She reminds us that our bodies are so much more than how they look
Once you become a mom, you can be in complete awe of all your body is capable of and still feel self-conscious and insecure at the same time. Some days, we feel like Wonder Woman and are ready to conquer the world with our bad-assery. Other days, we feel vulnerable, unlovable and overcome with self-consciousness.
We wonder if we’ll ever look like we used to in a pair of jeans again. We wonder if we even want to put on jeans again. We wonder what our husbands and partners think of our radically different bodies.
Laura Mazza of the popular blog Mum on the Run (a real favorite around here) recently shared a raw, moving post about her own body and her personal journey to acceptance.
“The body he fell in love with was toned, it had muscles, there were no stretch marks on my belly, none on my boobs, no gut from muscle separation.
“The body he fell in love with fit into tight jeans, could walk into a shop and grab any size and walk out, knowing it fit.
“This body now couldn’t shop at those stores, and mostly wears leggings. His body stayed the same, but mine changed in every way. It isn’t fair,” she writes.
It’s not fair. As moms, most of us figure it’s just easier to hide it all, avoid mirrors, and worry about it later. I gave birth nearly 21 months ago, and my body still hasn’t stopped changing. There was the loss of the baby weight which lead to excess skin. Then there was the post-breastfeeding weight gain and the re-emergence of my maternity pants. I don’t recognize the reflection of the body in the mirror; it’s foreign territory to me. Most days I feel like I’ve made my peace with it, but some days I feel so overwhelmed at what it would take to “bounce back” (gag) that all I want to do is cry and slap the ever-loving crap out of Younger Me who thought she was fat in her bikini. Ugh.
Mazza writes that her husband admitted it’s not the body he “fell in love with,” because now it’s so much more.
“You’re right. It isn’t the body I fell in love with. Instead it’s a body that grew our children, it fed our children, it comforted our children, it made life. Your body is the one I fall in love with every day. I didn’t know what love was until I saw this body and found out all it could do, so thank you.”
Oh jeez, is someone cutting onions? Whew. This actually reminded me of things my own husband has said (this + PMS = instant waterworks), and what most of our husbands would probably say if we asked them. Our bodies are so much more than a size, or a number on a scale. They’re so much more than toned tummies or perky boobs. They’re a source of life, nourishment, and comfort to our children. That has to count for something, even on the days we we feel self-conscious.
Mazza, who is mom to three-year-old Luca and sixteen-month-old Sofia, ends her post by reminding us all that our bodies are worth a little TLC.
“Do not be ashamed of what you have, or what your mum body looks like, there’s plenty of time to give up cake in the future, for now, enjoy the moments you have, and enjoy the fact that you have made something that is worth every stretch mark and every dimple.”