big that I look pregnant?

“No, I’m done with all that,” was my simple reply and off I ran, back to my classroom.

Now, just before Christmas, with the approval of my doctor, I had slowly decreased a few of my medications and even cut one out altogether.  I did have some difficulties with the transition, including some moderate depression and fluctuating moods.  One pleasant side-effect (for me anyway) was that I lost a few pounds, without even trying (my dear husband likes me on the bigger side, however, so he wasn’t as thrilled with the change)!  The weight-loss wasn’t significant and my weight tends to fluctuate anyway, so it wasn’t a very big deal.  I really didn’t think anyone even noticed except for me and my husband.

A couple of weeks before we left to go on the vacation, I knew I needed to pull myself together so I’d be stable for what turned out to be a very unstable trip.  So, again, with the doc’s permission, I upped my doses of mood-stabilizers.  And with that increase, I regained some of those previously lost pounds.  “No biggie,” I punned to myself.  After all, I’ve been eating healthy foods, drinking tons of water and getting plenty of exercise.  The only change has been with my meds.  Some medications just have weight gain as a side-effect and it’s really, really hard to beat.

This past week, my sister and her two-year-old son were in town visiting and my now 9-year-old daughter had her birthday party at our house.  We had a great time, but some things were left undone.  For example, in the morning, as I was getting ready for church, I realized that I hadn’t done my laundry in over a week!  Really the only clean, decent thing I had to wear was an extra large tank top or a tiny tube top.  I decided that the tube top might be indecent for church, because for pants, of course, I was going to wear leggings. But then again, the large tank top was so loose that my cleavage would show.  So, I wore both; the tube underneath to cover my boobage and the tank over it to cover the tube’s tightness.   I wasn’t worried about how big the shirt was, it was long enough to cover my bum, plus I was going to wear an accentuating sweater to tie the ensemble together anyway.

My thought process while actually getting ready was really not that sophisticated.  I mean, who am I there to impress?  God loves me no matter what.  And three, four, and five-year-olds don’t care what you wear.  So I went to church and did my service.  While singing and dancing with the kiddies, I got hot, so hot, in fact, that I took my sweater off. The only thing I felt slightly self-conscious about was the large scar I have on my back, part of which was partially exposed because my hair was up.  It was shortly after that, that the comment was made…

Psst…Are you Pregnant Again?”

How should I feel?  Insulted.  I should feel insulted; throw that tank top away, go on a strict diet, starve myself, and quit taking my stupid medications that cause the stupid side-effect!

But the more I thought about it, the less insulted I felt.  I began to have a fresh perspective.  I decided not to accept it as an insult.  And here’s why:

  1. Someone thought I was enough of a Super Mommy to actually handle another kid, (especially another baby).
  2. I’m no spring chicken.  I’m not old but at age 35, the ob-gyn docs start considering you as a “high risk” patient.  I could take the comment as a compliment, even.  I look young enough to want to have more children!
  3. I’ve heard this same woman talk before.  I don’t think she tries to be mean or insulting.  I think she’s just insensitive.  And maybe she doesn’t even realize she’s saying something that others may find offensive.
  4. I really just don’t care that much about what other people think about me anymore.  Why should I let one comment bash my self-esteem when I know I’m trying my best?
  5. I don’t think I look pregnant.  Why should I care if one other person on this planet does?

20170308_Pretty Mommy 2

A very recent picture of my (not-pregnant) self!

 

So after this post, I’m going to “Let It Go;” like water off a duck’s back.

water off donald duck's back

 

Double Talk Quote: (And this is a coincidence…) “Mommy, can you give me some insults?” – Mica, after our first day at Disney World.  She was trying to say “insoles” for her shoes because her feet hurt from walking so much.

Bible Verse: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9

Word that has Lost its meaning: insulted

Relatable Lyrics:  “Let It Go” – Disney’s Frozen

“Let it go, let it go… I don’t care, what they’re going to say…”

Disney - Epcot - Me Mommy Belle at Epcot with the girls, Bella, Micaela, and Grace; Elsa and Anna

Me and my girls at Epcot

 

 

 

Little Girls Are Beautiful

Beautiful Girls 3a

Why I never say anything negative about my body in front of my daughters:

 

Because society already has impossible standards that it will try to force on them.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I know that at such a young age, I am the biggest influence they have.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because kids model behavior.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because kids are innocent and impressionable.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I want my daughters to be able to accept a compliment about her appearance without negating it.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I don’t want my daughters to believe a put-down based on her looks.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I want them to be healthy and happy, not perfect.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I don’t want them to go through what I went through.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because people with high self-esteem make better life choices.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I don’t want them to feel they have to “settle” when they start dating.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I want my daughters to love and respect the body God blessed them with.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because the pressures of this world are brutal.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I want them to be empowered by “flaws” and rise above adversity.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because accepting myself teaches them to accept themselves.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because I don’t want them to learn that their self-worth is based on their looks.

And little girls are beautiful.

 

Because girls grow up to become women.

And I want my beautiful little girls to grow into beautiful, confident women

who will teach their little girls

that they are beautiful.

Double Talk Quote: “You look beautiful, Mommy!” – Mica, when I was 6 weeks postpartum

Verse: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are beautiful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14

Word that has Lost its meaning: ugly

Relatable Lyrics: “This One’s For The Girls” by Martina McBride https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vl7W77cYfNU

January 17, 2015 (6 months old)

Dedicated to Mica, Bella, & Hope

Princess Micaela Bella Sunday Best Princess Grace

I am Super

I am Super - Happy Birthday

My name is Michelle. Daddy nicknamed me Belle as a baby, probably because of The Beatles’ influence in his life (Michelle, ma belle) . As I grew older, he started calling me SuperBelle. Sometimes he would shorten it to “Super”. I can still hear his voice in my head saying, “Hey Super” as I walked in the door. He would always give me bells and Supergirl relics. He also wrote a song about me with lyrics like “She’s so super, yeah, … she’s so special, yeah, she’s a supergirl” and endearingly ended it with the verse, “God’s gift of Love.”

I didn’t feel right about calling myself Super. Even during manic episodes, when I felt super, it seemed prideful. At one point, I did have an email account calling myself SuperBelle. But I eventually went with something more humble. I had low self-esteem, and I always wondered why he thought I was so super. I thought maybe it was just because he was my daddy, and he was bias or it was just lip service. But maybe there was something in me that I couldn’t see.

Daddy died Christmas 2010 from complications of untreated Bipolar Disorder.

During my second pregnancy, just before I found out I was having twins, I was in a bad place. I was depressed. I felt inadequate. And Daddy wasn’t there to see me through it. All my life, he had been such an encouragement to me. After he died, and I didn’t have someone cheering me on, everything just seemed so hard.

Just after the babies were born, I was listening to a lullaby by Twila Paris, one of my daddy’s favorite Christian artists. I heard the lyrics:

“…God was with you long before the day that you were born
And if you don’t have a daddy
He will be your father too
And He will always keep you in His sight
When it gets too dark to stay ahead
And you can’t find your way it will be alright
He will be your guiding light”

I realized – I’m God’s child. So my earthly daddy’s not here anymore. But God is. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. He thinks I’m Super. I am SuperBelle. I am a SuperMommy.

Double Talk Quote: “I think Grandpa asked God to give you twins” – Mica

Verse: Psalm 139:1-18 “15…when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together …. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious toward me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.”

Word that has Lost its meaning: can’t

Relatable Lyrics: Sandi Patty – Masterpiece (dedicated to Mica, Brooks, Bella, & Asher)

written October 5, 2014 (3 months old)

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