This mom shared some powerful words about loving your post-baby body
One of the hardest things about pregnancy is that the world expects women to come out of it unchanged. We set ridiculous standards for how our clothes should fit and how our bodies should look, even though we’ve just gotten finished growing an actual human being. One mom is fed-up with the body-shaming, and she’s owning her so-called flaws in an inspiring post every mom needs to read.
N’tima Preusser is a military wife and mom of two who recently shared some candid photos of her post-baby body on Facebook, as well as an inspiring message about accepting the changes pregnancy brings.
“‘Hide it!’ ‘Tuck it in!’ ‘Get rid of it!’ the world shouts at the parts of my body that carry proof of two pregnancies (in which I grew gigantic),” she writes. “These pieces of me are suppose to be gross, and unacceptable and embarrassing. But I spent way too long hating myself to add to that noise.”
Instead of spending time picking herself apart, Preusser says she’d rather focus on “loving the thing that I can attribute the most to my survival in this exhausting life” — her body. “My body is responsible for persuading me to get out of bed when daylight was daunting,” she writes. “My bones have born the weight of two perfect children, and sustained them as long as it was capable.”
And, sure, her body isn’t what it used to be — no mother’s body is — but that isn’t going to stop her from celebrating the body she has. “Yeah, my hair is falling out in fistfuls. And some things hang lower and softer now that they [my kids] exist. But my body is my trophy,” she writes.
So many women struggle to come to terms with their post-baby bodies. Even as I read this, a cynical part of me thinks, good for you but I’m never going to feel that way. Loving your body is hard, especially when every week there’s some new magazine cover showing you a gorgeous super model rocking a bikini 12 seconds after giving birth to quintuplets.
Some days, the most loving thing I can do for my body is just declare a cease-fire, in which I agree not to talk about my arm flab if my bra agrees to sit just right on my back fat. But then I see a post like this, and while it doesn’t erase the negative feelings completely, it does inspire me to give myself a little credit.
Women, our bodies are fucking amazing. They birth humans, they sometimes feed them, and they carry us through every night feeding, early morning, trip to the pediatrician, happy memory, and the moments we’re sure we’re screwing it all up. They may not look exactly how we want them to, but when have they ever? And how long are we going to punish ourselves for not being Gisele Bündchen?
It’s not easy, but making peace with what we’ve got is probably a heck of a lot better than waging war on the things we can’t change. As Preusser writes, “My body made me a mother, but my babies made me a woman. This figure is mine. I own every inch.”