I personally want the world to stop telling me to love my body.
Spoiler alert: I don’t currently love my body. I do love my children that made my body this way. I do not, in any way, resent my boys. But my body, along with the rest of myself, is a continuous work in progress.
Let’s explore: There are parts of my body that literally packed up and moved neighborhoods away without warning.
Has anyone figured out exactly where to tuck that extra pouch of skin that lives right below the belly button? I would be much more accepting of said pouch if I could unzip it and put my baby in it. Kangaroos really have something there. And then there are my boobs which reside somewhere near my knees. Gone are those voluptuous, new-milk boobs. Also, not really a body part, but my hairline is not where it used to be. Why doesn’t anyone warn new moms about the hair thing?
I gave birth to my second son in July 2015. Since then, I have gone through many stages of body image awareness. As soon as he was born I shed baby weight and was quickly able to squeeze back into pants with buttons. I was thrilled. A few months later, however, I realized that I was not “fitting’ into my clothing like I had after my first born. I am finding myself tucking and hiding. Sweatshirts and spandex are my favorite clothing choices. If only the working world found my favorite sweatshirt and leggings appropriate. Now that fall has arrived and “real” pants are back into the rotation, I have become more conscious about my body than ever.
Since becoming more conscious of my body I find myself verbalizing my unhappiness. In these moments of weakness and vulnerability, I hear; “You look great!” “You just had two babies!” “Don’t worry, it takes time!” “Love your body the way it is! You’re a mom!”
Here’s where it gets tricky. I think we, as moms, should love our bodies, but I don’t want people shaming me into feeling the love.
Personally, I am in the process of working towards not making negative or disparaging comments about my own body, realizing that if I do not comment on my body, I will not leave the door open for others to comment. I also hate reading articles written for moms telling me to love my body. If not loving my stretch marks is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. It could be the only child side of me or the fact that I’m a Taurus, but I hate when people tell me how to feel or what to do.
We are all works in progress.
Our lives are constantly evolving. My ability to fit into clothes is constantly evolving. Let’s just leave it be. Let’s check the body weight and size conversation at the door. The media’s portrayal of what a woman’s body looks like is ludicrous, we can all agree on that? In a perfect world, all clothing campaigns would look like a Dove ad: all body shapes and sizes would be represented in a positive light. After all, in my opinion, we are the ones to decide how we feel about our bodies, for better or worse.