Like them or not, selfies are here to stay. I for one am super grateful for the ability to take selfies. Before I became a mom, of course I took selfies like it was nothing. Then I had my son. My whole world changed, I was responsible for this new baby human. He of course took precedence on selfies. I would take selfies with him and see my tired eyes mostly. It is what it is, I thought, I was a new mom.
There were photos taken OF me candidly that sounded alarms. Holy crap, is this what I look like right now? But the time to do anything about it seemed non existent. I wanted to get up, get myself ready of course but operating on
no sleep with painful nipples and still having housework to take care made that priority slip further and further down my list.
As he grew more independent, and I embarked on an entrepreneurial path, I was able to find time to go from tired mom to tired mom with a little face on. I really only ever saw myself during quick bathroom trips when I glanced up from washing my hands.
When I did see myself, I felt like I was starting to let myself go and this reflected in how I felt toward my relationship with my husband. Not that my sex drive had fully come back from having my son but I would look at myself and think, ugh no wonder my husband doesn’t want to have sex with me. We were in a dry spell after moving to GA when our son was just 5 months old. I was healing, I was adjusting while he was working a new job with endless hours. Between never seeing each other, to being exhausted when we did see each other, sex wasn't on the radar. It wasn’t malicious, it was just unconsciously slipping away.
My husband in no way made comments or remarks or behavior that did this. This was all internalized self criticism I put on myself at the time. I was not making myself a priority so I didn’t look or feel my best and to me it translated to why we were in a dry spell, not the circumstances.
Becoming a mother, I thought, would have fulfilled my purpose and make me
feel all warm and fuzzy all the time. It is okay you can laugh at me. So when it didn’t, I thought it was because I was not making my own money anymore.
Between the MLM moms showing off that they were “doing it all” I thought I should be able to do it all too so I opened an etsy shop selling coffee mugs. Any entrepreneur will tell ya, you need content for social media. So I started taking photos of myself with mugs for content purposes.
This is what turned it around for me. It gave me a reason to put in a little more effort than I had been. Now I HAD to put in the effort because it could help me contribute to the household with money.
It felt good to get ready again, did I have anywhere to go? Not necessarily. But during that bathroom break, when I glanced up at myself, I saw a happier, brighter version of myself and I missed her. I was happy to see this version of myself back.
I started to feel myself again and it gave me a spring in my step, I knew I was going to look good for my husband when he came home. My standard of good, not his. He will tell you I always look good, no matter what. It was not about what he said, it was about how it made me feel.
Looking back on some of those photos taken of me vs the selfies I take now is like night and day. But I am so happy to have them to look back on.
I think about my own mom and the candid's of her in many many albums, she only ever saw herself that way because that was really the only option. I wonder if that was detrimental to her own self esteem and confidence. I remember her always picking at herself, hiding in clothes too big, hiding at the beach, all the negative self talk she put on herself. It breaks my heart and I know I don’t want that to be the kind of home my child grows up in or the kind of marriage I have.
Falling in love with myself as I was, not when I _______ was crucial to my happiness, keeping a positive attitude, being able to nurture and love my family started with nurturing and loving myself. Selfies did that for me. I was able to see myself through different eyes and helped me see how happy my smile was, how pretty my eyes are, how adorable my freckles are. All things my husband has said to me on various occasions but things I did not feel on the inside. I needed to see to believe!
It took making myself a priority. It took work to not get lost on my phone for hours and hours comparing myself to the moms who WERE making it a priority. It is possible but it is a choice that you can choose every day, some days, one day… it is totally up to you but you have to determine to choose YOU.
How many of our moms never got to see their true potential and amazingly gorgeous selves because candids were not kind to anyone? The only photo we had of ourselves was our drivers license photos and how often are they flattering? That is not how people saw us and it shouldn’t be how we see ourselves.
The selfie gives us a whole new way to see ourselves and how the world sees us! Embrace it, have fun with it, see what it can do for you!