Recently, I have read a lot of great posts from fabulous Mummy bloggers who are celebrating their baby bodies and embracing their tiger stripes and battle scars as signs of what their bodies went through to produce their precious babies.
I am in awe of these women. They are brave, honest and inspiring.
My thoughts though?
I'm not there yet. I'm just not ready. I'm not ready to love my battle scars and the after effects of what carrying my beautiful baby did to my body. I can live with it yes, but love it? No.
Call me shallow, vain or superficial. I don't care. Because you know what I realised? I realised that it's ok too. I don't have to love my baby body just yet. I hope that in time I will but, right now, I look in the mirror and what I see just doesn't fill me with the warm fuzzies.
When I look in the mirror I see a saggy tummy that is wrinkled with stretch marks from my belly button down to my c-section scar and to the tops of my thighs. I still yearn for my before pregnancy body. For the tummy that I thought wasn't flat, when in actual fact it pretty much was. For the boobs that were small but perky and are now flatter than ever. For the thighs that I once thought were massive but weren't really and are now marked with stripes.
I regret the things I thought about my body before. I should have embraced my body. I should have loved it, not criticised it. We seem to go through a roller coaster of body image issues as women. Through the teenage years and young-adulthood with the body that we hated and criticised to the next phase of our lives as adults and Mothers who yearn for that body back. We face a different set of challenges - learning to love it for what it created not for what it looks like.
As with everything, it takes time. It takes time to learn to love ourselves and how we look. I think it takes even more time to learn to accept and embrace the changes that we have no control over. In time it will happen, I know. When I look back on the body that created my babies - who will no longer be babies - I know that these scars will serve as a warm reminder of the precious gifts we were blessed with.
But right now though? I need to stop being so hard on myself. Trying to force myself to love a body that I'm just not ready to love. To learn to stop torturing myself with what was. To stop comparing my body with those that haven't yet born children or those that have and are just blessed with bodies that bounce back.
Love takes time. It's ok to not love those battle scars straight away but I hope in time that I will learn accept and embrace the sacrifices my body made to produce such a perfect, precious little human being.
Want to read another great post on body image after babies? Charlene of Teacher by Trade - Mother by Nature wrote a great post about how she feels about her body. You can AND SHOULD read it here.