We've all been there, right? It's the beginning of summer, you're standing in front of the mirror twisting, tugging, sucking in, praying. Bathing suit shopping can be one of life's most humbling experiences... the lighting is bad, the anxiety is bad, you're suddenly second guessing all those second (and third, fourth maybe?) glasses of wine you've had recently.

Although four glasses of wine doesn't sound so bad right about now as you look in the mirror, wondering who that is staring back at you. It's not the sixteen year old you who thought she was fat but ironically all that "fat" was actually just SKIN. It's not the college kid you who could eat (and drink!) anything at all, every hour of the day and night and still fit into her low-waisted jeans and tube top (#itwasthe90s). It's not even the thirty-something-year old new mama you who *at least* holds a sweet little babe in her arms as a reminder to go easy on herself carrying around a little extra baby weight. What it is - is the forty+ year old tired, frayed (but hopeful!) you, coming off a global pandemic with a brand new (unwanted and unqualified) job as a homeschool teacher, with the weight of her children's social, academic, athletic (and fashion, oof!) struggles, with a to-do list as long as the eye can see (which isn't too long because, like I said, 40+ you  #readers) ...staring back at herself wondering "how in the actual hell did this happen?"

I say this as kindly, but as boldly as you need to hear it - GIVE YOURSELF A DAMN BREAK. Honestly, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK. We've all just lived through something that we never thought we'd see in our lifetime and through it all, we as moms, were able to counsel our children through it, to counsel ourselves through it, to keep everyone alive and healthy (I pray), to be creative and inventive in our approach to damn near everything, and to come out on the other side of it. Maybe with a few extra pounds and wrinkles and gray hairs, but by God, we got through it, just like moms do. We get through things, we help other moms get through things, we help our children and our parents and our spouses get through things. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK.

So as you stand there, looking back at yourself in that mirror please know that the sixteen year old you, the college kid you, the new mama you, and now this middle aged you, are all so infinitely proud of who you are and what you do and how you continue to amaze all the yous you've ever been, knowing that the you that you're becoming is worth it and deserves all the happiness in the world.

But first, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK and buy the cute swimsuit coverup.


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