A few weeks ago at the pool one of the boys came to me and said, a kid said that you are a fat mom. I was a little shocked at first and we all just sat at the table looking at one another. I asked him what he thought and he told me, “well I don’t think it was very nice for him to say that about you and then I told him to shut up that most days you look like a princess.”
My sweet boys were there to defend me. They just knew it wasn’t a nice thing to say.
I struggled in the moment of how to respond. I want my boys to know that words hurt but I also want them to know that they are powerful. Even when something says something hurtful about us we don’t have to feel bad about ourselves. I said, “well mommy isn’t skinny. But things like that don’t matter. I am fun and I love wearing a bathing suit and swimming with you. I am never going to let someone else’s opinion stop me from doing that.”
This was a huge learning moment for them and for me too. We tend to concentrate on body positivity for girls but the truth is it’s important for boys too. In that moment if I had cried or asked them if they thought I was fat I would have been teaching them that the opinion mattered to me. I also would be teaching them that it’s ok to use words as weapons. Believe me that kids are watching every reaction you have to things and they are going to mimic those behaviors.
I don’t want my boys to think their worth is ever decided by anyone else. I also do not want them thinking that they can hold that power over another person. These are the moments where we teach our kids to be good people, friends, students, partners, boyfriends, spouses, parents and so much more. Small moments like this will affect the way they see life.
If I am fat, I am fat. That is a part of who I am, but it’s not who I am. I will never let one thing define me and I won’t in this case either. I am proud of my boys and the way they handled this situation but I am also proud of myself. It’s a life long lesson that I will not let other peoples words define me.