"Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?" My childhood obsession (Snow White) goes deeper than I thought. I’ve recently concluded that I’m raising a vain baby… and I don’t want it any other way. She is fabulous, and (as her mom) I think she should know it.
It all started innocently enough: When my now-10-month-old was a newborn, I’d stand in front of the mirror holding her over my shoulder upright (to burp her) and watch her reflection to see if she was spitting up, crying, still alive, etc. That simple act quickly turned into me catching her gaze and making her smile by singing, bouncing and making funny noises as we both stared into the mirror at each other. We’d lock eyes in the reflection and it was an instant 2-gal party. She’d giggle and giggle. I’d choreograph mini-musical numbers off the top of my head while holding her and "performing" for ourselves in front of the mirror. It passed the time, was a hoot-and-a-half for me and made her so happy. I was like a sideshow act (still am, actually).
I soon noticed (when she was a few months old) that our mirror playtime became more than just playtime. She’d catch herself in any mirror we passed, whether at home, at the mall, in a restaurant… and get dramatic if I didn’t stop and let her gaze at herself for a little while. Totally obnoxious, I know. Two seconds in front of any mirror and she’d get a big smile on her face. She’d even roll over to the little mirror hanging in her jungle-gym and coo at her own reflection. The only thing that would calm her down as she screamed bloody-murder during her baptism was me bouncing her into the mirror in our church’s choir room. I wish I was kidding.
Now, as my little one approaches her first birthday, she’s still vain. She beelines into my bedroom to catch herself in my 9-ft tall standing mirror. She scoots to the mirrored sliding closet doors in her own room to squeal and wave her arms at herself in the reflection. She constantly meanders over to my mirrored buffet piece in our dining room and is mesmerized by her own face staring back at her.
Great. I’m raising a vain girl. Just what the world needs. I’m a terrible mother who’s encouraging a self-centered diva. But after further thought, I’m realizing it might not be such a bad thing. Too many young girls and women struggle with happiness because they don’t feel secure within themselves. I think I speak for a lot of moms when I say that we want to raise daughters who are confident from the inside out. Looking in the mirror – and liking yourself – is something that many women struggle with. I have… we all do. I do NOT want my daughter to struggle with self-esteem if I can help it. She’s only a baby, but right now she is happy when she looks in the mirror. I can only pray that it stays that way throughout her entire life. Life coaches often tell us to stand in front of our mirrors – every day – and say positive affirmations about ourselves. Loving yourself is not shallow, it’s the foundation for achieving success. I’m reminded of this every time my little girl gleefully seeks her own reflection.
Of course, there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance… but that’s what us moms are there for (to make sure they grow up learning the difference). With any luck, and some good old fashioned moderated mirror-time, we can all be fabulous and live happily ever after.