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Self hate? Why not celebrate! (Brittany)

4 months post-partum with second child, first child is 3yrs

My name is Brittany and I am a 24 year old mother of two. I have a 3 year old son and a 4month old baby girl. Like many women, I have struggled with body issues for a majority of my life. I have hated my body for almost as long as I can remember. My first and only real relationship is with the father of my two children, and we started dating when I was 17. My body issues cast a huge shadow over our entire relationship. Whenever we watched a movie, or went to the mall, I would be constantly seeking out gorgeous women, wondering if he was wishing that he was with them instead of me. And this was before I had kids, mind you!!! Pregnant with my first born at 20 was not planned, and I dealt with that stress by eating my way through the pregnancy. I went from 115lbs to 185, and have the stretch marks to match every pound I gained. I was naïve and depressed and didn’t take care of my body at all. After my son was born, I went from hating my body, to wishing that I had my old body back. I would look back at pictures taken prior to my pregnancy and wonder to myself, what was there to hate?? I had a beautiful, strong body and hated every inch of it!! And that is when I realized that, the problem doesn’t lie in what my body looks like, its all in my head. Even when I had a flat stomach, free of stretch marks, I didn’t like myself. It isn’t about having a perfect body, it’s about loving yourself. With my second pregnancy, I went from 122lbs to 155 and didn’t get any stretch marks the second time around. I will never have my pre-pregnancy body, but now that my body has given birth to 2 wonderful, smart, loving, hilarious children, I love it even more, regardless of what it looks like. My boyfriend calls my stretch marks my badges of honour and he is absolutely right. Every now and then my sister-in-law will make snide remarks about how her husband is so glad she never got a single stretch mark, and he would hate it if she did. It used to bother me, but now I know that without these scars, I would have nothing physical to remind me of the wonderful nine months I had with my babies inside me, depending on me for their very survival. After I made peace with my new body, I felt so liberated!!! I have more confidence now than I have ever had. Instead of crying over my new body, which I used to do, I love it even more for everything it went through to bring me my precious family. Never wearing a bikini again is a small price to pay for my children, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. If anyone ever has anything to say about my loose skin and stretch marks, that is their problem, not mine because I love every inch of who I am!! If I don’t show my daughter how to love herself, she might very well grow up with the same self esteem issues I had, and I am not going to let that happen! So lets celebrate who we are, and what we’ve been through, because we are all worthy of love!!

in Belly, Breasts, Positive Body Image/Words of Enouragement, Second Pregnancy, Submissions
19 comments… add one
  • kimber Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 10:00 am

    your stomach looks totally great. plus your boobs sit where they’re supposed to. lucky!

  • Mary V Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 10:19 am

    Hello amazing, 4 months pp! You go mama!

  • Lauren Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 11:09 am

    I’m so glad you are happy with yourself after years of struggling. And you should be! You are one hot momma!

  • Lulu Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 1:38 pm

    Aah! I am so jealous!! lol

  • me Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 2:17 pm

    who says you cant wear a bikini, you look fine to me :)

  • Judith Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 4:17 pm

    From a very mature mum to a young mum, you look fantastic. I can see the slight softness that I think is lovely on a woman: I don’t like that taught, bones showing look of some women. Your breasts look better than many women who have not born children, so enjoy who you are and go buy a bikini – there is no reason whatsoever why you should not wear one – I would if I looked like you!

  • Ann Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 6:56 pm

    Wow you look really great. You still have a lot of definition in your body, like you can see your hip bones, etc. I can no longer see mine :( and your boobs look great, wish mine were that perky again! lol and good for you for being proud of your body, Im still working on that but I know I will eventually get there. Congrats on your two babies!

  • JUlie Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 7:21 pm

    You look so wonderful… You should be proud as to how well you look..

  • Amy Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 7:41 pm

    Love the perspective and your attitude…one question though- why aren’t you rocking a bikini??!! you should, you look great!

