Love Goggles are for Moms too: Let’s start cheering for Ourselves

My husband thinks I’m some sort of a computer expert. Anytime something needs to be done on the computer he offers my services: “Let Amanda help you, she’s so good with computers!”
This is laughable. As far as technology goes, I barely get by in the modern world. I remember a little from college (10+ years ago) and have a perfunctory working knowledge of social media. Seriously I just set up ‘the twitter’ this month.
So why does he have such a skewed view of my abilities? Well first of all he doesn’t work on computers much, so compared to him I am pretty knowledgeable. But mostly he just sees me through love goggles. You know how when you love, admire and respect somebody so fully that you elevate their potential and always give them the benefit of the doubt? You’re seeing them through love goggles. That’s the way he sees me, regardless of the fact that my blog looks like a 12 year old set it up.
I am sure that you have someone in your life who sees you this way. Whether it’s your child, your parent, a friend or a co-worker, somebody in your life just thinks that you hung the moon. And most of us disagree with that person every chance we get.
My oldest son plays tee ball and during every game the stands are filled with moms cheering. They have homemade shirts with rhinestones painstakingly shaped into team logos or boys’ names. These last few weeks I have overheard many of these interchanges:
“Love that shirt!”
“Oh thanks. The shirts were on sale and I got the design off of Pinterest, it’s not like I designed it myself.”
Or these:
“You look great!”
“Oh no, haha. This outfit is just dark so it makes me look thinner than I am, and look – I have spit-up on my jacket!”
Then that same woman’s child hits the baseball barely three feet, and they are jumping up, screaming encouragement and beaming with pride.
“Your son is such a good ballplayer!”
“Oh thank you! We’re hoping he sticks with it – I hear the high school has a great team. We’re just so proud of our all-star!”
We moms almost always see our kids through love goggles. Sure, we know that they are not perfect but we have the innate capability to zero in on their most minute accomplishments and elevate these children to borderline rock-star status. We encourage them by shoring them up and cheering them on as they go along, celebrating small milestones along the way.
So why are so many of us quick to cheer for others but so swift to downplay ourselves? I’m guilty of it too. I will talk up my family all day, but give me a compliment and I have a horrible tendency to downplay my accomplishments or minimize their importance to me.
“Oh you like what I wrote? Thanks – it was just a little something I put together, I mean why not right? It’s not like I’m a professional writer or anything.”
Why? Why all the self-deprecation?
Why can’t I admit I worked really hard and am proud of something?
Why can’t we all gracefully accept compliments and acknowledge our own efforts and/or ambitions?
 
Why can’t we put on love goggles when we look at ourselves?
 
I am not sure if I’m afraid of failure or of worse: being seen as a self-interested woman more concerned with herself than the welfare of her family. It sounds like such an outdated concern but I venture to guess it is not. A tiny part of me (that I don’t like to acknowledge) fears putting focus on my own interests or ambitions will compromise how good of a wife and mother I am. I am not sure where that comes from, but I’m willing to bet that a lot of moms out there struggle with the same feelings. And I for one think it is ok to say: “Yes I worked really hard on this shirt, so thank you for acknowledging my effort,’ or “Thank you, I have been working out and I’m so glad someone noticed my progress!”  
What if we all tried looking at ourselves the way others look at us, or even better: the way we look at our kids?
As for myself, I’ve made lots of mistakes in life but I’ve also done lots of good things! Maybe if I try looking at myself with optimistic and admiring eyes I could achieve more. I know my son performs better with our love and encouragement. I’m worth the same effort. We all are. Mommas, it’s ok to take up space in our own families. Let’s save some love for ourselves too.
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