Have you heard the phrase “get your body back after baby” or “I hope I bounce right back” or “this is ruining my body”? I hate to say it, but before I had babies of my own, I was terrified of what being pregnant would do to my body. I was afraid of the stretchmarks and weight gain. I was sure that pregnancy would change everything and I would hate myself for it.
For some reason, during pregnancy, a lot of us focus on what is happening to ourselves, and our bodies (how can we not, right?) But we tend to focus on the bad things…what is getting stretched out, the grey hair, the rolls, the cellulite…whatever it is. For just one second, remember what that beautiful body is doing.
Why am I so tired today? Oh right, I just made a liver and an amazing pair of lungs.
Hmmm…I feel like I could fall asleep right here, and wait! Is that another stretchmark? Ah, I forgot, my gorgeous body just made an entire circulatory system…BOOM!
Yes, I know that these things aren’t made in a day…just go with me.
It takes our bodies 9 long months of changes, growth, adjustments and developments to make a tiny human. It takes even more time to learn how to deal with and cope with those changes.
Take your time.
There is a harmful wave of influencers who show themselves immediately post baby with shrunken bellies, completely done up, and back to normal as if nothing ever happened.
I am so glad that something happened! I am going to recognize that and revel in it.
Take your time.
You earned those tiger stripes! Those sleepless nights…you prayed for those. That sweet supple, post-baby belly had a beautiful purpose, so don’t you dare feel ashamed about it.
Take your time.
After my first little girl was born, I didn’t give myself as much time as I should have. I was so excited to get back into teaching and taking all of the classes that I did before she came. I loved to hear people say, “Wow! You look so amazing! Are you sure you just had a baby?!”
These comments weren’t meant as harmful at all, and initially they weren’t for me. However, I found myself always comparing how I looked pre and post baby. The focus became on my body instead of my mind and the new relationship that I had with my family and my daughter. It even made me start to compare myself to other moms who just had babies…how ridiculous!
Now, don’t get me wrong. It is ok to tell a mom that she looks amazing and beautiful. But, the comments that made a good difference to me weren’t about my body. Simple questions about how we were doing, or recognizing that recovery or parenthood has a steep learning curve are so great. Showing that you really care and will listen is everything. Let new parents take the time to process what has happened and allowing their bodies to catch up to them when it is time.
Our bodies are amazing and the things that they can do are absolutely incredible. A 2-day postpartum mama with giant pads in her mesh underwear, a robe, maybe a bra, no makeup, hair in a messy bun, laying in her bed with her new baby is more beautiful than most anything that I have ever seen. Soak it up, mama. You’ll make the changes you want to make when it is time, and not before.