Friday, March 30, 2012

Love Yourself

Can I just say? Y'all are so sweet! it's not easy to put pictures of yourself "out there" but you guys made it easier....I hesitated doing an outfit post for a while because it feels a bit like "look at me" "look at me!" But, I really love clothes and I really love helping friends/family dress in a way they love, that compliments them and that is affordable. I would say I feel kinda strongly about this because I think especially as moms we tend to let ourselves go, or to be put at the bottom of the priority list. Either because of time or money. Both of which dwindle considerably once we have kids.

But I'm a believer that it can still be done. That we can still put a little effort into ourselves and not compromise our children's needs or our budget. There tends to be this false, unspoken belief among mothers that if we look put together, our kids suffered in some way. Like 20 minutes of watching Barney while we get dressed is going to demote us from being mom of the year. Kind of the same idea as that saying I've seen going around about a dirty house meaning happy kids. I totally disagree. But that's a whole other story. Do I sound like I'm passionate about these things? It's cause I kind of am. I really believe that you can, without compromising your time with your children and other responsibilities, put a little effort into yourself and style. And that it's actually even ok!  We have to maintain our identity you know? Our style and effort doesn't have to fly out the window when we have kids.

I have heard moms say things like "how do you have time to do your hair, I can barely brush my teeth"... I get that babies and kids are demanding. I have one of the most demanding toddlers you'll ever meet. Someone just recently deemed her my "fabric sheet" because she is constantly stuck to me. So I get it. But, I think it's important to make your "self" an important part of your day as much as you do your husband and kids. Prayer time, quiet time, exercise, dates with our husbands...these are all important parts of keeping our identity as women. Not just mothers. Women. And it's the same for putting a little effort into getting yourself dressed too. The guilt has got to go. And more so, the guilt from other moms has got to go. The ragged mom with kids hanging on her, is no better than the mom who took the time to do her hair and makeup. And vice versa.

Don't misunderstand me, I know there are seasons. Trust me I know. Seasons where we are learning the day to day rhythm of our families and how to fit our own time in somewhere between feedings and laundry and wiping noses. I'm not saying we should be selfish with our time. I'm not saying we should neglect our kids so we can sit and do our makeup and hair, while they mark up the walls with marker. I'm saying we all have small bits of time in our day where we can take a little time for ourselves and that we should. And that it's ok to. And that if we don't, but another mom does, we shouldn't make her feel like a less than mom for it.

I read somewhere, "if you are going to be selfish with your time, do it at 5am." I tend to agree and disagree with this. I think God has entrusted these beautiful creatures to us and that we should be good stewards of that responsibility. The weight of it is heavy. I don't take it lightly. I give myself to my kids in every way, all day. And I'm sure as a mom, you do too. Being a mom, you give up every selfish notion, it just happens. We wouldn't have it any other way really.
So I get what that quote is saying, but I also believe that our kids need to learn independence just as much as they need to learn their abc's. And with it comes confidence. And that can only come if we are allowing them that independence. Time on their own. A little separation during the day is a healthy thing for everyone. Quiet time, nap time, reading time, however that shows up in your home.

Let me clarify too,  that I'm not just talking about taking the time to put ourselves together outwardly. Picking out an outfit or doing our hair is not going to make us feel any better if our inside is totally neglected. If we aren't taking a little time for some "quiet." Or we aren't feeding our soul, and mind... no matter what we do to the outside, we will never feel put together. Because we simply aren't. The best thing I believe you can do for your appearance is to find your identity in HIM each and every day. The world will tell us otherwise, the mirror will lie to us, our emotions will mislead us. But God and being firmly rooted in Him, is the only thing that will always remain. Always be the same. And always fulfill.

The most beautiful girl can be the emptiest. The most hurting person, can be gorgeous.  Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised {Proverbs 31:30} Find yourself in Him. Love yourself first, so you can love others better. Your children, your husband, your neighbors, your co-workers. But love yourself first.

Find yourself in the midst of motherhood. Know who you are, and be good with it.
But most of all know who God says you are and be strong in it.

14 comments:

  1. SO good!!! This is a huge stronghold in moms and I have been guilty myself. You totally heard the Lord on this!

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  2. LOVE this, Laura. What an encouraging, truth filled post. Thanks for sharing, friend.

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  3. I needed this post. I'm struggling to find time for myself with a little one who is so demanding. It's starting to cause friction in pretty much every one of my daily relationships because I feel like I've lost who I am. I do nothing for me anymore.

    I was beginning to think that this is just how it has to be. I've been needing these constant reminders (they seem to be coming from every which way) that I need to find a little time for me, no matter how small it is. And not just for my quiet time with God either (though of course that should come first), but time to remember the passions I used to have before I became a mom.

    Thank you for this openness! It truly spoke to my heart.

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  4. Fab post girl!! It is SO easy for us to let ourselves go. I remember right after I had my first I was so lazy to do anything with myself and my mom sat me down and told me I needed to pull it together! For my hubby if not for myself!! And that goes for so many other aspects of our lives as well, like you said, time with Him, exercise, girl time, time with your man, etc.! I always love your honest posts!! <3 Thanks!! :)

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  5. how fantastic - what an amazing reminder! i have struggled with this time and time again. it is amazing what a little self care can accomplish. and if you first ensure that you are in a strong place with the Lord everything else will come to you.

    this post is just cool!

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  6. Thank you for saying this. I have struggled to defend how i trained for a 1/2 marathon with a young baby. the fact is, my husband and I LOVE running together and we are lucky enough to have inlaws close who LOVE to love on our little baby as much as we do!

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  7. Beautifully put. It is sometimes hard to find a balance in it all. Thanks for sharing your heart.

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  8. yes yes yes! this is so right on.

    i love how you touched on the judgement that we receive or give to other moms who look different or have different philosophies. i've been thinking so much lately about how we moms should be FOR each other, no matter what. the enemy loves nothing better than to divide us and pour out shame. he's crafty so he uses other moms' opinions to accomplish it. if we could just be more aware of it, we could do so much to combat it, you know?

    anyway, i'm totally passionate about this too. thanks for sharing with us :)

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  9. This is amazing! I'm not a mom yet, but I can definitely apply this to my life in other ways. It definitely still spoke to me, and it's something I want to remember for when I am a mom. I completely agree with everything you said! Thank you for speaking such powerful words!

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  10. Thanks for being a great example! I'm not a mom yet, but I am blessed by moms like you who share their hearts and lead the way for those of us behind them. Love your heart! I can definitely apply this to my own life even before motherhood.

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  11. This is so important! Although we spend most of our time taking care of our kids, we still need to take care of ourselves for our husbands! I try to get ready in the morning while my little boy takes his morning nap, but we have toys in our bathroom so he can play while I get ready.

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  12. I LOVE this post! Thank you for your open and honest words. I'm getting ready to head out tomorrow morning for a girls night out. We're driving to the nearest big city, renting a hotel, getting our make up done, going to dinner and out dancing. I've been feeling guilty about leaving, but know how important it is that I do something for me.

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  13. Love this! You said it so well. The Christian radio station that I listen to aired a little snippet about moms taking time for themselves and how it can change your marriage and family! Thanks so much for sharing this.

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  14. Love this Laura....and you. It's so well written and chocked full of truth and wisdom! Such an encuoragment and reminder for all of us moms....even us older ones:)

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