This one is for ALL the mamas.
The mamas who are tired, the mamas who are frustrated, the mamas who feel self conscious and like NOTHING about themselves is the same as before ever having children.
Girl – I feel you.
But this blog post is not about how I suddenly started caring more about my weight or appearance after having my son, that I lost “x” amount of weight, and now I’m “better than ever.” No, this post is about how motherhood shaped me in a different way – mentally.
Let me start off by saying that every woman on this earth experiences a different journey from one another. I can not compare to you, you can not compare to her, and so on.
I can only speak from what I know, my experiences, and what I’ve learned from an amazing community through social media.
That being said, this is what motherhood has taught me about my body:
1. Comparing myself to other women is so 2015.
Unfortunately, we live in the modern world, where hundreds to thousands to millions of beautiful women are plastered in front of our eyes every day, everywhere.
And sure, I used to constantly battle with thoughts of… “I wish I had hair long and perfect like hers,” and, “Why can’t I have gorgeous, tanned legs like that?”
But boy, who has time for that when you’ve got a screaming, mostly naked, almond butter on his forehead (how do they always get food there?), toddler?
Ain’t nobody got time for that. Comparisons are a plain waste. of. time. Don’t let them take up yours.
2. If that little human being came out of me… I must be invincible.
If you don’t feel this way after giving birth, you must still be feeling those drugs, girl.
As mothers, our bodies go through tremendous amounts of change, adaptation, turmoil, compensation, restlessness, straight-up pain, and MORE. It is truly amazing.
I’ve seen so many celebrity mothers promote postpartum weight-loss regimes and products, as well as their “secrets” to “bouncing back.” (Don’t even get me started on that *eye roll*)
What they are really promoting is an unhealthy outlook on “health,” unrealistic expectations of new moms, the potential risk of eating disorders, and endangerment to the mother (if her body is not ready for strenuous dieting and exercise postpartum, such as before her 6 week appointment).
What they should be promoting to new moms is:
- Balance. Make sure to fuel your body after all that it’s been through – child birth is traumatic! And don’t forget the extra fuel for breastfeeding mamas! Also – make sure to breathe through every milestone, take breaks when you need to, and never be afraid to ask for help. Never push yourself past your limits!
- Self-love is important. It’s too easy for new moms to be so involved and tunnel-visioned onto their little ones; but showing love to yourself is just as important! Take care of both your body and mind to ensure you’re in the best condition to take care of a new baby (or toddler, in my case).
- Tell anyone who comments on your postpartum body to screw off. This one is just for fun. Seriously though, it doesn’t matter if you’re two weeks or two years past childbirth, they can still screw off.
3. Being selfish is not an option.
Before you get offended – no, I am not saying that any woman who cares about her appearance and chooses to make changes to it in order to “boost” her self-confidence is selfish.
What I am saying, however, is that being a mother leaves little room for everything else. That being said, as mothers, we have to choose what is at the top of our priority lists every day. And let me tell you… feeling shameful about my body or guilty for eating chocolate cake is NOT making the cut on that list. Ever.
And it shouldn’t on yours either.
4. I got 99 problems but diet culture and unrealistic expectations of women ain’t one.
You already know what I’m about to say, so I’m gonna leave it to you.
How many times have YOU felt embarrassed, or shameful, unworthy, self-conscious, self-loathing, because of the women you see on social media or mainstream media?
How many times have you thought about going on a diet, a cleanse, a liquid diet, a low-carb diet, a strict “healthy” diet, all because you were made to feel that your body wasn’t enough?
I can’t even count how many times that had happened to me in the past.
But now, I’m a mother. I’m strong, independent, willful, resilient, intelligent, and I’m not letting diet culture tyrannize me into giving them my money in exchange for temporary results and emotions any more.
We are all strong, independent, willful, resilient, and intelligent human beings. We deserve to be treated like so. Don’t let your money go to waste on an industry that kicks you when you’re down, that makes you feel lower than low.
You deserve better, mama.
To summarize: motherhood has helped shape me in many ways, such as by showing me that my physical appearance shouldn’t make the cut on my list of important things to worry about.
My body has been through a lot already, why add more stress from unattainable “goals” and unrealistic expectations? I’m too busy loving on my crazy-haired, sticky-faced toddler!
Whether you’re a new or experienced mama, remember that you are tough and you are beautiful. You will get through every milestone, every breakdown, and you WILL come out stronger every time.
Cheers to you!