I made a promise to myself when I became a mom that I would not pass my insecurities on to my children. I always heard that kids would become what they saw in their parents, and I wanted to present a positive outlook in how I regarded myself, so that they would do the same.

I’d only pass on the good things.

I’d hide the rest. 

But, guess what? It’s pretty easy to keep your feelings from a toddler who thinks you are the queen of the world and worships the ground you walk on. But when that cutie becomes an 18-year-old girl-boss who you spend lots of time with, there’s really no hiding. Especially when she’s all grown up and perceptive, and now walks more beside, and not behind you. Most days actually helping me pull my life together with her organized ways. Soon to merge ahead, coming into her own. 

These are the years when it gets real. You can’t hide behind a sippy cup and snack distribution. You’re looking eye to eye. Living heart to heart.  

Mom exposed. 

Transparent parenthood. 

I recently went through one of my not-so-hidden moments of doubt and angst, expressing and showing some deep down feelings. I had a big mom fail. Not really proud about the words I said out loud, being the example that I didn’t want to be. Sometimes the days are hard, the pain is real and everything just hits the fan.

I had a moment. 

Maybe two. 

Then, some incredible words came out of my bossy-sweet, pretty-much-all-grown-up girl. Words that were so simple, yet full of wisdom. Said with ease and confidence, showing that I’m not always the teacher anymore – I also have lots to learn.

Be kind to yourself.

She said.

In her soft-spoken voice.  

And I thought, when did you get so wise, saying things that stop me in my tracks? Words that I always wanted you to have the confidence to say to yourself, now saying them to me in my weak moments. Words that I should be living, but coming out of your mouth with so much truth.

She was so right.

About me.

Likely you too.

We all could be a little kinder to ourselves. 

So, lets try to –

Stop obsessing over perfection. The dishes can wait, the house will usually need cleaning and maybe the jeans will always be a little tight. It’s ok. 

Learn to forgive. Being your own punching bag is no fun. Stop the punishing. Let it go.

Do something that brings joy. Have a night out. Do something spontaneous. Find the things that make you wheeze-laugh until you can’t breathe. 

Let go of pain. Things might not be what you thought. Life can hurt. Release it from your hands, and walk into what is ahead. Trust for His best.  

Love self. You’ve been made for a purpose. Stop zooming in on what’s not right, and deleting all the things that don’t measure up. Zoom out and capture what surrounds your life, take off the filters. 

Stop the comparison. There will always be something that looks better than what you have. Don’t get sucked in. Live with gratefulness and stop wishing away what’s been placed in your hands.  

We are taught at a young age to be kind to others.

Kindness matters.

Always be kind.

All those things are all true.

But as you spread kindness wherever you go,

let some of it trickle back to you.

In the words of a wise (sometimes a little sassy) 18-year-old,

Be kind to yourself.