You are not thin enough. You’re too muscular. Your arms are not slim enough. Your eyelashes are too short, your ankles too fat, your nose is crooked, your hair too curly, you’re too short..you’re simply not enough. It’s different for everyone — because our bodies are so different — but the message is the same: Something needs to be fixed, we are not enough.
Anxiety is a state of unease, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of real or imagined threat. Having anxiety and a history of depression is an interesting thing. Although I don’t talk about it much as I have in the past it doesn’t mean that I’m not dealing with, I’ve just picked up many tools and techniques to help me overcome it day to day.
Here's a few things that have helped me in a state of anxiety:
The pressure women carry for having to keep up with society standards around beauty, fitness, and careers. Throw motherhood into that mix and you can only imagine the anxiety that can manifest by the innocent act of simply "trying to do you boo." I became a mother at 21, just when I was starting my very first career as a hairstylist. I wasn't married at the time and both my husband and I were barely adults trying to figure out this thing called "adulting." We both didn't come from families with money so a household with two working parents was our only option. Thankfully our parents were close enough to watch Airis at the time, which saved us on childcare expenses, but it was HARD AF! Not only did I have the pressure of building a clientele, learning how to become better at my craft, and being a decent adult, but now I had the pressure of raising another human life.
Sleepless nights, dirty diapers, going somewhere with a gazillion things to pack for one tiny human, the responsibility of raising a capable adult, and everything in between are what make being a parent tiresome yet fun all at the same time. The idea of motherhood frightened me when I was younger and some days still manages to scare me. It’s a huge responsibility that is also a gift and blessing.
Children mimic everything you do. I wish someone had told me this 14 years ago when I was pregnant with my first daughter so that I could be more prepared for what’s to come. When it came to Olivia, our second I sure thought she would want to do everything her sister did, but come to find out she wants to be just like her mama from my love for fitness, what I like to eat, and even how I dress. It’s probably one of my biggest motivating factors for constantly working on bettering myself to make sure I’m not only a role model for the women in our society, but to my daughters too. From the time I was younger I was always a go-getter. I constantly go against the grain just to discover my superpowers, being a bad ass woman. This is something that I see so strongly with my daughters, especially within Olivia.
Athleta’s mission is to ignite a community of active, healthy, confident women and girls who empower each other to realize their limitless potential. A mission that touches me to the core. Last summer Athleta released Athleta Girl, a high performing active apparel line encouraging young girls to live a more active life! We recently picked up a few pieces for Olivia before she went to yoga camp this summer and she’s been in love with them since.
She has a tendency to wear them where ever we go when it comes to something active, like hiking, bike rides, and even during her yogi playtime.
The moment I became a mother, I wanted everything to be perfect for my children including myself and even more so I imagined that I CAN make it perfect for them. And when things aren’t perfect, my own insecurity can get the best of me. It’s easy to be fooled by the beautiful posts you see on media where the archetype of a good mom is a woman who’s house is impeccably tidy, her kids have never seen a speck of dirt on their clothes, and dinner is always a 4 course meal. But then something clicked: my daughters have never had another mother in their life and everything that I am doing and everything that I am is PERFECT AND ENOUGH FOR THEM!
If there’s one lesson I hope that they will learn it’s that life is isn’t about perfection. It’s about chasing your dreams, believing yourself, and empowering others along the way.
This post was sponsored by Athleta and I was compensated to write this post, but all the opinions are 100% my own
photos by my talented 13 year old daughter, Airis Alexandra Encarnacion
It’s true when they say there’s no tougher job than being a mom. There are nights where I go to bed wondering if I’m doing this whole motherhood thing right. Hell there are days where I wonder if I’m even doing this adult thing right for myself let alone having the privilege of raising children. As a mom you’re pushed to your limits day in and day out physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. There are days where this role as a mom has broken me, but its made me whole as well.
Tips on having a healthy relationship with your teenage daughter
Whenever I share photos on Instagram of my husband and I or of my kids I read comments that say #familygoals or #couplegoals and as endearing as it is I can’t help but think Am I showing a side of my life that’s portrayed to be perfect? Because if so, that’s not what I want you to see. I want you to understand that there are many facets to this story, but most importantly an honest one.
I’m no expert in parenting, but I do have 13 years of experience raising my daughter and I wanted to share some things I’ve learned while raising this young lady.
Tips on having a healthy relationship with your teenage daughter:
- Tell her stories. We grow deep relationships with other adults when we have the capacity to share our stories, imagine the connection you create with your children when you share the lessons you’ve learned in the past. Recently my daughter has had some misunderstandings with friends, because teenage relationships can get complicated especially when hormones play a role. It’s been great to be able to share my experiences with friends with her and give her a different perspective on the situations she’s been in.
- Listen openly without interjecting. This one is a tough one for me. As a health coach I want to immediately jump in and offer different solutions when I hear about problems she might be having. But I have to remember to pull back, shut my mouth, and lend her both ears when she’s trying to vent.
- Be her mother. As they get older and become less and less child like its easy to start treating the relationship on a friend level. However, its important that during this phase in their life that they still understand authority, consequences, and responsibility both in school and in the home.
- Don’t be afraid to expose them to different experiences. As parents it’s our natural instinct to want to protect them and to keep them in a box. But I think its important to have them exposed to travel, explore their many natural talents, and to even put them in situations that they might not be ready for such as a new group learning situation. Giving them opportunities to flex their skills and character helps to build them confidence and self awareness.
- Give yourself and your teenager lots of love and grace. Remind yourself that preteens and teenagers go through a lot of firsts in this phase of life. There have been plenty of times that I’ve wanted to pull my hair out of my head due to all the preteen problems I’ve dealt with in the past year, but I’m constantly reminding myself that a lot of what she’s going through is a brand new experience for her. She’s just as confused about her hormones, body changing, and emotions as her parents are. As a parent the best thing you can do is offer love and support.
Tell her stories.
...imagine the connection you create with your children when you share the lessons you’ve learned in the past.
One of the best ways to stay in tuned with your teenage daughter is make sure you have an open line of communication and to reassure her that you’re never too busy building your boss mom empire to listen to the problems she’s going through.