My middle little took this picture. She immediately screamed, “Mommy, look at this! You look so beautiful right now!!” I glance at the screen and think, “Ugh, that’s terrible!”

I see a huge pooch that carried three babies and lingers still, four years after it has been retired.

I see nasty hair that hasn’t been washed in a week, surviving on dry shampoo and bobby pins.

I see a double chin and a grin I forced when I realized she was taking a picture.

I see a pointy nose I’ve always hated, amplified in a profile view.

I see my favorite jeans, still way too tight even after losing over 20 pounds in the last couple of months.

I see a cluttered counter and gold fixtures I still haven’t found the time to update.

“Someday I’m gonna be pretty as you! You’re a good mommy!”

My sweet middle little.

She just sees a good mommy, pretending to put on makeup, because the littlest little begged.

She sees mommy in a new shirt and her favorite jeans, ‘dressing up’ to take her girls to a movie. Dressing up means pants with buttons, even if you have to lay flat on the bed to button them.

She sees a counter full of things that make mommy happy. She sees glass fish and a sunset picture. It’s not clean, but it’s mommy’s special spot.

She sees a mommy who threw her dirty hair up in a hurry, then carefully bathed her baby girls and braided their hair, making sure they felt special for their fun day out.

She sees her own face, a couple decades older, worn and rounded from bringing babies into the world, but still so happy.

I think the best thing I can do, in my quest for self-acceptance, is just to see myself through my child’s eyes more often.

As the littlest little’s shirt reads, I may not be perfect, but I’m pretty awesome.