"How do I answer the 'am I pretty, mommy?' questions?" Worried and feeling guilty, the woman sought advice from other parents
One of the perks of parenthood is the pride we take in our children; the milestones they reach and even their physical appearance. It seems a given that we think our sons and daughters are beautiful.
But what if you thought your child was unattractive? Would you feel too guilty to admit it? Would the thought of other people's reactions prevent you from admitting it?
It certainly seems like it's a parental taboo.
But one mum's desire to be a good mother to her daughter in an often judgmental society inspired her to post an open and emotional letter on Reddit.
She describes her nine year-old daughter and asks for readers to not be too judgmental.
The woman writes: "I hate myself for saying this, please don't lambast me, it just is a logical fact, she's very physically unattractive. She got the worst traits of both my husband and I.
"His wide set eyes and strong nose, most of his facial bone structure, actually, my stocky build and curly hair, her skin tone is pretty much right between mine and his."
The unnamed mum goes on to explain how her daughter's appearance has prompted medical professionals to think she might have Down's syndrome.
"One doctor (who was filling in for our regular doctor), was explaining to us how to help her wear a splint for what was, thankfully, just a moderate sprain, and said 'When a child has Down's syndrome....'
"She doesn't have Down's syndrome.
"Another tried to refer us to a craniofacial specialist because she thought our daughter had Apert Syndrome."
And sadly other children have started to remark on her girl's looks.
The woman continued: "As she gets older, kids have begun to notice her looks. Some have made rude comments. A couple kids in the park have asked "Why does that girl look that way?" to their parents."
She is anxious that others will judge her daughter and never get to see that she is, in her words, "...funny, generous, compassionate - she's the kid that's always rescuing stray kittens and putting bugs back on leaves."
Admitting to feeling guilty, whilst also trying to be positive, the young girl's mum continues: "I'd rather have her be a good-hearted person more than anything else. But life will be hard for her and she doesn't deserve that.
"I just don't know how to NOT feel guilty that I don't think my own child is adorable and gorgeous."
"How can I help her look HER best? How do I answer the 'am I pretty mommy?' questions?"
She ends her heartfelt post by reaching out to other mums.
"I hate myself enough as it is. I just want to help my daughter grow to be a healthy, happy young woman, and not let her appearance get in the way of letting the world know what a wonderful person she is."
Her letter prompted over a hundred messages from other mums.
But rather than outrage, the response from other mums was supportive, helpful and non-judgemental.
Reddit user Beersyummy said: "You are not terrible. You're a mom who wants her child to have a great life. Don't beat yourself up about how you feel. You obviously love your daughter immensely and treat her very well."
ut perhaps one comment and lesson to all of us about how we praise our children comes from 'scarabic':
"Honestly if your daughter were unearthly beautiful I would tell you the same thing: don't praise her appearance, praise her effort, talents and social skills.
"Cultivate her creativity so she will have the tools to invent herself over and over rather than become a prisoner to others' expectations of her appearance."
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