Wednesday, November 27, 2013
[Girl Moms] On Wednesdays We Wear Pink... for healthy body image
Hello! I’m Jenny and I blog over at Growing Up Jacobson. I’m a Stay at Home Mom to an awesome 18-month-old toddler, Callie. I’m feel so honored to be a part of Erinn’s Girl Mom Series! I started following Erinn’s blog through the “Kid Tested, Mom Approved” Link up in September and I immediately feel in love with the Girl Mom series!
I had always thought if I ever become a mom I wanted to have a little girl. I’m not really sure why as I’m not particularly feminine and I don’t have a lot of close girl friends. I just never envisioned myself raising a boy. Since Callie will be our only child I am very thankful for getting my girl. I love the special bond we have and the things we do together.
So what does it mean to me to be a girl mom?
As someone who's studied identity development and gender I think about it all the time. I think about how I’m role modeling to my daughter how to be a strong woman. I also think about how it’s important to let her be herself. If that means princesses and bows then I want to support that. If it means mud and footballs I want to support that too. I think about our activities during the week. I want to be sure I give her a chance to bake but also to use tools. I think it’s just as important for her to pretend feed her baby doll as it is to push around a fire truck. I try to make sure she helps me with chores like laundry and vacuuming just as she helps her dad build her step stool or repair sprinklers. I also think it’s important she sees me hammering nails in the wall and her dad dusting.
Being a girl mom also means I want to raise my daughter to love herself. I want her to be confident in her skills, abilities but also her own body. With all the images in the media these days I think this is the most important lesson I can teach her.
A few weeks ago I read this article on body image and little girls. This article just made me sad.
I do not have my ideal body, or even close, by any means. I have been overweight most of my life. However that hasn’t overshadowed my life. Somehow I managed to grow into an independent confident woman regardless of my weight. I haven’t ever let my weight stop me from doing things I’ve wanted to do or hold me back. Sure I have a little more confidence when I’m healthier but it doesn’t guide my happiness or my identity. I consider myself lucky.
I certainly am working to be a healthier role model for my daughter. If I can’t physically represent healthy to my daughter I want to make sure she understands her body doesn’t drive who she is.
I worry that in today's society that my daughter can grow up in a house where the word diet will never be uttered, but will know what it means in elementary school. I don’t want her to ever use the word fat but I worry it will become a regular in her vocabulary before she stops playing with dolls. Callie is a healthy little girl but is a big girl and that means odds are she won't ever be one of those super skinny girls. I want her to be confident in whom she is so that won't matter. I want her identity and self worth to be her own and not tied to her body image. I want to teach her to be proud of all her body can do. I want her to have confidence in her skills, abilities and creativity. I want her to be herself without being weighted down by concerns of what she “should” look like.
I certainly don’t worry all the time about these things! However they are on my mind when I think about what I want to teach my daughter. I think about all the things as mothers we need to teach our daughters. The list is endless. However the most important thing about being a girl mom to me is being the best woman I can be so I can role model that to my daughter and maybe, just maybe if I’m lucky, pass that strength on to her.