An important New Year’s resolution (maybe the most important ever)

Each year we put up our Christmas tree. Each year I string the lights. Each year the kids put on the ornaments. Each year I then fill the top of the tree and the massive holes with more ornaments because I’m a control-freak like that. And each year I move this ornament from the front of the tree to the back, where no one will ever see it.Ugly Christmas Ornament

See, I hate this picture of me from middle school. H-A-T-E. Hate. Hate. HATE. Hate. It’s why I move it each year. My goofy smile. My big nose. My big teeth with braces. You know, all those over-sized features that make middle school kids so awkward until they grow into them.

The kids think it’s funny. “Mo-ooom, we hung your ornament right in fro-ooont!” And I used to laugh at them and then move it when they went to bed.

But not this year. This year I left it right in front. Because of this.Hidden Ornament

This year, while the kids were hanging their ornaments, I heard Cameran say “I’m hanging this one in the back! The picture of me is so ugly!”

Heart. Break.

See, here I was thinking I was funny each year by moving my “ugly ornament” to the back where no one would see. “Silly old ornament of me from middle school! I don’t want anyone seeing that I used to look like that!” Funny? Not so much.

Because each year as I moved that ornament I was teaching my girls to be ashamed of what they look like. Each year I was telling them that I wasn’t good enough to be on the front of the tree. Each year I was instilling in them wrong ideas. Hurtful, horrible ideas that what they look like now will be embarrassing later.

Cami’s ornament? It was a picture of her as a baby from her VERY FIRST Christmas.

I want to cry.

I’ve always been really careful about what I say about my body in front of the girls. I don’t do radical diets that would make me eat differently than our family does. I don’t talk about being overweight as a bad thing because I hate how I look, but as a health issue that I want to be a healthy mom who can be active with her kids and be around for a long time. I have rules about how no one eats a meal at the table alone, etc. I’ve always been so careful to protect them.

I had no idea that moving an ornament each year would have such an impact.

I don’t normally make New Year’s resolutions. Honestly, it’s because I know I’ll fail and I don’t like setting myself up for failure. But this year, I’m making an important New Year’s resolution. Maybe the most important ever. This year, I’m going to be happy with myself.

That doesn’t mean I won’t work to improve myself. That I don’t still want to lose 20 pounds or keep exercising more. That I won’t take care of my house better or work harder to be a better wife, mom, friend and employee.

What it means is that I’m going to learn to love myself. To see myself as God sees me. To love who I was created to be.

It’s the best gift I can possibly give my girls.

And I want you to join me. I need accountability. And I want you to love yourself too, imperfections and all. Let’s learn together. Let’s support each other and learn from each other. So tell me if you’re going to do this with me. Comment below and let’s do this thing. There’s strength in numbers, right? 🙂

22 thoughts on “An important New Year’s resolution (maybe the most important ever)

  1. Cherie Lowe

    Sigh. We could all use some encouragement in this department, I think. “Diet” “Fat” and even literal scales are off limits here but I know I pick over my appearance way too much in ways that don’t matter.

    Reply
  2. Jule

    I can totally related to why you don’t typically make resolutions. I, too, fear that I will just set myself up for failure. Your resolution for this year is great. Very worthwhile and important to work on. I’m on board.

    Reply
  3. Amberly Lutsch

    This breaks my heart too that Cami felt that way but at least you recognized it and are taking steps to change. That’s a good mom who is aware of her actions and how they affect her kids. I’m curious as to why no one eats at the table alone? I agree with that rule and just want to hear the reason from you directly since mine may be a different reason. I subbed at a preschool last month and a little 6 year old with diabetes had to finish all her food so her sugars were normal and it took her longer than everyone else. I sat there with her until the teacher asked me to do something else b/c I thought it was wrong to leave her by herself but no other adult seemed to care…

    Reply
    1. katie Post author

      One reason is that I think eating alone just seems sad and lonely to me. The other totally unscientific reason is that I think eating alone leads to unhealthy eating habits. Eating too much, or unhealthy foods. It probably is my own made up theory, but I want my kids to g have memories of family dinners, not sitting at a table eating alone. Seems like that would foster all sorts of bad feelings as an adult.

      Reply
      1. Amberly Lutsch

        That’s exactly what I think; eating alone seems sad to me too. I used to feel sorry for people I saw eating at a restaurant by themselves but then I realized it’s okay when an adult chooses to do that.

        Reply
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  5. Heather Moss

    I’m in! I know that I send my kids mixed messages all the time. I breaks my heart to think of them not fully loving themselves and being happy with who they are.

    Reply
  6. Barb

    Lovely! And I’m with you. I have 3 daughters and I want them to see themselves how God sees them. Thank you for the encouragement.

    Reply
  7. Dija

    Wow! This was a great
    Post and it’s awesome your recognized this early rather than later. Mom guit is a beast. I have three of my own. My New Years resolution is similar. I’ve named it #befearless which is my journey to accept myself. How can I stay connected to your resolution?

    Reply
    1. katie Post author

      I’m planning on writing at least once a month about this topic specifically. And I’d love feedback and interaction on those posts. Both your thoughts on the post and how you’re doing with it as well.

      Reply
  8. Cari Clark

    I am well over 50, have grown children, and I still struggle with this. My goal during the first 3 months of the year is to get healthy–lose weight (with a diet plan for which I am accountable to someone else), improve my exercise plan and try to get pain-free. I also need to accept the aging body I inhabit, which is hard as I now have wrinkles, sagging skin, dry skin, and thinning hair. While I know God loves me no matter what, it is so hard to quit focusing on the outer me.

    Reply
    1. katie Post author

      I will say, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with focusing on the outer self, as long as it’s not the primary focus. We’ve got to stay healthy. But keep it at staying healthy rather than looking the prettiest or thinnest or whatever it is. It’s all about balance and I think living yourself is where balance begins.

      Reply
  9. Solid Gold Eats (@solidgoldeats)

    Yoga has helped me a lot with this, and it’s inadvertent, it’s not “I go to yoga to feel better about myself.” It just happens. It’s great to hear that you do so much to protect your children. My mom was always very insecure and it showed, leaving me feeling like I needed to do something to help her feel better, and that shouldn’t be a child’s role.

    Reply
  10. Angie Six (@AngieSix)

    Love this so much, Katie. It made me think that there are probably so many little things I do that I don’t think twice about, but that still make an impact on Elena. I’m not looking at it as a guilt trip, or one more thing I’m not doing right as a mother, but something I can work on.

    Reply
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