Mothers are under immense pressure and perform under conditions of extreme isolation.
It is no wonder that we struggle to mother our daughters. It is no wonder that we are often unable to provide the nourishment they need to thrive because we ourselves are starving for affection, attention, support, and love.
We are exhausted and trying so hard to be perfect and strong. But in trying to achieve perfection, we have become brittle, and are sometimes unable to nurture our daughters through their own trials.
We can become better mothers for our daughters. We can guide them through their anxiety and depression and help them recover from eating disorders, but it will require us to face our own needs as mothers, women, and daughters.
We can not, and should not, expect to carry the burden by ourselves. We must not isolate ourselves and try to fix our daughters by ourselves. We must not use perfection as our main parenting tool.
We must seek partners, family members, friends, and professionals who can work with our daughters. We must also seek trusted people who can help us learn to love ourselves as mothers, women, and daughters. We must learn to ask for help and to accept the love and attention that we desperately seek and deserve for ourselves. As we learn to reach out for our own needs as mothers, we will be able to nourish our daughters through eating disorder recovery.
We do not have to go it alone. We do not have to make our daughters go it alone. We can pull together and help each other rise up as a community of women, mothers, and daughters.
We can stop the descent we are all headed towards of overwhelm, depression, anxiety and disordered eating.
We can stop the dangerous obsession with our bodies, and focus instead on the beauty of our hearts and minds.
We can, and we will.
Ginny Jones is on a mission to empower parents to raise kids who are free from eating disorders and body hate.
She’s the editor of More-Love.org and a Parent Coach who helps parents handle their kids’ food and body issues.