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Will you choose to love yourself? (Jan)

August 10, 2012

Age: 26
1 pregnancy, 1 child- a daughter, 19 months.

I have posted here before, when my own baby girl (now 19 months) was just eight months old. I was overwhelmed by the encouraging and uplifting comments on my story. Healed by the words of other mothers I didn’t even know. Almost every day I visit this site to read stories left by other women, some of them are so positive and I cannot help but smile and think, “Good for you, Mama.” Others are so heartbreaking, I never realized how many women out there are suffering due to poor personal image, broken relationships, loss of a child, etc. And some women just can’t find the beauty in themselves anymore.

We all have our own story, full of triumphs and letdowns, joy and pain. I want to ask if YOU will make a change today, if you are in a bad situation or feeling down about your appearance… because you cannot give, or get, anything valuable out of life if you do not love yourself! Will you choose to love yourself? For you are a mother. You cried tears of joy or surprise when you found out you were pregnant. You longed to feel like your old self when you were suffering through nausea. You watched the numbers creep up on the scale. You felt the flutters, the kicks, the hiccups, and it made you smile every time. You went through the labor, you gave birth. Your breasts made milk that nourished your baby, or if you did not breastfeed, they still provided a cozy spot for your new baby to cuddle. You somehow managed to make it through as you healed from the delivery and you braved through the intense emotional swings. As your baby got older, you realized more and more that your own dreams would be fulfilled just as long as your child’s were.

A female’s body becomes that of a woman when she becomes a mother. Her body has done what it was designed exactly for. It is so beautiful. I remember as a child, feeling sick or scared, and there was no place I would rather be than cuddled up to my mom’s soft and cuddly chest.

Of course, it is important to be healthy and to care for and love our bodies. To pay our bodies the respect they deserve for all they have achieved. But that doesn’t have to mean being without stretch marks and some extra skin! When is the last time you thanked your body for what it accomplished? Could you possibly stop demeaning yourself because you think your body is ruined? For it is not ruined by bearing children!

To ruin our bodies is to ABUSE drugs, alcohol, and food. Bearing a child is not what ruins our bodies at all.

Strive to be YOUR best, not to look like your “lucky” friend who lost all her baby weight right off the bat. Be realistic, add good whole foods to your diet, thank your body, respect your body, and listen to your partner when he/she tells you that you’re beautiful. Have gratitude. Give to others. Mend relationships. Change the negative things in your life, and if it can’t be changed, eliminate it. Doing all of these things will heal you, inside and out. Words are so incredibly powerful. Say positive affirmations out loud. Eventually the lying voice in your head that tells you that you are worthless and gross WILL go away with time. This is a journey that will take a long time… but it will bring you to a wonderful place where you CAN be a strong woman and mother. A loving, capable mother.

These are things we want to pass on to our sons and daughters, no? Thank you for reading.

First picture: Not even an hour old
Second picture: My daughter at 18 months, walking with her Great Grandmother

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13 Responses to “Will you choose to love yourself? (Jan)”

  1. shannon Says:
    August 10th, 2012 at 8:22 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Thank you so much. I am also 26, and one of the women that has suffered the loss of a child. You are so right about our bodies. My stretch marks and loose skin does not make my body ruined, it is simply blessings my baby boy left! I love your nursing picture by the way!

  2. Gem Says:
    August 10th, 2012 at 8:31 am

    What an absolutely fabulous post. Xxx

  3. MJ Says:
    August 13th, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Wonderful post! And wonderful picture its such an intimate and beautiful bonding picture. I’m 25 with 3 kids and very self conscious of my body so thank you for helping me think differently! Godd bless!

  4. melissa Says:
    August 13th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    This post is excellent on so many levels. Thank you for sharing your insight and beautiful words. I struggled while pregnant with my first daughter, suffered PPD then finally came around to loving my body when I met my fiance. It took me until my third pregnancy(after 1 miscarriage in January) to truly love myself, my body, and its capabilities. :-) I hope that other women can see the wisdom in your words and come around to loving themselves and their new post pardon bodies much sooner than I have. :-D

  5. danielle Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU…
    Well said sister I needed that . I to read stories from this site and can relate to everyone on every level from lossing and baby 4days after birth to hating myself . So this is my safe place to feel good , and uplift myself when I feel like nobody or not good enough . But proud enough to say I’m a proud mother of a 16, 5,4,3. Thanks again

  6. Elizabeth Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes. I’ve been feeling really down and sad at almost 7 weeks post partum. Missing my bikini body and perfect figure on the beach riding my bike practically naked like a show off. Now I’m white, lumpy, cellulite on the rear, thicker legs, softer chest, and purple stretch marks. I love my son and am so amazed at my body’s ability to give life, I shouldn’t be getting sad. I am trying to stop feeling sorry for myself, have pride in what I accomplished, and focus on being healthy for my self, my family, and my son. Thank you. You are right on!

  7. S Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Thank you for this… At 6 months pregnant, I just found another crop of stretch marks, and was down on myself and crying… This helped me remember that there’s a greater purpose for my body.

  8. Hayley Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    WOOHOO!! Stretch marks on my sides from Baby #1, stretch marks on the front from Baby #2 and a c-section scar and extra skin from both! :-) I have actually looked in the mirror several times on a bad day and literally thanked my body for the two lives it helped create, carry and feed. It really is great for the self esteem! A female’s body truly is miraculous.

  9. april Says:
    August 16th, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    thank you so much for posting this!!!
    I have been so insecure with my body since I got pregnant…
    I use to be so small ndd it has been so hard for me to try and be comfortable in my own skin…
    reading this helped out alot… ii feel better about my body ndd I know I still need to get use to it but this made it jst a little easier :)

  10. Katrina Says:
    August 17th, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    What a beautiful post! I come here to be encouraged and read peoples stories, and never comment, but this is truly the most inspiring thing I have read on this website !
    I am 25 and 7mts pregnant with baby #2, and although I feel the pressure to look a certain way pp, putting into perspective the fact I am carrying life itself is AMAZING, and such a privilege!
    I do not regret one single stretch mark.
    The smiles these babies give make up for it all!!!

  11. Kati Says:
    August 22nd, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I have a 2 1/2 year old son and a 2 week old baby girl and your right. My body is awesome. Strong, healthy, and productive!

  12. Sarah Says:
    September 12th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you for the sunshine. I too always think that exact same thought “good for you mama!” when I see these beautiful, happy, contented women.

    A great post, and perfect points, that I myself need to embrace, nearly 7 years after giving birth to my son.

  13. Happy Birthday, SOAM! | The Shape of a Mother Says:
    July 5th, 2013 at 10:47 am

    [...] Jan asked if you’d choose to love yourself. “We all have our own story, full of triumphs and letdowns, joy and pain. I want to ask if YOU will make a change today, if you are in a bad situation or feeling down about your appearance… because you cannot give, or get, anything valuable out of life if you do not love yourself! Will you choose to love yourself? For you are a mother.” [...]

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