The moment when you realize you’re pregnant is one of those moments you just never forget. When you think about it, it is truly incredible that our bodies are capable of creating life, of creating little human beings that steal your heart from the moment they’re born.
I am grateful that my body created 2 healthy girls. I am grateful that my body is strong enough for me to get very little sleep and still be a good mom. I am grateful that my body is strong enough to carry both of my daughters and an oversized diaper bag all at once. I am grateful that my body has kept me healthy throughout most of my life and that it’s strong enough to tackle the every day tasks that come with being a mom.
I am grateful for all my body can do but I am also ashamed about the way it looks.
Should it be this way? Of course not, I know I should love my body no matter what but I also know I don’t feel comfortable in my own skin.
I’ve gained a tremendous amount of weight with each pregnancy, around 50-60 pounds each time and I never lost all the weight. I don’t even own a scale anymore but I estimate I’m still about 40 pounds overweight.
Does this stop me from doing fun things with my kids or leaving my home? Of course not, but, oh, how I would love to feel comfortable in my own skin…
I’d love to wear whatever what I want and have it look like I want it to look…instead of wearing clothes that hide my rolls and make me feel less fat.
I was raised in a home with very athletic people but I still heard my mom saying she felt fat (when it reality she isn’t) way too many times. It is hard to let go of the image of what I’m supposed to look like, of what my body is supposed to feel like. It is hard to be okay with being overweight when you see fit people thinking they’re fat…because “if they’re fat”, what does that make me?
I know if I exercised daily I could change my body, but if I’m being honest, I have no motivation in me to workout.
I do have the urge, but then my days starts and by the time I realize I haven’t worked-out it’s bed time again and I’m tired. I often wonder where did my day go and when will I ever tackle my never ending to-do list.
I know a day will come when I will have enough strength in me to get back in shape, I can feel myself slowly reaching this point. I know some day my kids will be bigger, I won’t have to stay up late at night working and I will be able to sleep through the night because I won’t have a nursling that wakes up to breastfeed. I will have more energy to fight through those first months where you need lots of discipline to get into a good workout routine.
But I wonder if even then I will get my body back…my guess is that I probably won’t. Pregnancy has changed the way I look and also the shape of certain parts of my body. My hip bone are wider, I have what I call a “belly pouch” and my boobs are now a source of milk and not something I like to see in cleavage.
Society has these crazy standards that we should be able to get back in shape a few months after our child’s birth and while I congratulate women that have accomplished this, in reality this is a really hard task to accomplish.
If you don’t have family or friends that can help you with your child that’s even harder. I know, I know…if you want something bad enough, you will accomplish it. I have seen amazing mom transformations and they did it all from home while raising little munchkins.
But what about the rest us, that want this but not bad enough to make it a priority? What about those of us that would rather sleep in because we don’t get enough enough sleep as it is? What about those of us that are all day alone with the kids and seem to running back and forth between one kid to the next and just feel exhausted? What about those of us that just want to sit down and relax because getting a break is so rare? Is that really so horrible?
At the end of the day I think it’s about finding a balance. A balance between what you want, the time you have and being healthy.
Health is so important! We want to be able to play and run around with our kids. We want to grow old to see our children turn into adults and we want to meet our grandchildren someday. We want to be able to enjoy life and it doesn’t mean we have to be extremely fit in order to do so.
We can have a few chubs here and there and learn to love ourselves. We can have a few rolls and still feel sexy with our partners.
I often wonder if we would feel this pressure if we lived in a different society where fuller women are considered beautiful. My guess is that we wouldn’t. This goal we have of being skinny comes from our childhood experiences, our teenage years and because society keeps bombarding us with it.
So, we as mothers, as women, have to realize that what’s really important is being healthy and not fitting in a size 0. What’s important is that you feel comfortable enough with your body to get into that pool with your kids. What’s important is that you can run around with your kids and not run out of breath.
What size and what weight is that will vary from woman to woman. And that is okay.
We have to stop feeling ashamed of our postpartum body and embrace it. We have to learn to love it, even if we think it’s fat because when we love ourselves, it is easier to be healthy, it is easier to get back in shape and you’re just in a better mood.
We have to do this for ourselves, not for anyone else.
I am ashamed of my postpartum body but I am so done feeling this way. I am going to take care of myself, work on my body and become a better version of my current self but let go of my desire of having the body I had in my 20’s. That is just not coming back and for a good reason – I am a mom now. My life has changed a lot and it’s so much better now. It time to let go of the shame and welcome this new me.
For me, this also means, finding who is this new me. I’m not there yet but I know if I start feeling better now and loving my body as is, the new me will surface and I will love her even more.
A much as part of me wishes I had my pre-pregnancy body back, part of me has made peace with it – not enough peace to let myself go but enough peace to enjoy my kids and my life.