Humor Parenting

How Kids Boost Your Self-Esteem (and other parenting lies)

How Having Kids Will Boost Your Self-Esteem (and other parenting lies)

By Lisa Beach of Tweenior Moments

It’s 7:15 a.m., and I’m sitting on the couch staring vacantly at Good Morning America, having just gotten back home after driving Parker to school. I’m clutching my cup of coffee with a death grip because I’m not yet fully awake, hoping the caffeine will jump start my mind and body. My crusty eyes barely open. My tired body sinks into the pillows. I might even be drooling.

Trevor, now awake, comes downstairs and sees me sitting on the couch in my sweatpants and coffee-stained T-shirt and bed-head shaped like a rooster.

He asks, “Did you take a shower yet?”

“No, why?” I reply, thinking, Isn’t it obvious…no makeup, crazy hair, crappy clothes, catatonic stare at George Stephanopoulos.

“Sometimes it’s hard to tell.”

And I wonder why my self-esteem plummets a little bit more each day.

Sensing my emotional distress, Trevor channels his best Chris Traeger from Parks & Recreation and says, “But you’re beautiful. On the inside.”


I really need to start writing down these cherished love bombs in my teens’ baby books that I’ve been meaning to work on for the past decade. I don’t want to forget all the verbal arrows to my mother’s heart over the years, such as these diamonds in the rough:

“What are those blue strings on your legs that look like rivers?” one son asked with great curiosity as he traced my varicose veins with his chubby toddler finger. “Look! That one is almost as long as the Amazon River!” he said excitedly, looking up from my river-veins to see if I was impressed that he knew Amazon was more than a place to buy cheap books.

“I’m shooting you!” one son angrily crooned to me throughout his childhood as he pointed his thumb and index finger at me gangsta style, then added, “with my love gun” as I dodged his linguistic bullets of affection.

“Your shirt looks weird,” one son proclaimed as I headed out to meet friends for drinks.

“Why is your belly so squishy?” one son wondered when he poked what he thought were my rock-hard abs with his index finger and watched it sink knuckle-deep into my flabby stomach. (Years later, when he knew about the birds and the bees, I would point out how it was his fault that my stomach was so squishy.)

“You’re just like Monica!” one son announced as we watched Friends, citing Ms. Geller’s control-freak tendencies. “No, she’s more like Claire from Modern Family,” chimed in the other son, painstakingly pointing out how Mrs. Dunphy is both a control-freak and a spaz.

“This meal sucks,” one son muttered under his breath as he picked out all the vegetables he didn’t like in the vegetable stir fry I made for dinner.

“You sound like Sam Champion when you laugh,” one son declared, citing the hearty guffaw of Good Morning America‘s former meteorologist. (Sorry, just trying to add a little sunshine to our family with some laughter.)

“Mom, look how the back of your arms flap back and forth when I flick them. That’s too funny!” one son exclaimed as he played badminton with my flabby triceps, batting them back and forth like shuttlecocks.

“You can tell which movies Mom picked out,” one son professed in disgust, quickly bypassing all the History Channel documentaries and National Geographic specials in our Netflix queue to get to the superhero/apocalyptic movies they like to watch.

“Oh my God, you are SO off-key, Mom,” one son declared as I sang along to the Pitch Perfect soundtrack. (A-ca-scuse me for having a little fun.)

“You’re such a dork!” pointed out one teen son anytime he witnessed my blunders and shortcomings. So, basically every day. (Even my husband jumped on this bandwagon once in a while. When I noticed Kevin nodding in agreement recently with my son’s “dork proclamation,” I pressed him for reasons why. He replied, “Alphabetically?” Smartass.)

My heart swells with pride self-doubt as I reminisce about these feel-good love nuggets tossed at me like word grenades, making me run to the self-help section of Barnes and Nobles. My family—the rock upon wind beneath my wings.

This post was originally published on Tweenior Moments

Related posts by Lisa Beach: 

Surviving the 7-Day Mania of Meal Planning 

GSI: Grime Scene Investigation (Teen Edition)                                          


About the Author

Lisa Beach is a freelance writer, blogger, mother of two teenagers, and recovering stay-at-home mom/homeschooler who lived to write about it. She’s been featured on Scary Mommy/Club Mid, BonBon Break, Your Teen, In the Powder Room, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Humor Outcasts and more. Check out Tweenior Moments, Lisa’s humor blog about midlife, family, friends and all the baggage that goes with it.