I haven’t felt like swimming with my family for a long time, because, like many mothers, I struggle to feel comfortable in my own skin after bringing my beautiful babies into this world. 

This is so backwards. Wrong, even. Why would I work so hard to create a family, only to shame myself when my physical body doesn’t look the same as it did when I started? I have six daughters, and more than anything, I want them to fully accept and love themselves, and yet, I struggle to do the same. 

I owe a bit of gratitude for this body that has carried me through the ups and downs of mothering, schooling, working, and playing. It’s always been here for me, and thank goodness, I am healthy and alive!

At 44 years old, I realize that I will have to fight for my health to fully enjoy the rest of my life, but that is different than loving myself and accepting my imperfections. Beauty and self acceptance looks different when you become older. I never used to have to worry about wearing my reading glasses, checking my blood pressure, and staying on top of my hormone replacement therapy. I used to only worry about eating healthy for swimsuit season, and now I have to be aware about things that matter a lot more. 

I have worked hard to be the best Mom and Gigi I could be. I’ve prayed, laughed until I can’t breathe, shed a tear when life feels overwhelming, and consciously gathered all of my energy to fully appreciate LIFE, day after day. I want my husband and children to know that truly LIVING is a choice we make. 

And so, this Mother’s Day, I choose love for myself. I decided that if I want to laugh and swim like a mermaid with my kids — then I’m going to be the best damn mermaid there ever was! 

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY, to all of my fellow mer-moms! Please take the time and effort to laugh with your kids, pretend you’re a mermaid, and love yourself. You and your family will also be blessed because of you did!