New Shoes for Mama

Written by NPN Guest on October 9th, 2012

Balance, Body Image, Healthy Living
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Welcome to the October 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Instilling a Healthy Self-Image

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared confessions, wisdom, and goals for helping children love who they are. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


As I have stated previously, I am good at caring for others, but not so much myself. I model lots of great things for my children – eating well, avoiding toxic things, being thoughtful, speaking kindly and with respect, hard work, and doing our best. But I know that, without meaning to, I model putting yourself last on the list, working hard for everyone else, and ignoring your own needs to fulfill the needs of others.

Since these are things that I DO NOT want my children to learn, I’ve been working really hard at not doing them myself.

I FAIL AT THIS A LOT.

But I am getting better.

Our family has been focusing these past few weeks on getting the kids’ wardrobes ready for cooler weather. So we were at Kmart last night, buying snow boots for the kids, and dress shoes for Sofi. This is the first year that we have found really great snow boots in the kids’ sizes. It seems that most of the boots they have owned in the past have been pretty, but not so great at keeping their feet dry for extended play outdoors. This year, we actually found really solid, water-resistant boots! And on the other side of the display were shelves of women’s snow boots, also designed to actually keep feet warm and dry. And they were cute.

But I already have a cute pair of snow boots. I found them on clearance, 2.5 years ago now, after searching all winter for a pair “cheap enough” and yet that I could actually envision leaving the house in. And I only bought them because with the chickens, I would likely need to walk through snow to the coop enough to warrant having warm boots for it. And I have worn those boots at least 5 days a week for 2 winters now. And they are cute. Not even close to water-resistant, but warm and cute. Even if they do make my feet fall asleep. But still, I knew, looking at these cute, water-resistant, very warm snow boots that I actually didn’t NEED new boots because I HAVE a perfectly good pair of snow boots that aren’t water-resistant. But, ya know, I really did WANT them, nonetheless. And so, I boldly pointed them out to Papa, who insisted that we buy them on the spot.

I felt good about it! I did. Really, they would be useful. We are out in the country now, and we have to drive a long way to get anywhere we go, on curvy roads. If anything were to happen away from home, I would very likely be stranded with three young children, in an area where snow is likely to be deeper because there aren’t so many buildings to block it. It makes sense that I should have good shoes to wear out in case anything were to happen. Yeah! I’m worth it!

And that is when it happened. We were putting away a pair of boots that a child had put on and Micah suddenly said, “Oh, Mama!” And before I knew what was happening, he had THESE shoes in his hands, and I was seeing stars and rainbows and magic unicorns flying around them!

You see, I kinda lived in Mary Janes for about 10 years. And I LOVE them! I love them shiny and slick. I love them with 3 inch chunk heels. I love them in red, black, brown, or gray. I love them for dress up. I love them for every day. But most of all, I love them in black flats, with good thick soles, to wear with EVERYTHING I own. And they are hard to find in that incarnation. I haven’t had a pair for probably 7 years. And here they were, hanging out in a Kmart!!!

But I was already getting a pair of shoes. So, I was all ready to put back my fancy snow boots for the much loved Mary Janes, when Micah told me no. I was to get both.

And that is where the trouble started. The internal trouble, that is. Two pairs of shoes for myself? I don’t really NEED two new pairs of shoes. With this 1990s fashion rerun going on around me, I’ve managed to snag two pairs of granny boots, one pair half off and one pair 75% off, in the past year. So, what did I need two more new pairs of shoes for?

But Micah was insistent, and I was torn. I knew, deep down, that I need the snow boots. And that I could spend an entire winter looking for some at a better price and not find them. And I didn’t need the Mary Janes, but I loved them too much to leave them. Heck, I would have given up breakfast for the next two weeks to afford them! But I argued with myself about taking the boots back all evening anyway, because I shouldn’t spend the money on myself – money that might be better spent paying for something for someone else.

Until Micah said to me, “Kellie, wear them for the kids and show them that everyone in the family deserves warm, dry feet in the snow.” So that is what I am going to do. Maybe I don’t feel like I deserve warm dry shoes. But I feel like my kids deserve to feel like they should have warm dry feet — even when they are all grown up.

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Kellie blogs at Our Mindful Life.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon October 9 with all the carnival links.)

