Since becoming a mom, I’ve found it much more difficult to find time for myself. It turns out that being in charge of the well-being of a tiny human requires quite a bit of attention and time. I love getting to see Grace’s little face everyday, even if that face is crying or screaming or running with snot. I feel so blessed to be her mom, but the thing I worry about most days is whether I’m losing myself in doing it. Grace, being a baby, requires so much of my emotional energy. This is obviously not her fault and I definitely don’t resent her for it, but there are moments when I miss doing the things I used to do.
I have never been good at loving myself. I don’t know that I have ever been a priority, even before Grace came along. I don’t mean to say that I encourage selfishness, what I mean is that I have regarded myself less worthy of the things that I deem others worthy of. Frankly, I have a self-worth problem.
It’s easy enough to put yourself on the back burner when you become a mom, but if you’re like me and have low self-esteem, putting yourself last on the priority list happens pretty much without a thought. Some would say that’s what makes a mom a good mom. To some extent there is a level of self-sacrifice that being a good mom requires, but my daughter needs and deserves a role model that knows how to love herself, as well as others.
Somewhere along the line, I confused being selfless with being worthless, and I don’t want to risk passing on that kind of thinking to my daughter. I forget that in order to love others, I must first learn to love myself. I must learn to take care of myself while I am also taking care of Grace.
All of this came to mind the other day when I read an article online about why women are wearing rings on their pinky fingers. The idea intrigued me and I read about how two women started this pinky ring movement in an effort to remind themselves not to neglect their own needs. Wearing a ring on your pinky finger is a commitment that means you will take care of yourself. It’s a pledge to love yourself. Just like a wedding ring is a symbol of the commitment one makes to another, a pinky ring is a symbol of a commitment made to oneself.
This really struck a chord with me. I love my wedding rings and often throughout the day I look at them or touch them. I love the idea of putting another ring on my hand that’s just for me – a ring that reminds me to stop putting myself down, to stop putting myself last, and start taking care of myself. I want to make this commitment for me, but also for Grace. I do not want to pass the idea on to Grace that I am less than others. I want to empower her, and I want to empower myself.
Women are going out and buying rings for themselves to symbolize the pledge they are making to acknowledge their own needs, recognize their own miraculous identity, and begin the journey to putting themselves on the daily priority list.
If you struggle with self-worth or making yourself a priority, then I hope you consider making this commitment too. I find that having a ring on my pinky finger is the reminder I need to take care of myself everyday. Please consider joining me in making this important pinky swear.