I don’t remember when exactly it happened, but it did. I went from being just me, Amanda, insecure about the oddest things and questing for some sort of non-specific, constantly changing, unattainable perfection–

Was it a flatter stomach?

Tauter buns?

Smoother hair?

Whiter teeth?

I honestly can’t recall, but in general it came down to: I am not good enough.

Then I looked up and realized that I was a mom, and not just a mom, but a mom of a daughter. I had no idea we’d get to three daughters, but even one meant no more bull shit. I never looked back. Sure, I have my days when I am frustrated or slightly envious of some thing or another, but it is not a constant hunger for transformation.

When I work out now it is to show the girls that feeling good is a choice. I run, jump, lift weights or tumble around not to look better, but to live longer and enjoy each moment more. They get this.

Last night we went to the high school and ran on the track.

“I want to be in the number two lines!”

“I want the 4, cause I’m four years old.”

“Am I the fastest?”

“Did you see how I did that?”

After several laps we sprinted across the field, the turf was wild with red, yellow and white lines. Numbers bigger than the girls, huge arcs upon which they balanced, hopped and danced. My heart was bursting with so much- joy that they were having fun, pride that we were all together, hope that this would sustain them in the coming years when the shadows come lapping at their spirits.

More popular.
Someone else.
Somewhere else.

We tromped up and down the bleachers-

“Red and silver. Red’n silver. RED AND SILVER!” They chanted in unison as they stomped their feet. Finley watched from Sean’s shoulders, eyes dancing. It was a perfect, exhilarating, unforgettable time, so simple. Unmarred by anything.


Avery: “Mom, where’s the bunny’s highchair?”

Me: “You mean where does the baby bunny eat?”

Avery: “Uh-huh.”

Me: “Baby bunnies don’t use high chairs, they just eat on the ground in their homes.”

Avery: “Oh.”

Briar: “Just woman babies eat in high chairs.”

I smiled, woman babies. I am not a fierce feminist, but the idea that she considers a baby to be defined or described as a woman and not human or man made me smile.

Woman baby.

Me: “Yes, that’s right. Just woman babies.”


I hope my girls stay proud of being woman babies and that they always see themselves as beautiful and capable as I see them. My woman babies.