Seeing My Postpartum Body Through My Toddler's Eyes Boosted My Self-Esteem

My 2-year-old daughter's innocent, healthy self-image helped me re-adjust the way I think about myself all because of one endearing gesture. 

Little Girl Kisses Her Reflection in Mirror
Photo: AlohaHawaii/Shutterstock

One morning I was getting dressed in front of my bedroom’s full-length mirror with my 2-year-old daughter playing next to me. As I combed my wet hair in just my bra and underwear, she jumped up, stood directly in front of the mirror, and started giving her own reflection kiss after kiss! I watched as she squealed with delight over what she saw staring back at her—a smiling, diaper-clad, toddler-size bundle of cuteness.

My gaze slowly made its way up to my own body. There they still were: my thick thighs, stretch-marked tummy, and post-breastfeeding boobs. My spunky, confident daughter’s actions, however, gave me pause. I didn’t immediately hate what I saw in the mirror.

And then, as if she knew my thoughts, she reached a hand up to my stomach and gave it a gentle rub, which she often does throughout the day. This little pat may be a comfort for her, but it’s also a reminder to me that she doesn’t view my belly as ugly or untouchable. Seeing her healthy self-image (before she even understood concepts like identity and self-worth) was just the gesture of innocence I needed to readjust my thinking.

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