For the past few months I've been dating someone. And then a few days before Christmas it ended. I don't want to go into the why of it all, but one of the last things that was said to me was "It’s not worth it." Since I was a part of the It he was referring to, I took that to me "You're not worth it".
As a person who has been tasked with raising two tiny humans, those four words are terrifying. What if I was the type of person that actually believed that statement when it came out of his mouth? I see it all the time? Men and women who define their self-worth by what the opposite sex thinks about them. I know I'm worth it. I'll know I'm worth it for the rest of my life. And I know I'm worth it because of the way I was raised.
On Racetrack Road, praise didn't come easily. I'm not saying it didn't come often, but it didn't come easily. My mother praised us when we worked hard and did our best. I never got paid for grades because I was expected to make all A's. My parents didn't always expect me to win, but they did expect me to do my best. I distinctly remember at a dance competition one time, I performed a solo that I didn't really like. And I did a so-so job for me. I won first place. When I came off of the awards stage my mom told me I could have done better. One of the other moms must have said something to the effect of "She won first, what is better than that?", because I remember my mom saying "She didn't do her best, so today she didn't win".
Now that being said, she was always the first one to cheer us on and tell us what a great job we had done. My parents are both proud of Ross and I and the things we have done in our lives and the people we have become.
That is why I know I'm worth it. I have never defined myself by how someone else sees me. Ok, maybe the 15 year old me might have done that a time or two, but grown up me never has. I know I'm smart, and successful, and witty, and on days when I take my sweatpants off, I can even be cute! My parents instilled that value of self-worth in me at a very young age. The how is trickier. I don’t ever want to have to look either of my children in the face and tell them I am disappointed. I selfishly want to believe that they'll never make mistakes and always try their best. Realistically I know that just isn't the case. Everyone has a day when they aren't their best, when they don't win, and some days when no matter how hard they try, they just can't win.
It is my job as their mom to be able to tell them good job when they lose and instill a love of the game that will make them want to get back out there. It is my job to be discerning enough about my own children to know when they aren't doing their best and tell them that is not ok. And it is my job to pick them up when they've given it their all and are devastated with a loss.
It's also my job to let them know that after all the games and competitions, after all the wins and losses, it is who they are that makes them worth it. That they could lose every game, or be broken up with by every guy on the face of the planet, and they would still be the same awesome, smart, funny tiny human that I know they are.
That is the terrifying part. Making sure that at the end of the day that my kids know they are worth it. Not because I think so, but because they do.