Monday, April 12, 2010

Mama, am I beautiful?

This is something my 4 yr old daughter asks me on a daily basis. I always reply with "Yes, of course you are!" I am sad that she asks me this question so often. What has happened to her that made her doubt her beauty at such a young age? Is it because she watches too many "Princess" movies? Has someone at her preschool told her she was ugly? Did I do a bad thing by letting we watch me put on makeup? Or is it just a normal phase for a little girl to go through at this time?

She has been on a dress wearing kick for about 3 months now. She won't wear anything else but a dress and tights, and if I am lucky, I can convince her to wear a long sleeved shirt underneath. We have fought over this many times. And she broke my heart when she said, "If I don't wear a dress, I will not be beautiful!!" With tears in her eyes, I told her she could wear her dress. And then I sat her down and explained that she is beautiful not matter what she wears. What else can I do?

What happens when she is 13 and is worried about her body image? How can I balance telling she is beautiful every day and make sure she doesn't become selfish or too self involved?

I can only hope that it is a phase. I can only reassure her every day that she is beautiful. Because I believe with all of my heart, that she is.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

OCD, Not the cool kind

About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I vague diagnosis by far. I don't have the cool OCD. You know, the one that causes someone to clean religiously every day. Or, to have all the cupboards and drawers in the kitchen organized an labeled. Nope. I have the kind that causes irrational thinking. Except, the irrational thought never goes away. I just keep thinking the thought until it drives me totally insane. And, once it hits that point, the thought becomes rational to me, but far fetched to others. It is a curse for sure. It causes insomnia, anxiety and even anger. Sometimes I will laugh at a thought, and try to shrug it off. But, it still continues to nag at my brain.

This condition became much worse after the birth of my first child. I couldn't leave the house because I imagined us being in a car accident and my baby dying. Not just dying, but I could picture the car hitting us and my baby in her carseat flying out the window onto the pavement. It was terrifying.

Now that I have 3 kids, I have become more comfortable with managing the OCD. It isn't as intense anymore. After you have a baby for the first time, there is so much going on with emotions and hormones, that I don't think I really stood a chance of "thinking straight". Now, I hardly have time to think at all. And when I do get time, it is usually at 1 a.m. and I am exhausted. Oh insomnia, how I hate thee.

I think now that I started a blog, it will help me sort my thoughts. Write what is on my mind at the moment and maybe I can sleep better. Let's keep our fingers crossed!