Whether a working professional or a stay-at-home mom, mothers often find themselves facing self-criticism and questioning whether they are doing ‘enough’. Family nutrition Expert and mom-of-4 Crystal Karges shares how mothers can overcome their moments of doubt by recognizing how much they mean to their children.

Becoming a mother is life-changing.  The life you carried in your womb becomes your sweetest miracle, all while stretching your body and life in a way where you will never be the same.  Often times, we may grieve what was lost in the process and try aimlessly to restore it to its former glory.  All the while, we attempt to accept our bodies and ability to live life for what it has become.

What we must remember is that as we bear our children into this world, their innocent souls teach us to love unconditionally.   When their love reflects in their eyes and drives back into your brokenness, it is in those moments when you realize the precious life you created will love you back unconditionally.  Here are a few ways that you can begin to regain perspective on everything you are loved and cherished for:

You will always be beautiful.

As a mother, you embody more than size and shape.  You are the epitome of beauty, and nothing about your outward appearance can defile this image in their eyes.  Their tender eyes do not search out your face for flaws, but rather a face they recognize as love.  Their hands do not search for tone or definition but for the softness of your supple skin.  Their arms do not care what size jeans you wear as they wrap tightly around your legs.

You are unique, and they love you for it.

Your child will remember your delicate scent, the twinkle in your eye that accompanies the break of your smile, the sound of your laughter that fills a room, the worn hands that cup your child’s face.  In these precious memories will your beauty live on and be imprinted on hearts, and there, no perceived flaw can tarnish this treasure.  

You are a reflection of how they will love themselves.

Start with the very life that you carried and knitted ever so perfectly in your womb. Practice imparting the same grace you give to your child to yourself, and treat yourself as you would your very best friend.  By channeling love towards yourself, you will influence the same in your children.  They will grow to know that they are lovable, worthwhile, and deserving of the graces that are too often lost in our world.  As you find the courage to embrace yourself, you will ignite a sense of bravery in the ones you cherish, love, and dedicate your life to.  It is only then by such unconditional love can we be set free.

Remember that unconditional love must extend from self-love: only from a tree firmly rooted can fruit be born.  You are deserving of such love and compassion, and only by encompassing yourself with such grace can you teach your children to do the same.

Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC is a San Diego-based private practice dietitian helping others embrace their health for themselves and their loved ones.  Focusing on maternal/child health and eating disorders, Crystal creates the nurturing, safe environment that is needed to help guide individuals towards a peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.