This post is part of YummyMummyClub.ca‘s support of the Dove® Unstoppable Moms for Unstoppable Girls Contest. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors. Go to www.UnstoppableMoms.ca to enter by sharing how you inspire girls to reach their full potential.
I remember a childhood full of fun memories, always playing with the neighbourhood kids, usually the boys because I could relate better to them. Girls seemed hard to get along with, callous towards each other almost. Everything seemed to change when my preteen years came; puberty did a number on my self-esteem. I grew quickly; my arms and legs seemed longer than most and oh, did I hate, hate, HATE my nose….it was too big! I was already slightly an outcast by the “popular” kids and every chance they got, they seemed to tear all the kids that didn’t belong down. As awkward as I felt in my own skin, I didn’t let that keep me from trying things; I did belong, I just had to push myself to find my place.
Growing up I wasn’t extremely outgoing, in fact I was very shy. I was interested in a lot of things but my shyness often held me back. When I developed as a preteen I struggled with confidence holding me back even more. At 13 years old some of my friends had signed up with the city league for girls softball; I thought it sounded fun and convinced my parents to sign me up. My mom thought I was nuts; I had never played before and I wasn’t exactly coordinated. These were girls that had played ball since they were little and here I was a first-timer at the age of 13. The memory of my very first practice sits strong in my memory; I wasn’t placed on a team with my friends and my teammates weren’t exactly welcoming, neither were the coaches who happened to be the star players parents. It was obvious they weren’t happy I was on their team. I wasn’t a great player; I felt awkward and couldn’t seem to get my limbs to follow what my mind had set out, striking out more than actually getting on base and probably the reason I was stuck in outfield but I liked it. Playing baseball was embarrassing to me. Many times I wanted to quit because I felt like the kids and parents were judging me, thinking that the girls were snickering or making fun of me, that how awkward I felt was what they thought of me. I did not want to be a quitter; my love of the game kept me from quitting before the season was done and although I had chosen to retire from baseball, pushing myself to see it through helped pave the road to who I am today.
Now with 2 preteen girls of my own, I raise them to be proud of who they are, to be comfortable in their own skin. My eldest daughter especially has had self-image problems all her life; she has always been the tallest, always developed quicker and even as a toddler people would judge her for how she looked or behaved. As a tween she developed a more womanly body while her classmates remained in child-like bodies; this was very hard on her and she often commented on how “fat” she was. Each of my daughters have had their struggles with their self-confidence keeping them from wanting to see commitments through but as tough as it is sometimes, I push them to see the value in following through. As moms we should always encourage our girls to try different things, to be their cheer leader. If we hear our own daughters speaking of another girl in a critical way, we have the responsibility to squash that behavior, teach our daughters to be more empathetic to others, to stand up for another and to make other girls feel special too. A simple compliment can mean so much.
I am here to talk my girls through their feelings. I have always taken the role as a nurturer and caregiver. As a tween, I took on a volunteer position at the local hospital to help care for the patients. As a young adult, I took on a career as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher were I talked people in crisis through some of their hardest times; I was their ear when they were broken. I spent 13 years in that position and received a Stars of Life award for exemplary service from the Governor General, which was a quiet acceptance. Today as a stay at home mom, our house is buzzing with the kids and their friends who feel comfortable spending time with our family when maybe their home lives aren’t quite as comfortable. I encourage the girls to try things, to do their best and as long as they have tried their best then they should stand proud. My girls are unstoppable!
Are you an unstoppable mom? Share YOUR story about a time when you thought about quitting an activity you loved because of how you felt about your body and let them know how you think moms/role models can better support girls to participate in activities. You have until June 13, 2013 to enter. You could win $2,500 for yourself and $2,500 will be donated to help raise a girl’s self-esteem.
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