How do you measure your self worth? What numbers do you use?
I measure myself in the number of Pinterest parties and crafts that I never made.
It’s hard not to when you live in this online space. The unattainable Pinterest Mom is someone that I see everywhere, with the perfect Frozen birthday party or the hand drawn birth announcements. I love the idea of being her but it’s hard, takes a lot of time and effort and I don’t always have that. Does that make me feel bad? Sometimes.
I measure my self worth by the size of my pants or the number on the scale.
Feeling like I’ve put on weight can put me into a headspace that I don’t need to be in. It can create a panic or feeling of unworthiness that I know is ridiculous, but as someone who has struggled with the demons of disordered eating for years, it’s a hard feeling to shake. My husband reminds me that I am strong and beautiful, but sometimes the number on the scale wins out.
I measure myself in amount of money in my bank account or dollars in my pocket.
I don’t make money to support my family. I have no job that pays the bills and puts a value on what I contribute. I feel like my self worth is diminished because I can’t put a dollar sign next to it. There is something in receiving a paycheck, something that says, THIS is what I did this week, THIS is what I accomplished. As someone who worked for 8 years before she left to pursue motherhood, not having a number in a bank account that is exclusively YOURS is hard to fathom. Where is the number that validates how good I am at this Mom thing?
So… those numbers obviously suck.
But what numbers SHOULD I use to measure my self worth?
The number of kisses I get from my children. Wet, sloppy smooches that are planted on me when they wake up in the morning, when they go to bed at night, or randomly throughout the day, “just because”.
The number of times I push my body, feeling strong and proud that I just sprinted the last mile, or lifted the heavy weight, or even spent an hour in yoga and meditation to calm my mind. Feeling healthy is a mindset I strive to be in, and I love teaching my kids about taking care of their bodies with exercise and healthy food… and I never want either of them to deal with the body image crap that I have. It’s a time suck.
The number of times my husband tells me that I smell, which in our married code means he loves me.
The number of times that someone reaches out to me over the internet, to tell me that something I wrote touched them, or they tried a recipe and they loved it, or they figured out how to boil the perfect egg, because I LOVE this online space and the people who I meet here. I love to feel like my circle gets a little bit wider when I make a new friend online, or read a new blog that I relate to and as long as you don’t turn out to be a total weirdo, a troll, or a stalker, it’s exciting to meet someone new.
The number of times that I sit down for a meal and my son tells me that the best part of his day was the part he spent with me. Of course the other half was probably spent in timeout and he’s probably trying to earn a privilege back that he lost, but the fact that he knows it makes me smile is important. Even if he is a conniving little monkey.
The number of times that my children astonish me with their love and their intelligence and their ability to do something that I know they learned from me, because I am the one teaching them. Teaching them that beating up on your sibling is wrong, to eat their vegetables, to say please and thank you and to occasionally use the word *shit*… I am working on un-teaching that last one.
Forget the number on the scale. Forget the page views or the amount of money that you make. Forget the number of Pinterest parties you (never)threw, the meals you (never)cooked from scratch at home and the number of crafts that you (never)did.