Self Love:

Part 2 of the “Insecure? Let’s talk about it” series.

In my last blog I mentioned SELF-LOVE, but what does that actually consist of? What does it look like? How do I start? are probably questions you may have had or have. There is no one answer that fits all of those questions. The truth is, it will consist of something different and look different to each individual. Also, you start when you are ready to start.

SELF-LOVE is being connected to yourself; it’s unique, it’s intentional, it’s rewarding, it’s refreshing, it’s unapologetic in nature, has no boundaries, and it’s freedom, much like Self Care, right?! I have listed below ways to identify your WHAT, WHY, and HOW to make your SELF-LOVE journey, a fulfilled one.

1. WHAT? Define what loving yourself means first and foremost. Discover and identify what SELF-LOVE looks like for yourself, what do you hope to gain? What are areas in your life, where you need to accept and fall in love with all over again or for the first time! For example, my definition of SELF-LOVE is being okay with every part of what makes me, Me and viewing myself the way God views me. Your definition will be different from mine, but that’s okay!

2. WHY? Your “why” will be your motivation to start and continue on your SELF-LOVE journey so make sure its worth your time, energy, and efforts. Your “why” will not be the same as the next person’s, but again that’s a good thing!

3. HOW? Write a list of all the things you love about yourself right now and then make a list of things that you desire to love about yourself, if you can write a list of things that you love about yourself now, then you have the ability to love other parts of you, no matter what it is, and know it is not just limited to physical attributes. In a previous blog, I mentioned “positive affirmation,” (which is a statement that helps to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts) as a good way to combat low self-esteem, but it can be a powerful and empowering thing when you use it. Positively affirming yourself, can propel you to have a healthy sense of yourself in the long run. When you positively affirm yourself, you must make sure it is positive ONLY, so no room for self hate or to pick at the things you don’t like about yourself. Again, SELF-LOVE is intentional, by saying “I Am…” you can have freedom to choose whatever realistic word would fit. (ex. I Am worthy, I Am capable of getting through today, etc..) Furthermore, you can devote each week to an aspect of your life (refer to your list you developed with what you desire to love about you); like really dedicate the week to an aspect or part of your life which needs more of your good ol’ lovin’ and attention. Don’t be afraid to remove yourself from negative energy; if you are constantly around negative people and negative energy your self love journey won’t be easy; be intentional about surrounding yourself with others that are encouraging and positive, you need a healthy balance! Do the things that make you happy, forgive yourself from past mistakes, acknowledge your small victories, challenge your negative thoughts should they come (where is the evidence that this thought is true and valid?) and show others love and respect (very rewarding), embrace yourself :-) I’d also like to add that journaling your SELF-LOVE journey is a greaaaaat idea, something to look back on some time later too

HMMMM…I wonder what i’m having for lunch??

HMMMM…I wonder what i’m having for lunch??

First time Mommyhood Woes

Let me just say that nobody told me what motherhood would be like before I became a mother....and honestly I'm glad I wasn't informed of all the things that come with being a first time mommy, because I probably would have waited lol. I was nervous about the idea of actually being mom and would even tell people that I wasn't having children, as a way to change the subject if I was asked; go figure, or to not have to disclose that I was freaking scared! However, I know that you can never be fully prepared for parenthood, no matter how much you "prepare." When I found out I was pregnant after finally getting to a place where mentally I was ok with it, it had been after 3 months of actively trying. I was excited, nervous, and shocked...and I remember surprising my husband by putting my pregnancy test in a jewelry box...uhh yeah right! No bling bling for you lol At that point he made me take another test to make sure lol. 

Ok but lets fast forward, after telling close family and friends and even posting our baby announcement on social media, after the 3 month mark and anticipating to deliver our baby boy on a specific date, pshh! like we can really control that?! All was good in the hood, until I had complications in my 3rd trimester and had to deliver early; I was 7 1/2 months pregnant. I was told I had preeclampsia and to this day I can't tell ya how I developed symptoms for it or what I did wrong, because the doctors couldn't even tell me! It was what it was and our baby boy stayed in the NICU for 41 days before he was able to come home. 

NOW..this is where the fun I heard that a woman's body obviously goes through changes during and after pregnancy and every women is different, cool, got it. I went in this thang with no expectations, NONE. Can I get candid and vulnerable with y'all for a minute?...ok cool. So not only did I tear in 4 different places "down there", I got a yeast infection for the first time in my life! Also, a urinary tract infection...smh. I had to "take it easy" for 6 weeks, but honestly I started working out before I was cleared at my 6 week check in...sue me. I was only able to breastfeed for 4 months, when I had hoped it would be a year; my milk supply ran low after awhile...and by the way I hate pumping! Anyway, things just felt and looked different "down there" and I wasn't sure if that was normal, and you already know Google is everybody's best friend when necessary....I spent quite a bit of time on Google throughout my pregnancy and even afterwards; but I was careful not to rely too heavily on what I would read :-) 

Lets fast forward again though, because surprisingly, it's not the physical symptoms that I struggled with the most, or that bothered me the was and still is People; not just people in general though. I find it funny how those who don't have kids seem to think they can have an opinion on the way I choose to handle my child or care for my child, even those with kids to be honest....have several seats please and thank you, or the unsolicited advice from others, if ya know what I mean. I also was reminded very quickly that I get overwhelmed with people sometimes; and my introvert self always lets me know that. When I was discharged from the hospital after giving birth, I honestly didn't want any interaction with anybody, I just wanted peace, my husband, and to see my baby boy in the NICU as much as possible. However, silly me for thinking that others would understand what I was going through and not take the lack of interaction, so personally...boy was I then I became uncomfortable and withdrew even more to protect my mental and peace. No one could tell me how to handle the circumstances I had been given, I was going through it with my husband and it was our story, not anybody else's. Oh let me not forget to mention that my son was colic for 5 months straight! I heard about Colic, but had no idea what I was in for until...and let me just say, I wouldn't wish a colic baby on my worst enemy mmmmk. 

As a mom, I just want to do the best I can to care for my son and not feel criticized or undermined; any mommies out there feel me? But God, surely gives me the strength that I need to endure and honestly to even forget about the "bad," because at the end of the day, it doesn't compare to moments when I see my son's face and his smile..thank God for LOVE like this.