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