How being a nanny to a three-year-old has taught me self-acceptance

As I evaluate my role as a strong, positive role model in Johannah's life, I am particularly cognizant of the image of myself that I share with her, that I unconsciously project into the world. I may be found, at times, in front of a full length mirror scrutinizing the lumps and bumps of my body, rough patches of skin, the crookedness of my front teeth.

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Nursing gave me a supposedly-perfect body (but I wanted my A-cups back)

I was astonished by this transformation into my ideal body. I felt lighter on my feet and more comfortable in my skin. In one year, I had gained 50 pounds, and then lost 65. I had gone from a size 6 to a maternity Large, then back down to a size 4. I went from a bra size A to B and then C. I felt like a real woman, feminine in a way that finally matched how I had always felt on the inside.

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I've started telling my daughters I'm beautiful

There are a lot of people like me. Women who know things. Women who have seen things. Women with diseases in their livers. There are a lot of women with scars on their arms and words that carry themselves like sparrows. There are women who were too big for this town, who had their backs bent carrying things like religion and a history that originated somewhere in the crook of a branch that extended over a stream. All of you women with lines on your brow, with cracks between your fingers… it's been a long winter. All of you, you are beautiful and so am I.

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I have a house full of sons and I'm ok with them seeing me naked

I have always been a nudie booty in my own home. I would come home from work or class and just shed my clothes. It's not so much that I dislike clothes; I actually love them quite a bit. Not too long after the big gender reveal of our latest pregnancy, my husband came home and found me and our son, both naked, playing in the bath tub together. He very calmly said "Don't you think you should start covering up around him, he's getting a little old for that."