As mothers, we try to never forget the important stuff. (Are the kids up to date on their immunizations? Are they reading nightly? Did they eat enough veggies and drink enough milk this week? Do they have friends? Are they kind to others?) And we work tirelessly to ensure that all of the stuff of motherhood gets done. Unfortunately, that often leaves little to no time to work on our own selves — despite hearing all the time how important self-care is, because if you can’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of your kids?
We hear it, but do we really listen? Brea Schmidt, the Cleveland mom and writer behind the blog The Thinking Branch, says we need to do more than just hear it; we need to make it a priority. We are the queens that our kids look up to, and we should treat ourselves as such.
In a Facebook post Tuesday, Schmidt shared how a conversation with her daughter turned into a surprising lesson on this very topic.
The brief chat went a little something like this, according to Schmidt’s post:
Her: Mommy, who are your favorite princesses?
I really like Belle, and then Ariel second.
Her: I like Elsa, Anna and Belle. And then Moana, Rapunzel and Sofia.
Me: Thats a lot of princesses!
Her: You know who my favorite queen is?
Her: You. You’re my favorite queen.
“I’m incredibly passionate about supporting moms,” Schmidt tells Babble, “and encouraging all of us to embrace our authenticity and let it shine in the midst of a world trying to tell us who we ‘should’ be.” That’s exactly why she saw this chat with her daughter as an opportunity to tell moms everywhere that they should see themselves the way their daughters see them — as queens. And what do queens do? They take care of themselves.
Schmidt jokes in her Facebook post that, “Maybe [my daughter] thought this headband I always wear to keep my hair out of my face while I do ‘all the things’ was actually a crown.”
But all kidding aside, the statement really stuck with her, making her thing, “Well, shoot … maybe I should start thinking so, too.”
“Because wouldn’t my soul feel a lot different if I stopped looking at my head-banded self in the mirror as ‘that mom’ who isn’t putting enough into her appearance,” she continued, “and instead see ‘that mom’ whose kids see her as their queen? And one who should remember to treat herself like one too?”
Imagine that. Imagine if we stopped putting ourselves down. If we gave ourselves some credit for doing “all the things.” If we gave ourselves some grace to mess up. If we forgave ourselves for not being perfect and loved ourselves for being the amazingly imperfect and fantastic moms that we are. That sounds like a dream.
But it’s a dream that Schmidt says is achievable. She shares with Babble that she spends so much time and energy trying to ensure that her daughter has a healthy idea of her own beauty and self-worth. If she asks her daughter “What makes you most beautiful?” her daughter will answer, “My heart.” Schmidt adds that her daughter already knows that “being who she is — a good person who shares kindness and love — is always more beautiful than what is on the outside.”
So why don’t we do the same for ourselves?
Schmidt tells Babble that as mothers, we should “hold OURSELVES in as high of a regard as the people who love us most” — and she couldn’t be more right.
“It’s about loving the person we see in the mirror every day and being able to go through this life feeling worthy,” she continues. “Worthy of being beautiful. Worthy of feeling confident. Worthy of being able to shine, use our talents and follow our passions. Worthy of knowing that who we are is enough.”
Because how will our daughters see themselves as worthy if their role models don’t?
We are queens, mamas. Let’s put on our crowns (or headbands), stand up tall, and be proud of ourselves. Our girls are watching.