Yikes, do I dare even bring up this topic? But alas, I must, because let’s face it ladies, it’s a reality. I don’t care how much you work out, what you eat, or what type of “procedures” you’ve had done, our bodies are never quite the same after we have babies. Things move around, disappear, grow in places that were previously uninhabited, and hang. Yes, stuff definitely hangs.
I find that regardless of who I am talking with, most women deal with insecurities about their body on a daily basis. Even before we have children, we dread trying on bathing suits, shopping for new bras (at least I did), or stepping on the scale at the doctor’s office. We suck it up at the beach with a tasteful coverup, use synthetic materials to fill in the gaps under our shirts and flat out lie about our weight. It’s actually a lot of hard work trying to present this facade of physical perfection and I am totally burned out. Aren’t you?
As I was “admiring” some of my less loved parts in the mirror the other day (can we say stretch marks, cellulite, stomach skin that droops over the waisteband…) I began to feel a veil of sadness drape over my heart. I heard that teenage voice inside of me saying, “Why did you let this happen,” and I began to recount the extra bowls of ice cream, times I didn’t order my latte nonfat (I mean seriously, it’s just not as good) or God forbid I actually ate bread. I would love to give that teenager within a good slap across the face. She has no idea, no right to judge, and frankly she’s not who I want to be anymore.
This body was not built to last and I think pregnancy and childbirth is a huge magnifying glass for this truth. We keep trying to preserve what can never truly be saved. I’m all about eating healthy food, exercising and not running into oncoming traffic, but in the end my control is limited. I cannot turn back the clock, undo all damage, or make things perk up. I will forever live with parts that don’t stay where they are supposed to, grow beyond the boundaries originally intended for their habitat, and varicose veins that frighten small children. That’s the truth. What I have to do is find JOY in it all. I need to muster up the strength to tell all of my imperfections, basically that they are crap. They don’t matter. They can go to places where the sun doesn’t shine, etc.
Let’s face it ladies, we had babies! We grew another human being inside these broken vessels that we call bodies. That is AMAZING. Your boobs totally disappeared too? Well, they deserve a hiatus after entirely nourishing another human being, don’t you think? I may look longingly at a photo of myself with breastfeeding cleavage, but hey, those babies were not built to last.
I just want to offer encouragement to us all as bathing suit season rolls around. Let’s get out there together, tell each other we look hot, and rock it on the beach with our kids. So we’re flabby, and wearing tankinis now, who cares. Let’s wear our “baby wounds” with pride and embrace the gift of being women and mothers. I know I don’t want to sit on the sidelines in an oversized t-shirt this summer watching only the “hottie” moms swim with their kids. Do you?
Join me, I’ll be wearing the slamming checkered tankini I found at Marshalls, and yes, it has a skirt. It’s a mom suit, and I’m a mom. And I’m gonna rock it. See you at the beach!