Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Raising Girls

I feel like I really screwed up this morning.

Wait. Let me start over.

I want my girls to grow up with a love for their bodies. I want them to see strong, beautiful bodies when they look at themselves. I don’t want them to do what I do and look upon their bodies with loathing, tearing apart every single feature and describing how ugly, fat, saggy, nasty it is.

And yet, just this morning, Olivia was ogling my boobs as I helped her get dressed. She told me, “You have swingy bosoms.”

I muttered, “Yes, I know, they’re gross. Thanks for noticing.”

Yikes. What a horrible thing for me to have said to my daughter, a daughter who will not doubt someday have swingy boobs and will, because her mother said something awful, hate those very swingy boobs.

For the record, I don’t get to do anything alone. I wasn’t even in the shower when both girls joined me in the bathroom. I stepped out of the shower to find Olivia planted in front of the space heater, cooking her feet. I told her to take of her jammies and I’d help her get dressed. Yes, she’s perfectly capable of dressing herself, but if we want her at school before lunch time, I help her.

And so, I had my towel wrapped around my swingy boobs and my saggy tummy and my droppy butt. But the towel came lose as I helped her put on her tights.

That’s when I said that awful thing. I tried to cover it up. I told her that I hoped she loved her body, even if she ended up with saggy boobs because hers would probably be beautiful.

But I fear the damage was done. At least a little bruising to her sweet, female psyche.

I’m going to try and go forward with a live and learn attitude. I’m going to try and hold in my own body-image issues and self-loathing in hopes to teaching my girls the true meaning of self-love and an appreciation for a body that has done some pretty amazing things, like, you know, grown two human beings, nourished those very human beings and continues to provide comfort and yes, the occasional laugh at the expense of that very body.

I’m going to try. It’s the best I can do.

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