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Want to know the most powerful thing you can do for you daughters? Love yourself. Modeling positive self image and letting your children see you sometimes put YOU first is sending a message that you value yourself. It teaches them what it means to take care of yourself and gives them a blueprint for what loving self-reliance looks like.
As natural born caretakers, we are wired to nurture others. When we become mothers, we have a built-in excuse to put someone else's needs above our own. For some of us, this sets us on a path of self neglect and disconnect. A newborn is a jarring lesson in a stark reality that your life is no longer your own. But honoring ourselves and continuing acts of loving and kindness to yourself are particularly important in those times.
As our daughters grow and learn the different pressures and expectations of women in our society, they will find plenty of reasons to feel unworthy or secondary. Social media, peer pressure, even friends, will send them repeated messages that their is a greater value placed on how they look, what they wear or who they hang out with. Help them understand at an early age that they are their own best ally and that loving who they no matter what will set them apart.
"I try to live by example," says HSFT CEO and founder Stephanie Rado Taormina, mother of two girls."We are all human, but we have the ability to eat well, exercise to maintain a healthy body and attitude, and understand our limitations and goals. I take time for personal reflection, self analyze on how I can grow spiritually and also maintain all the factors for living a good life."
How we live our lives is one of the key factors in how our daughters will, too. Dr. Christiane Northrup has been on the forefront of women's health and wellness for over three decades and has this to say about the complexity of the mother/daughter bond and relationship.
"No other childhood experience is as compelling as a young girl’s relationship with her mother. Each of us takes in at the cellular level how our mother feels about being female, what she believes about her body, how she takes care of her health, and what she believes is possible in life. Her beliefs and behaviors set the tone for how well we learn to care for ourselves as adults. We then pass this information either consciously or unconsciously on to the next generation."
It's easy in the crazed pace of motherhood and life to disconnect from how we show up in our children's life. How do our daughter's see us? Do we send the message that we matter? Do we model self-acceptance or hopefulness? How do they see us manage our lives when everything is falling apart?
Steph says she tries to emphasis to her daughters doing their best but also to understand it may not always turn out the way they think. As an entrepreneur and business woman building a lifestyle brand from the ground up, she hopes the message they're taking away is that they can do anything if they work hard enough.
"They see how hard I work at HSFT but they also see how much I love it," she says. And with two daughters who have uniquely different styles and talents, she encourages finding their own voices. "I believe in individuality mixed with the foundation of being your best self. So, I have always encouraged them to give their best in every aspect of their life, but not expecting a particular outcome or forcing a direction," says Steph.
Loving ourselves means seeing yourself as beautiful and allowing our daughters to see our beauty radiating from us in the most authentic of ways; because we feel it and believe it.
"I think accepting who you are, what you look like, and how you feel is a big part of being beautiful and sexy. I think everyone has their own unique beauty. I just continue to reinforce to my daughters what I live; you can still be fierce and independent while being sexy and beautiful."