Three Things I've Learned From Other Mommy Bloggers

1. Not to air my body issues in front of my girls

In a beautiful post on her blog, The Nomad Mom Diary, Lynn Morrison made me realize that someday some asshole is going to tell my daughters that they aren't beautiful, and if I don't stop body-shaming myself in front of them, that asshole is going to be me. I literally cried the first time I read this post. I thought of all the times I had stood in front of my mirror and asked my husband if I looked fat while my daughters watched from the doorway. And all the times I said I couldn't leave the house because I didn't like the way any of my clothes looked on me while my daughters played in the next room. And all the times my husband told me I looked beautiful and I laughed in his face and told him he was crazy while my daughters listened from the hallway. I was inadvertently teaching my daughters to seek out flaws in their amazing little bodies. I was teaching them that self-worth was based on size and looks. I was being selfish, and I needed to stop. My husband has spent years telling me to try to be kinder to myself in front of our girls (and in general), but it never stuck. For some reason, something about this post really clicked with me, and I think I have been doing a better job since I read it.

Thank you, Lynn Morrison!

2. To exercise after my kids are in bed

In a post about managing stress during the holidays on her blog, Honest Mom, JD Bailey helped me find the time to exercise. The post is full of great advice about handling stress - whether or not it's the holiday season, and whether or not you are prone to depression and anxiety - but the part that stuck with me long after reading it was that she drags herself to Zumba after the kids are in bed. AFTER the kids are in bed! Before reading this, it had never occurred to me to exercise after putting the kids down for the night. In my mind, that time was reserved for relaxing on the couch with my laptop and the television and eating snacks (because that's what I deserved after a long day of kid-wrangling!). So, I believed that I simply didn't have the time in my life to exercise. After reading the post, I realized that I, too, could drag myself to the gym at least a few nights a week after the kids are in bed and still have time to shower and relax for a bit before going to bed myself. This has truly changed my life. I am happier and on my way to being healthier.

Thank you, JD Bailey

3. That I'm a good mom.

In a brief, but lovely post on her blog, My Life Suckers, Deva Dalporto reminded me that I am a good mom. Sure sometimes I feel overwhelmed and unappreciated. Sometimes I don't have enough patience to last the day - or even the morning. But those things come with the territory of being a mom. My kids may never directly tell me that I am a good mom, but that doesn't mean that I am not. At the end of the day I am raising two good kids, and that means that I am a good mom.

Thank you, Deva Dalporto!