  • Why I Walk Around Naked — Meegs at A New Day talks about how she embraces her own body so that her daughter might embrace hers.
  • What I Am Is Not Who I Am — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses her views on the importance of modeling WHO she is for her daughter and not WHAT she sees in the mirror.
  • Carnival of Natural Parenting: Verbs vs. Adjectives — Alisha at Cinnamon & Sassafras tries hard to compliment what her son does, not who he is.
  • The Naked Family — Sam at Love Parenting talks about how nudity and bodily functions are approached in her home.
  • How She’ll See Herself — Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis discusses some of the challenges of raising a daughter in our culture and how she’s hoping to overcome them.
  • Self Esteem and all it’s pretty analogies — Musings from Laura at Pug in the Kitchen on what she learned about self-esteem in her own life and how it applies to her parenting.
  • Beautiful — Tree at Mom Grooves writes about giving her daughter the wisdom to appreciate her body and how trying to be a role model taught Tree how to appreciate her own.
  • Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Nurturing A Healthy Body Image — Christy at Eco Journey in the Burbs is changing perceptions about her body so that she may model living life with a positive, healthy body image for her three young daughters.
  • Some{BODY} to LoveKate Wicker has faced her own inner demons when it comes to a poor body image and even a clinical eating disorder, and now she wants to help her daughters to be strong in a world that constantly puts girls at risk for losing their true selves. This is Kate’s love letter to her daughters reminding them to not only accept their bodies but to accept themselves as well in every changing season of life.
  • They Make Creams For That, You Know — Destany at They Are All of Me writes about celebrating her natural beauty traits, especially the ones she passed onto her children.
  • New Shoes for Mama — Kellie of Our Mindful Life, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, is getting some new shoes, even though she is all grown up…
  • Raising boys with bodily integrity — Lauren at Hobo Mama wants her boys to understand their own bodily autonomy — so they’ll respect their own and others’.
  • Sowing seeds of self-love in our children — After struggling to love herself despite growing up in a loving family, Shonnie at Heart-Led Parenting has suggestions for parents who truly want to nurture their children’s self-esteem.
  • Subtle Ways to Build a Healthy Self-Image — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM discusses the little things she and her husband do every day to help their daughter cultivate a healthy self-image.
  • On Barbie and Baby Bikinis: The Sexualization of Young Girls — Justine at The Lone Home Ranger finds it difficult to keep out the influx of messages aimed at her young daughters that being sexy is important.
  • Undistorted — Focusing on the beauty and goodness that her children hold, Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children watches them grow, loved and undistorted.
  • Off The Hook — Arpita at Up, Down and Natural sheds light on the journey of infertility, and how the inability to get pregnant and stay pregnant takes a toll on self image…only if you let it. And that sometimes, it feels fantastic to just let yourself off the hook.
  • Going Beyond Being An Example — Becky at Old New Legacy discusses three suggestions on instilling healthy body image: positivity, family dinners, and productivity.
  • Raising a Confident Kid — aNonymous at Radical Ramblings describes the ways she’s trying to raise a confident daughter and to instil a healthy attitude to appearance and self-image.
  • Instilling a Healthy Self Image — Laura at This Mama’s Madness hopes to promote a healthy self-image in her kids by treating herself and others with respect, honesty, and grace.
  • Stories of our Uniqueness — Casey at Sesame Seed Designs looks for a connection to the past and celebrates the stories our bodies can tell about the present.
  • Helping My Boy Build a Healthy Body Image — Lyndsay at ourfeminist{play}school offers readers a collection of tips and activities that she uses in her journey to helping her 3-year-old son shape a healthy body image.
  • Eat with Joy and Thankfulness: A Letter to my Daughters about Food — Megan at The Boho Mama writes a letter to her daughters about body image and healthy attitudes towards food.
  • Helping Our Children Have Healthy Body Images — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares information about body image, and her now-adult daughter tells how she kept a healthy body image through years of ballet and competitive figure skating.
  • Namaste — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment shares how at barely 6 years old, her daughter has begun to say, “I’m not beautiful.” And while it’s hard to listen to, she also sees it as a sign her daughter is building her self-image in a grassroots kind of way.
  • 3 Activities to Help Instill a Healthy Self-Image in Your Child — Explore the changing ideals of beauty, create positive affirmations, and design a self-image awareness collage. Dionna at Code Name: Mama shares these 3 ideas + a pretty affirmation graphic you can print and slip in your child’s lunchbox.
  • Beautiful, Inside and Out — It took a case of adult-onset acne for Kat of MomeeeZen to find out her parenting efforts have resulted in a daughter that is truly beautiful, inside and out.
  • Mirroring Positive Self Image for Toddlers — Shannon at GrowingSlower reflects on encouraging positive self image in even the youngest members of the family.
  • How I hope to instill a healthy body image in my two girls — Raising daughters with healthy body image in today’s society is no small task, but Xela at The Happy Hippie Homemaker shares how choosing our words carefully and being an example can help our children learn to love their bodies.
  • Self Image has to Come from WithinMomma Jorje shares all of the little things she does to encourage healthy attitudes in her children, but realizes she can’t give them their self images.
  • Protecting the Gift — JW from True Confessions of a Real Mommy wants you to stop thinking you need to boost your child up: they think they are wonderful all on their own.
  • Learning to Love Myself, for my Daughter — Michelle at Ramblings of Mitzy addresses her own poor self-image.
  • Nurturing An Innate Sense of Self — Marisa at Deliberate Parenting shares her efforts to preserve the confidence and healthy sense of self they were born with.
  • Don’t You Love Me, Mommy?: Instilling Self-Esteem in Young Children After New Siblings Arrive — Jade at Seeing Through Jade Glass But Dimly hopes that her daughter will learn to value herself as an individual rather than just Momma’s baby
  • Exercising is FUN — Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work talks about modeling for her children that exercising is FUN and good for body and soul.
  • Poor Little Chicken — Kenna at A Million Tiny Things gets her feathers ruffled over her daughter’s clothing anxiety.
  • Loving the skin she’s in — Mama Pie at Downside Up and Outside In struggles with her little berry’s choice not to celebrate herself and her heritage.
  • Perfect the Way I Am — Erika at Cinco de Mommy struggles — along with her seven-year-old daughter — at telling herself she’s perfect just the way she is.