  • SuburbanMom Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 6:56 am

    Empowering post! You are right, body image is in your mind and not in the mirror but its so hard for many women like me to come to accept that. Please don’t take this the wrong way but would you still feel the same way if your stomach wasn’t flat? If you had what looked like zebra stripes, and an apron of skin hanging would you still feel like this? It might be easier to say “never wearing a bikini again is a small price to pay” because you bounced back into a beautiful stomach for 4 months pp with 2 kids.. (You look amazing by the way)…but if you couldn’t bounce back..if you saw some of the before and afters of some women on this site, the ones that have gone through massive body transformations (I am talking about the ones that go from like a 2 to a 14) and feel ashamed that they couldn’t “bounce” back and even more ashamed of not loving themselves..would you give the same advice? I am not trying to bash you (society does enough of that) and please forgive me if it came across that way..I am just trying to show you that it might be easier to stop the self hate and celebrate when you have a flat tummy and breast that are where they suppose to be…

    I have posted twice on this site, my most recent submission https://theshapeofamother.com/blog/update-3-years-ppbio-oil-made-a-difference-anonymous/

    I have read many stories of women. Some of rape, miracles and some so sad they have me crying by the middle of the post. I don’t comment frequently because I know it might hurt someone who is emotionally vulnerable. You seem strong and self assured which is why I made this comment, I hope you take it as constructive because that was its intent. I refuse to be your “sister in law” and made snide remarks because I have had other women do the same to me and I know how damaging it is. I am happy that you have come to the point of loving yourself, as I have not yet reached that point. I too have a 3 year old, if you ever want to chat you can find me on this site.I could use a strong mommy friend my age since most of my girlfriends don’t have children yet. Take care!

  • anonoymous Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 9:33 am

    Ha ha – Jokes on your sister in law! It looks like her husband only values her outer appereance (which, no matter what, will fade!), while your boyfriend appriecates your hard working, womanly body and your inner self as well. While your sister in law’s boyfriend is looking around for the 18-year-old unflawed bodies roaming this earth, your boyfriend is enjoying your body and your love! I would rather be you than her ANY DAY!

  • Colleen Curry, CD (DONA) Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 9:44 am

    I think you look beautiful! Those stretch marks are proof that you’ve lived, and proof that you’ve performed miracles– they are beautiful. Your breasts are fantastic and perky, and you look very thin and trim to me! Good for you for posting and good for you for refusing to continue the self-loathing behavior that held you back! I hope to do the same someday.

  • Suzann Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 6:44 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! You are positively beautiful!

  • Brittany Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 9:43 pm

    thank you all so much for the positive feedback!! I had so many butterflies in my tummy after sending this in, but I’m so glad that I did!! And yes, SuburbanMom, I would absolutely give the same advice regardless of whether you are a size 2 or size 14. I wish I would have put a picture up of me sitting down, cuz I’ve got a nice roll that hangs over my pants!!! and in natural sunlight my tummy is striped like a zebra, my stretch marks go above my belly button!! still too scared to put on a bikini tho, maybe I’ll get there someday!

  • P.A. Thursday, April 1, 2010, 10:10 pm

    Good for you : )

    I think I look the same as I did before I became pregnant (son almost 6 months) except for my c-section scar. No stretch marks, so even though I hate my surgery, I do appreciate that scar sometimes.

    If I were you, I’d don a bikini.

  • D Friday, April 2, 2010, 6:08 am

    you need to wear a bikini lol you have a great body, shoot I am gonna try an rock one 1 yr pp. my problem is my pooch but I loose more n more as time goes by, our beautiful babies keep us busy and I love it = ) I had the same issues as you and I feel the same way I want my daughter to love herself because she is absolutely amazing!

  • Teresa A Friday, April 2, 2010, 1:06 pm

    You are a lovely woman, inside and out! Very happy for you that you realize it also. Congratulations!

  • TracyKM Wednesday, April 7, 2010, 10:34 am

    4 months PP?! Wow, I’d be out washing the car in a bikini and invite your SIL and hubby over, LOL!

  • Chelsea Thursday, April 22, 2010, 5:26 pm

    i think you should wear a bikini all the time! u look amazing for 2 kids and 4m pp! i only hope i look as good as you when i have #2!

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