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The Nurtured Mommy
TO THEM, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL
By: Denise E. Bailey | July 6, 2022
Growing up with a disability has had its challenges, but I’d be lying if I said that all my scars and bowed leg/hip were the reason I always hesitate to get into a bathing suit. I am not sure when I started to question if my body was enough, but I think it was sometime around middle school. By sixth grade I was as tall as I am today (all 5’2” of me) and fully developed (still waiting for those to grow too). And my mama who was, and still is, the most beautiful woman in the world to me talked reckless about her own body (she still does).
When I get ready in the morning, our daughters often ask what I am putting on my face. When I explain that I use makeup to accent my natural beauty, I feel like a bit of a liar. In truth, makeup helps me feel more beautiful. If I am too pale, I shy away from shorts. I love the fall and winter months because it is easier to hide behind clothes, especially after gaining the COVID-12lbs. But the truth is, even when I weighed 114 pounds, had a nice summer tan, and tons of blonde highlights...I still didn’t always feel pretty.
There are moments in my life when I have been in awe of my body. I have beat a lot of odds as a child and as an adult. I was born with a rare genetic bone disease that I inherited from my father. At a very young age I was given the gift of contrast when I would be in the hospital with children my age who had never walked. I feel like my entire life I have loved my body for how it has exceeded my expectations (and the medical world’s expectations), but I have also spent countless summers wishing for a flatter stomach, toned thighs, and a back free from acne (yes, even in my 40s).
Something in me is changing though, I feel responsible to evolve. I have three little girls watching. We can’t desire the body we used to have when we never really even loved that body then. At some point, we have to decide we are enough. If we want to improve our habits for health then that is one thing, but if it is just to improve them just for looks then we must reconsider. Go for how it feels on the inside and not how you will be perceived on the outside.
This summer I ask you to join me in just deciding to put on that damn bathing suit and get in the pool with your child/children. They love your cellulite and mooch (aka mom pouch). You are prettier than you think. You are you. And when you forget, just remember to look at yourself with the same lens that your children look at you with. You are already enough.
Denise Bailey is on a mission to to help women transition into and through the various Phases of Motherhood. As a former educator and mama of three she now fully understands that the journey to enoughness requires a tremendous amount of self-compassion and self-care. She is inspired by her three daughters to help women manage their expectations, let go of perfectionism, and lean into the beautiful mess. You can follow Denise @TheNurturedMommy and learn more about this movement at thenurturedmommy.com
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Book Picks: Summer Books for Moms Read >>
CircleMoms Supports Moms’ Journeys Read >>
Community Heroes: Marin Foster Care Association Read >>
French by Association: Life-long Benefits of Language Learning Read >>
Help Your Graduate Get On Solid Financial Ground Read >>
July is for Ignition & Sparks Read >>
Mind Vacation Read >>
Mom Hacks: Keep Cool Read >>
To Them, You are Beautiful Read >>