Monday, May 14, 2012

Celebrating Mom: Meet Tia

Since Mother's Day was yesterday, I'm going to dedicate my blog this week to some extraordinary moms I know in the blog world!  In today's society, I feel like kids, girls especially, have so much pressure to be a certain way, look a certain way, or act a certain way.  I grew up confident because of the praise I was given for the characteristics and talents I had.  My friends and I were comfortable being who we were.  We did not feel like we needed to fit into a Barbie doll mold to be beautiful.  I do my best to raise my daughters the same way.  Through blogging, I have met many mothers that feel the same way I do.  I've asked a few of them to share their words of wisdom with my readers!


First, let's meet Tia and Ellie!

Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?
I am a 35 year old stay at home mom who is married to my high school sweetheart and best friend... I have a masters degree I have never ever used. I am an only child raising an only child. I love to read and play golf and hike and take my girl on adventures.

I want to know about your background.  How did your mother influence you?  What did she teach you that you hope to pass on to Ellie?
My mother was fantastic. She was an older mother and very comfortable in her skin. She was very active and her idea of a junk cereal was HoneyNut Cheerios. I am so lucky that she taught me the value of good nutrition and to just not care what others think. I was a worrisome kid. I worried about everything. She would always ask me, "what's the worst thing that could happen?" And then we would discuss what that was. For example, if I was nervous about a test, it would be that I would fail. Then we would talk about how I would handle that or what I could do to make sure it didn't happen.

Another great thing about her was her ability to make any situation fun. We could be a the grocery, I would be bored out of my gourd, and she would somehow make a game out of picking out which package of chicken to buy.

She died when I was 26. I never really got to know her as an adult and I miss her every single second of my life. She never got to meet Ellie. I want Ellie to always look at the bright side as my mother did, to take care of her body like my mother did, and to never be afraid to try new things, because "what's the worst that could happen?"

When you think of a beautiful woman, what images come to mind?
When I think of a beautiful woman, I see a confident, smiling, well put together person. There is nothing more beautiful than confidence.

Has Ellie had any issues with self-confidence yet?
Ellie has just started having some issues with self-confidence. She really likes to be the best at things, and now that she is in Kindy, realized that she isn't the best at some things. 

How do address those issues?
This has been a tricky road for us. We have discussions about how some kids are better shoe tiers, and some kids can ride 2 wheelers, and some kids are good skiers, and then we discuss what she does well. And we practice the things she wants to get better at. Our goals for the summer are to learn to ride a 2 wheeler, tie her shoes, and do a cartwheel. We are also really focusing on standing up for herself. This is a big one for me. I am horrible at it, and don't want the same for her. I want her to stand up for what she believes in, even if she is standing alone.

Does she ever talk about skinny/fat people; pretty/ugly people?
As far as fat/skinny, or pretty/ugly, she does not talk about or notice these things. Thank goodness. The word "fat' is not a nice word in our house, and is in the category of words that aren't naughty, but not nice to say. Other words in the category are hate, stupid, and ugly.

What sort of things do you tell Ellie to help give her a positive self-image?
I really really really try to have a positive self body image myself. Let's face it, this body has birthed a 8 pound kid, and you can tell it! But I never talk about myself being fat, or discuss the things I wish were different in front of her. I do make a point to exercise regularly and to let her know how much better I feel when I do it. She also comes with me on shorter runs or does crunches with me at home. We really focus on nutrition. Don't get me wrong, she has her fair share of sugar, but she knows it's a treat and not the norm. She also knows she feels better when she eats better.

She is a muscular little girl and she is a solid little tank! She is never going to have the little twiggy ballerina shape. I worry about this only because I know what girls like to see in themselves and I fear she will feel fat as a teenager even though she won't be. I make a point to mention that her body is beautiful and strong. That it does all the things she needs it to do. Isn't it silly that I worry about these things?? I do so want her to have a strong positive self image.

She's at a tricky age right now. She is spending the majority of time away from me for the first time and has questions about what she sees. She is becoming influenced by her friends as well. Parenting is definitely getting harder, not easier. But peer pressure works both ways. She is trying things she would never have tried before and finding out she can do things she never thought she could do. We are lucky we got her into a charter school where character development is a prime component. There is absoutely no bullying allowed, and kids are praised for nice words said, good deeds accomplished, and helpful gestures. This is instrumental in helping her bloom.

I try and build her up everyday, because sadly, there are already people ready to tear her down. I, of course, tell her she is beautiful, but I focus more of my attention on how smart she is. Cause she really is. She doubts herself though and I hate that for her.

Raising a girl is a wonderful challenge. I am very blessed. I have a good kid. She is eager to please, loves her friends, is brave, and already knows which are the right choices when it comes to nutrition, exercise, sharing, and being a good friend. It's only going to get harder. The best I can do is be her mama, love her, don't judge her, listen to her, and be with her as she navigates these tricky waters.


Tia blogs over at My Life As I Know It.  Go visit her and read all about sweet Ellie :o)  Thanks, Tia!


Tia said...

Hot tears. Hot hot tears. Thanks so much for this!

Happy Monday!

Marissa said...

Great piece Tia!

C. Beth said...

This is great stuff, Tia. You're an inspirational mama!