Today, I don’t have any tips, suggestions, or really much guidance at all. This is probably more of a journal entry than a blog, but I wanted to share it to let other mothers know that they aren’t alone. The topic of my post, “Mommy Body”, has become a very touchy one for me. I look at pictures of women out in bikinis, skipping carelessly across the beach, and I smile for them. I remember those days; days where my body was perfectly put together, with very few imperfections. I see more women on the beach that make me second guess myself. Not because they are perfect, but because even with imperfect bodies, they still wear two pieces anyway. I ask myself if I will ever be that bold.
I’ve been my harshest critic since the beginning of my existence, and now I’m twice as hard on myself. This mommy body is not what I’m used to. There’s really no extra weight, but the weight I had seems to have repositioned itself. I was blessed not to get many stretch marks, but on each of my sides, I have a few evenly placed ones. Before becoming a mother, I had a surgery that left three scars on my stomach. During delivery, I was rushed into emergency surgery, where I received a C-section that left a keloid scar. If that wasn’t enough, I had ANOTHER emergency surgery after my C-section, and two additional scars were added to my canvas. It’s a tummy nightmare!
Where my stomach used to be perfectly flat, it’s slightly pudgy to me now. It’s not hanging, or really noticeable in clothes, but it’s not what it used to be. That reason is why I hate sharing this insecurity with others. Those who don’t see you naked every day don’t get it. They say things like……. “What did you expect?” “It’s not that serious!” and, “Look at me, are you seriously whining?” What many others don’t get is that, self-appearance is very personal. What may not be a big deal to others, or in comparison to others, could be a very big deal to you! I congratulate the women I see out in two pieces post-baby/babies, but it just won’t be me. It’s not vanity either, it’s just comfortability, and I’m not that comfortable. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be comfortable again! I just want my feelings to be okay, though. I want others to respect that they exist when I share them.
I know that I’m not the only mom that has dealt with this, and I know I won’t be the last. I’m sure there’s a mom reading this now and thinking…. ‘Woman, just put on the two piece bikini and get over yourself.” And, I one day hope to be that fiery, but it won’t be today! LOL. As women, we all have our insecurities; they are a part of us. For some of us, it’s our thighs being too big or our arms too flabby, but there is always something.
In efforts to not allow my changes to negatively impact my self-esteem, I had to accept a few things post-baby:
1. We aren’t meant to be the same after:
The body is supposed to change. After all, it has carried a four to ten pound human inside. Organs have moved, and fatty tissue has increased to keep that bundle of joy safe. Some of us are blessed to walk away unscathed, but many of us will look into the mirror and remember.
2. That it was time to tweak the wardrobe:
After having my son, I realized there were many articles of clothing that I simply didn’t want to wear any more. Some pieces I didn’t feel comfortable in anymore and others didn’t fit the same. As a result, I’ve been learning to change my style a little bit.
3. We are beautiful regardless:
For a while, I looked at old pictures and thought ‘Wow, you were beautiful!”, and immediately wondered what happened. This “me” has tired eyes and a really unmanaged look. I now quickly remind myself that this “me” did something amazing. This “me” grew an entire person inside of me. That’s beautiful in itself.