For the past few years on my birthday I’ve blogged a recap of the year gone by…this year I asked my Facebook followers to ask me any questions they might have about a prior blog post or anything else they might care to know about me…I got two questions:
What is the greatest lesson I have learned in the past decade and What was my biggest challenge in raising girls…I truthfully without hesitation answered THAT one on the spot…BOYS. Quick and perhaps witty but any mama of girls will say Yes and Amen to that answer.
However…the truth and the biggest challenge I faced in raising my girls was not stinky boys or mean girls…it was not the fighting over who wore my shirt without asking or I can’t believe you left my favorite shoes at a friend’s house. No. It had nothing to do with arguments or mood swings or lack of obedience…
The biggest challenge I faced in raising my girls was loving myself as much as they desperately wanted me to love myself.
My self deprecation was alive and well while at the same time trying to convince all three of them that they were more than braces, a bad haircut or the size of their jeans. I was begging them to recognize how kind and smart and brave and beautiful they were, all the while I was hating my reflection and wishing I were more…more of what? More of anything than what I saw staring back at me.
If I were looking at 40 year old Gina in the mirror right now I would love her. I would say be nice. I would say get over it. You are not perfect…you never will be. You’ve made some mistakes but you’re still standing. It’s not EVER going to be easy. Life is super unpredictable and totally crazy and you don’t know it but your next few years are going to wreck you more than you could ever wreck yourself. Hold on sister…
So if my greatest challenge in raising my girls is anything like any of you might be facing, here is my suggestion…Stop beating yourself up. In the same way you desire for your daughters to love and accept themselves for who they are…to be authentic and kind…start with being kind to yourself. They don’t need you to be a size 2…they just need you to be you. You are the first face they look for in the audience…in the stands…in the crowd. They need you to be so crazy about yourself that when someone says, “Wow, she looks just like you!” That is a huge compliment.
The greatest lesson I’ve learned in the past decade falls in line with my first answer…I’ve learned that loving myself is not arrogant or to be ignored, but crucial in order for me to give honest love and accept love in return.
Thanks for asking.
This is just the beginning of me…
All the days before today were just training days…
Let’s go be 49,
4 thoughts on “let’s go be 49…”
You have me crying and I have still not accomplished either of those things. I also cannot believe you struggled with them because you are a rock star and I always thought you were. I wish I was 1/2 the person I think you are 😘
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Mark? Hello! Can I get your last name?
This is great, wish I would have heard these words when my girls were younger, but guess since I am helping raise yet another grandchild who is a girl, guess I better take these words and use them!!! Just so hard, but I will give it a shot!
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I still have to remind myself that I am enough and speak words of life and gratitude over myself! I’m so proud of you friend. You kids are so blessed to have you! Prayers for strength and energy for the calling. I know it’s not easy but God will provide and carry you! Love you!