Such a life-altering experience will leave its mark. It’s not something just to endure, but something to embrace. Let’s embrace the Mom-Body!
By Daja Gombojav, Contributing Writer
What’s Wrong With The Mom-Body Anyway?
Every day I click on Instagram to see what everyone is up to. Amid the pictures of last night’s dinner, pictures of cute babies sleeping, and memes that range from the hilarious to inspirational, there are always those few enthusiasts hawking various wraps, shakes, supplements and memberships to help me get back to my pre-baby body. Get your body back! Be summer ready! Magic Bikini Diet!
The quickest way to get me to block your account? Tell me that you can help me look like I’ve never given birth.
Making Peace With The Mom-Body
I really want to know why we women do this. What is the pull to get back to pre-baby body? Why do we want to erase all physical evidence, save the baby, that we’ve actually been co-creating with the Creator and have brought life into the world? What’s there to be ashamed of?
Of course, I don’t have the same body I had before these nine children! But why would I want to?
My hips are wider; backside a little fatter. I’m a little softer in places. My breasts have grown. And it’s OK. I no longer look like a girl. I look like a woman.
I like being a woman and all that comes with that! I like that my body can conceive life, carry life, sustain life, and after birth–nurture life. I love my curves, my jiggles, my softness. I don’t mind the stretch marks; I earned every one. The fact that my body is capable of doing this miraculous, magical thing is in itself mind-boggling. I’m not a utilitarian man. Nor am I a little girl. I am a woman. When God made me, He said, “Very good.”
I think as women we can be too hard on ourselves. We can’t be comfortable in our own skin because all of the images that are exalted before our eyes are of women who bounced right back after pregnancy and look like they never were 9 months pregnant and 50 pounds heavier. The images our society praises are chiseled and buffed and tan and blasé. Sexy is synonymous with skinny.
But, that’s not real life. And real life is not only beautiful enough, it’s more beautiful.
Beauty is an experience, nothing else. It is not a fixed pattern or an arrangement of features. It is something felt, a glow or a communicated sense of fineness.~ D. H. Lawrence
Listen up! Real woman come in all shapes and sizes. We don’t look like the cover of a magazine. Heck, even the women on the cover of the magazine don’t look like the cover of the magazine! We are all better than that. We have had real lives, not scripted lives. We’ve carried and birthed children and nursed them at our (slightly saggier than when we were 18 years old) breasts. We have cared for the sick and been at the bedside of the dying. We have been up at 2am catching our family’s vomit in a kitchen pot. We’ve danced the night away with the one we love. We have laughed ’til we cried and cried until we laughed. We’ve gotten ourselves into some sticky situation and loved our way out of them. We’ve spent some time with our faces in the carpet before the Lord and got some skid marks on our souls.
You don’t live a whole lifetime of adventures and come out looking like you did in high school. If you do, I think you have been doing it wrong.
Now, I am not talking about embracing an unhealthy lifestyle or unhealthy habits. But, let’s face it, even though I eat well and I am active and I am happy and I am healthy–I still do not look like I did before I had children. It’s only natural that such a life-altering experience such as having a baby, will leave its physical marks.
The sooner we all accept that, the sooner we can stop (just stahp already!) putting our faith in wraps and shakes and pills and start really living! Really loving ourselves! Being confident enough to be active! And let our inner sexy shine through! Let it shine even through the gray, the soft and the not-exactly-flat abs. It’s more beautiful to be ordinary.
“Ordinary things are more valuable than extraordinary things;
nay, they are more extraordinary….
The sense of the miracle of humanity itself
should be always more vivid to us
than any marvels of power, intellect, art, or civilization.”