On Loving Yourself (and them)

This post is sponsored by Helzberg Diamonds, a company that has been celebrating love for more than 100 years. 

Years ago, I picked up a book that shared all of these sweet and simple ways on how to love. And while I think it was centered around romantic love, lately, I’ve been thinking about that book leaning toward the everyday kind of love. That’s what I’m learning about, too. In partnership with Helzberg Diamonds, I wanted to share a few important tips on love this season — not only from my perspective as a mother, but as a woman…

For years, I thought that I was weird for loving my kids in a what seemed to be a non-normative way. A way that meant I didn’t yearn to be there most days and mornings, but a love that called me into myself almost exactly at the same time. It is hard to explain that, as a new and young mother. I loved my baby, but I loved myself just as much. Back then, these conversations were a bit taboo, and I felt (more than once) a pressure to overly show my love for my children. It was what I was expected to do. A show that meant I lacked in my own self love. Because somehow, it seems, that was the description of a mother who loves her children. Over the years, I think I got more comfortable with the truth: I needed myself just as much as my children needed me. I needed to love myself as I loved them, and not in an overly affectionate, cliché way either.

 My love for myself and for my kids has grown to be clearer and more conscious. It is smarter, and I think, as I have gotten a bit busier, a careful kind of love. It is not normative, though I consider myself an affectionate person. I see my role as a mother in teaching my kids and talking with them. My love shows is in little actions every day that may boost their confidence. It’s showing them that they can tie their shoes or make their beds, or that they are, in fact, responsible for one another in small, everyday ways — a responsibility that is 100 percent always rooted in love.

And in another way, love lately, as a mother, means an overall choice to just be an example of that love, too. It is in my interactions with my family and extended family this holiday season. It’s in the way we choose to be part of our communities. It’s as simple, and as powerful, as getting myself dressed every single day. A yellow peacoat and pink lipstick, a smile to match, because it makes me happy. Because it is my way. A love for myself that cannot be challenged, because it is a choice that I am actively making. As LaTonya. Not just as River and Oak’s mother.

This holiday season (and as the year ends), these little buttons from Helzberg Diamonds have served a mighty job. They instantly reminded me that to love these days is not always a large act. Love can be small and careful and intentional. And that is just what Barnett Helzberg intended when he created the I Am Loved button in 1967. After proposing to his wife Shirley, he was so overcome with emotion that he wanted a tangible representation that allowed others to feel the same way. Since then, more than 65 million I Am Loved buttons have been spread around the world..

I have been leaning on these words by my dear friend Karyn Starr, they rang true to me the last few years and today and the for the rest of the year, and the years to come,  “Every day you have to get up and choose love over and over and over again. It is not easy. It is hard. It is so hard. You must put your ego to rest…”

If you’re interested, you can get your own I Am Loved button from any Helzberg Diamonds store, and pinning the buttons in everyday places is a subtle yet effective reminder to love.

How are you choosing to love yourself and the ones near to you in a small, clear, and honest way?

This post is sponsored by Helzberg Diamonds. All opinions are own.

One thought on “On Loving Yourself (and them)

  • Reply Lolade Taylor December 8, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    I love everything about this post!! As a mother I have fallen short of loving myself. It is so true that as women and mothers we need to live and take care of ourselves. I have two girls and I want to show them that it is so important to love themselves.

    Thank you for sharing!! I also love the quote your friend wrote too!! I took a screen shot to read and remind myself.❤️

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