Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Happy Girl

Her day begins with coos and wiggles;
she waits patiently to be retrieved, only crying when lonely from a long wait.
She nurses happily, breaking off to smile at me or her brothers.
She lights up when she sees her Daddy, and my heart melts.
She plays happily in the walker or bouncy seat while the day spins around her.
She naps with her brothers, giving Momma a much needed break from all the activity.
And she smiles wide when her boys are near.
Content, until she needs attention, slowing growing into a child, where once a baby lay.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Shape

Self-esteem issues are not new to me. I was never the pretty girl, always more awkward than my sisters. Until seventh grade, I was tallest in my class (and really, taller than most others too), and I "blossomed" at 11, years before any of the other girls needed bras or pads. I stuck out, and the kids around me made sure I knew it. 

High school wasn't much better than middle school, except that there were so many more students that I could fade into groups of others like me. Making friends wasn't a struggle, but keeping myself from constant comparison and feels of unworthiness was. 

When I got to college, I finally started to feel like I could truly be myself - which is due mostly to some guy I met who made me feel like I was the most important woman in the world (you better believe I married that one!). But even still, I was never truly comfortable in my own skin. 

For years, I've been looking in the mirror, wishing I could change this or that. You've probably never seen me in a bathing suit - I tell myself it's because I'm modest, but the real motivator is my embarrassment of my appearance; at 14, I chose to join my hot-tubbing friends fully clothed (jeans and all) rather than reveal my unshapeliness. The only time I've ever been truly comfortable with my shape was when I was pregnant - round is most acceptable when you're growing a person. But now, three children later, I find myself loathing the body I'm in. Sure, I could work hard and slowly begin the change it, but then I think, what's the point? If I'm going to keep having babies, I'm going to be right back here again sooner than I would be fit. So instead, I cover up my imperfections as best I can and continue to hide. But for how long? Years? Decades? Honestly, probably for the rest of my life. I've taught myself to hate what I look like, and that's not an easy lesson to unlearn. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Anxiety

I can feel it gripping me even before I recognize the source. My chest tightens, my face flushes, my breath catches. Heart racing, I search frantically for the trigger. Sometimes it's physical, but mostly I'm just lost in my own head. If I can identify the thing that causes it, I can usually talk myself down. It doesn't happen often, but the recovery is tough, regardless. Hours later, I'm still reeling. "Calm down," I tell myself. "You're making too much out of this. Everything is fine." And it will be, soon enough - when I can wrap up in the arms of the man who truly understands me and finally allow myself to relax. But for now, I swallow it back. These small people need me, so I can't freak out. Not yet.