11 Responses to New Shoes for Mama

  1. Emily  

    I also fail (often) at modeling how to take care of myself. It’s generally the last thing on the list. I’m trying to be better though. Thank you for the reminder that mama needs to take care of herself as well. I’m glad you got new shoes!! You definitely deserve them!

  2. Shonnie

    Bravo for your husband for supporting you to get both pairs of shoes and yea to you for accepting. Is so easy as mamas to forget that what our kids learn is usually what we do (even the stuff we wish we didn’t do). By attempting to “teach” them we get to be the student and learn as well. Enjoy your new soles Kellie!

  3. Laura B.  

    Thank you for this post… just today, I was struggling with my desire for some workout clothing that actually fits. I believe this is my answer!

  4. Dionna  

    Amen, sister! Our children DO need to know that we are worthy – of time, of effort, of love, of special things. We give so much of ourselves to and for our kids, we deserve love in return :)

  5. Lauren  

    Absolutely! I’m so glad you got both pairs of shoes.

    I have to admit — I’m a HUGE Mary Janes fan myself. :)

  6. teresa  

    I’m so glad you got those mary jane’s!! They’re too cute.
    And I also agree that it’s so important to model self care for our children. And even not just bare survival, but that you can allow yourself to have more than the bare minimum.
    I’ve had a similar, or parallel awakening this year in the area of not always putting myself last. I didn’t realize until my daughter started ordering me around like a servant. Not all the time of course, but sometimes. Well, as I thought about it, I realized that I am the one who always gets up to “do” for her and my husband. All the time. And actually it was when I heard some things coming out of her mouth that I realized I’d started letting my husband speak to me in ways that were not acceptable. I’d tell her “please don’t speak to me that way, it’s not kind or not respectful…” And it was clear that he was doing it and that’s where she got it.
    Well, my husband was pretty horrified to realize this too. (and clearly had to change it)
    But part of it was because of how I was not considering myself to begin with.
    I won’t go on and on, but there it is.
    We do have to love and care for ourselves as if we’re as precious and valuable as our incredible children.
    Of course we put their needs first, but there’s room for us too.
    Great post.

  7. Erika @ cincodemommy.

    I totally relate. I can justify never NEEDING anything for myself, but it is a lesson the kids take to heart. And not a good lesson — although I’m thrilled the 90s are back!

  8. Alisha

    Oh, I love this, and I can relate perfectly. I literally don’t know how long it’s been since I got a hair cut, because there is always some more pressing need for that $25. New shirts for the little growing boy (after hours of fruitless thrifting), vehicle registration due, God only knows what else.

    And the shoes…I think it’s because they are hard to find at the thrift store, but they are always my lust object.

    This is such a good reminder to model not *always* putting myself last.

  9. Kenna Lee  

    Brought tears to my (admittedly premenstrual) eyes.

  10. Michelle Bowman  

    Love this post. It is so important to remember to occasionally put ourselves first (coming from the mama that hasn’t had a trim in 6 months).

  11. Morgan

    I have Dansko wing tips that look like your Mary Jane’s pictured here. Kudos for treating yourself!

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