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Week 10: Imperfection

(Before I go on, take a second to go and join our mailing list for a chance to WIN FREE THINGS! Also, you know, so you can stay on top of all the awesome stuff happening here at SOAM this year.)

(And one more thing – go check out this announcement for details on the main project of SOAM’s anniversary year!)

One of my favorite things I’ve encountered while working with SOAM is the different interpretations people have on things. Last week’s theme in the #soamweeklyphoto was Imperfection and while I spent all week trying to figure out how to get an artistic photo of some body flaw I haven’t spoken about here before with only an iPhone, other people were going deeper into their psyches for something maybe more meaningful.

“I would say the imperfection that bothers me the most about myself, is my lack of self motivation. I allow to many things get in the way of the things that need to be done. Living with anxiety and PTSD don’t help. My best imperfection is my body, I am doing my best to change my mind. I want to look at my body as a tool and vessel to teach my children love and acceptance.” – @sublimelypassionate2

“I thought this topic would be easy if I could photograph my skin, since acne is coming back and it has been emotionally and physically painful to deal with on and off for 20 years. I’ll just go deeper than that, because today just ‘went there.’ I have a recurring fear that I am not good enough for my family, not stable enough, not whatever… and when I get on that path of thinking it just gets really ugly. My imperfect past (as a recovering alcoholic can only know) is one I have to reckon with when I get these insecurities. And as debilitating as insecurity can be, must take the next indicated step, in order to be the best mother, wife, sister, friend that I can regardless of fear or other challenges.” – @catnamede

The women who have taken part in this project have continuously astounded me with their beauty, strength, and their willing to be vulnerable. I feel so lucky to be a part of this project. I can’t believe we are nearly at the end of the winter run – just a few more weeks until we break out the spring prompts! If you haven’t joined us yet, don’t hesitate to jump in at any time! The more the merrier!

Categories: My Own Ramblings, News, PTSD, SOAM Weekly Photo
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Still Struggling (Anonymous)

My beautiful daughter was born almost 7 years ago. I loved every moment of my pregnancy. I did my best to savor each moment and I loved feeling every flutter, kick, and hiccup. A few weeks before my baby girl was born, I had a visit with my midwife and she marveled at my smooth, stretch mark free belly. When I visited her the next week, I remember her saying “oh no! you have stretch marks!” I remember feeling let down…as if I had almost made it through with my tummy in tact. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the stretch marks would not end up being the source of this frustrating struggle.

It took me quite a bit of time to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and once I did, I was devastated by what I saw in the mirror. Who cares about the stretch marks? look at that saggy, wrinkled tummy! I was not prepared for the way my body had changed. Prior to this, I had prided myself on the fact that I was a woman who would NEVER consider cosmetic surgery…yet, as I looked in the mirror at this hanging skin…thoughts started to creep in about a tummy tuck. That made me feel low as well. How could I be so vain to consider something like that???

Now, all these years have passed and I am ashamed to say that when I look at my belly in the mirror…when I look at the body that grew and birthed the most precious little being…I still fantasize about the tummy tuck. I don’t care about the stretch marks. I’m even rather proud of them. The saggy, wrinkled skin that doesn’t improve no matter what I do is the source of the embarrassment and frustration I feel. I don’t want to seem petty. I don’t want to seem vain. I am just speaking my truth and it is a truth I never thought would be coming from me. I have been thinking about submitting my story to this website for YEARS and I am just now finally following through. It is my hope that I can find my confidence once again.

~Age:
39

~Number of pregnancies and births:
1

~The age of your children, or how far postpartum you are:
7

Categories: 5+ Years Postpartum, Belly, First Pregnancy, Postpartum, Submissions
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The Result of Growth (Chloe)

I’m built very petite (5’2″, 100-105 lbs when I’m not pregnant or nursing) and yet three times, I’ve given birth to nine pound babies (my boys are almost 12, 9, and almost 7). It’s taken me time, but I’ve learned to love, honor, and respect the fact that my body that so often feels so small and vulnerable was able to grow and accommodate such big babies. I had to have c-sections because of the width of my pelvis and for a long time that felt like a failure- but now I honor that, too. The loose skin that buckles and puckers when I bend or sit is a physical representation of all the growing and expanding my body and soul have had to do, in order to become a mother. How could that possibly be ugly?

-Chloe, age 33

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031016-choe-1

Categories: 20+ Years Postpartum, Belly, Cesarean, Cesarean Scar and/or Incision, Mom over 30, Positive Body Image/Words of Enouragement, Postpartum, Submissions, Third Pregnancy
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