Through My Daughters' Eyes : My Mom Body
I was a compact size 4 when I became pregnant with my first daughter. I was elated to become a mom, but as my belly grew, so did my panic. Just a little at first, but when I saw my first stretch mark, I cried. Real tears. My husband laughed, which did not work out well for him!
As a person who’d always been fairly active and slim, getting bigger was mentally challenging. Obviously I knew why I was growing, but there was still a thread of anxiety as I began to feel less like myself and more like a bloated version of myself. Heck, I didn’t even feel like a different version of myself, but like something different entirely!
After I gave birth to a beautiful bouncing baby girl, I breastfed. The extra pounds, and even some that weren’t so extra, slipped off so fast that I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was back to my pre-preggers clothes in a few weeks. But, don’t hate me yet.
When we decided to add a second baby to our little family, I wasn’t as stressed about my body changing as I had been with baby L. I felt like I knew what to expect and welcomed the return of some of my favorite maternity wear. I didn’t realize that I’d be in them for MUCH longer than I anticipated.
After having baby K, I could not breastfeed. Still, I expected things to go similarly. Dead wrong. I did not melt away like I had a few years before. I was running ragged with a toddler and an infant, eating as well as possible, and resting when I could, but still the pounds went nowhere. I began to dread getting dressed. I kept my maternity clothes for a long time and when I transitioned back to “regular” clothes, it was to yoga pants for home days and scrubs for work. I metaphorically put my head in the sand for a while and decided that the pounds would come off gradually over time. Wrong again!
Eventually, I had a decision to make. I could stress and agonize over my bigger size or get over it! I am raising two daughters. They are different body types and I love them both. I never want them to feel like they have to fit into a “perfect” mold of a body. I want them to be healthy, active, and confident. I was being a hypocrite! My body has delivered two beautiful babies, takes me everywhere I want to go, and contains the strength and stamina to be the mommy that I want to be, if not every day, most days! So, I’ve given away or donated all of those size 4 clothes, taken my daughters with me to try on new pants, and basked in their compliments when they like a print or pattern.
And, when they hug me and say I’m beautiful, I believe them.