Tag Archives: mothering 101

Mothering 101: The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Body Image of Yourself

As women, most of us worry about our weight and the current state of our figure. As the Trace Adkins song goes, “You want that body back you had a 17…” – I know that is true for me. I mean, really….what woman doesn’t want to look like she did in high school? Back when our skin was tight, gravity hadn’t affected us yet and we had no idea what a “muffin top” was.

While most of us worry about our appearance and work to get it back into shape (or the shape we used to have, anyways), for those of us with children, it is incredibly important that we keep a healthy perspective about ourselves and our bodies. Why? Those little people are studying us.
 
In fact, our children are better than spies. They watch everything. They pay attention to the things we say to people, about people and especially how we talk about ourselves. They learn what is right and wrong with the world by the things we say. Therefore, if we are constantly saying, “I need to lose weight,” or “I wish I looked like that,” then our kids are going to believe that we’re right and there really is something wrong with us because we don’t look like the models on the magazine covers.
 
For those of you with young girls, I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to make peace with your body. When mothers are so focused on the way they look, or appear to be to their daughters, this attitude will pass on to their girls. As the girls grow, they will begin to critique their own bodies and, if they aren’t happy with what they see, they could develop an eating disorder, low self-esteem or some other unhealthy habit.
 
While those are all bad, the worst is probably the fact that these girls will hold their self-value in their appearances. It won’t matter how smart they are or that they have a large group of friends who like them for their personality, all that they will focus on is their looks. I’m fairly certain that this is not something any mother wants for her daughter. Therefore, she needs to change the way she talks about herself in front of her daughter. Sure, we all have imperfections and it’s okay to work on those imperfections, but we shouldn’t focus on them to the point that we don’t see the beauty in anything else.
 
For those of us with young boys, it’s still important that we maintain a healthy body image of ourselves. Our little boys are looking to us, their mothers, to show them what qualities are desirable in women. I know that I don’t want my boys to grow up to be so shallow as to believe that the only beautiful women are those who are “skinny.” True beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and is much deeper than skin deep. That is what I want my boys to know as they get older and begin to date.
 
I don’t want them to date girls only because they believe them to be pretty on the outside. I want them to date the girls who they believe are pretty inside and out. And, believe it or not, it starts with me.

Party Planning for the Busy Mom

Well, it is already that time for me. I’ve put it off for as long as I possibly can without anyone noticing that I’m not totally prepared. If you haven’t guessed it already, I’m currently in the middle of planning my son’s first birthday party.

When I had my first son, I planned his first birthday party out months in advance. You can bet that I was on top of my game then. However, this time around I’ve literally put it off until the last minute. I’m chalking my procrastination up to the fact that I have two children now (one who is an active 5 year old) and life is just a lot crazier for me now than it was 5 years ago. Those of you with multiple children know exactly what I’m talking about.

The good news is that it’s completely possible to plan a successful birthday party in a short amount of time. I officially started my party planning last night and am excited to say that about 70% of it is done!

Okay, so how is the busy mom supposed to plan an awesome birthday party when the birthday in question is only a couple weeks away? Here’s what I did:

  • Get on Pinterest: I’m a bit of a Pinterest junkie. I just love how easy the site makes brainstorming. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for landscaping ideas or first birthday party ideas – it’s all right there! And, most of the ideas are DIY tips with instructions, making the planning even easier. You can get on Pinterest and quickly get hundreds of ideas for an upcoming birthday party. Pinterest helped me decide on the theme (airplanes) and a host of other party details.
  • Use Shutterfly: I have to admit that I have never used Shutterfly, even though I’ve heard amazing things about this unique photo site. So, yesterday afternoon, which the kiddos were napping, I set up an account with Shutterfly and quickly designed little man’s birthday invitations. I literally had the invitations designed in about half an hour (this is fast for me), complete with a picture of little man, and ordered. It was a super quick process and when I was done with the invitation, they even had matching customized Address Labels and Thank You notes that I could order too. While this doesn’t have anything to do with my son’s birthday party, I also bought prepaid print credits through Shutterfly. I’m about 2 years behind on printing pictures and the prepaid print package allows me to pay for the prints in advance and use it when I want. They were on sale (600 prints for $54..or .09 per print) so I bought two. This is a huge convenience for me because now I can upload my pictures to shutterfly, select the ones I want printed, click “order” and have them mailed to me! So convenient for this mom of two who hates dragging the kids along for errands like this!
  • Befriend Amazon & Ebay: Once I decided on the theme for my little guy’s party and got the invitations ordered, I was ready to tackle the party décor. Keep in mind that this was at 6 p.m. on a Sunday night. My solution was Ebay and Amazon. I know some people don’t like ordering online, but I tell you what – sites like Ebay and Amazon really give you more variety than local stores will and they’ll also be able to help you stay within budget better. Within an hour, I had all of my party decorations ordered through the help of these two sites.

So, if you’re a busy mom like me and have a birthday party coming up quickly, the tips above will help you get it all done. The best part about ordering online is that you can often find coupons for free shipping. I was able to order my invitations on shutterfly with free shipping as well as my party décor off of Ebay with free shipping! Good luck and happy party planning!