I’ve fallen into this trap before where I give birth, (thinking back on Elenore) and than I think after a short month that I should be back to pre-pregnancy body and be back to what I was before. How wrong I was!
Than you look around and see all these mothers who literally drop all this weight after birth and you feel inadequate. Aren’t you supposed to do the same thing? You are working your butt off and can’t seem to get the weight off or even if you do get the weight off your tummy forever looks like a tiger slashed you with its claws. What is a girl to do??
Have you ever thought to just throw out the scale, stand in front of our husband’s and see how much they love us and how beautiful we are to them even with the baby weight and stretch marks? Or better yet, look in the mirror and see how great you look. Is all the fat gone? No. But do you feel better and look better in the mirror? Yes? Than take that and hold it to your heart! We don’t all have to look like super models or run way models. Some of us are always going to have a small tummy after giving birth (dang you stretched ab muscles!) or will never again be able to wear a bikini because of our tiger scratches, but you know what? We are still beautiful because we carried our beautiful children (child) for 9 months and gave them life! How miraculous and beautiful is that??
God made us to carry children and we should be proud of that AND what our bodies now look like after we bring them into this world.
I, myself, struggle with this and am just now accepting my stretch marks (which are now being joined by some more because of my current pregnancy) and my beautiful daughter was born over 2 years ago. I’m hoping this time that I can come to the point where I am proud of my stretch marks and can show my beautiful daughters that its OK to never be super model thin, or have a “perfect” body.I remember as a teen struggling with my body and all the girls around me were also struggling to be “perfect”. We all had something that we hated about ourselves and I can remember a specific photo shoot for my Water polo team when a good portion of us had the photographer photograph us with our legs hidden by the pool because “we hated our legs”. I was one of them. I than was shocked when Matt (my boyfriend and future husband) took one look at the photo (which I was nervous to give him because I thought I looked horrible) and told me how gorgeous I was and than showed the picture off to everyone he could show at school. I was mortified! Than he proceeded to tell me that one of his favorite teachers saw the photo and commented that “she has a body you can bounce a quarter off of!” and how proud he was of that. I was dumbfounded. All I could see was what was “wrong” with me in the picture and not what I see now which is that I was super healthy, super fit and gorgeous. Oh how I wish I could head back in time and tell that young girl that she didn’t need to hide anything from the photographer or be embarrassed at games and wear a towel so that my legs didn’t show. I was beautiful and didn’t need to be ashamed.
We just need to be OK with the bodies God gave us and to live as healthy as we can and take care of these bodies. I personally want to show my girls that they are beautiful; no matter what (even after 25+ pounds of baby weight and stretch marks galore!), and that when they do find their future husbands that they will love them no matter what they look like either. They are beautiful and have beautiful souls and our physical bodies have nothing to do with it and the right men will see that.
Women we need to show our young girls all of this and the only way to do that is to show with our actions and words. Do you constantly talk about the current “diet” you are on? Are you always worried about what much the scale is saying? Do you take a compliment that your husband gives you and say “but….” in front of your daughters? Do you despise your stretch marks and remark on them in the ear shot of your girls??
We need to stop it. We need to learn how to love ourselves as we are and to show our young girls that they are beautiful no matter what. We need to just show them that we need to stay healthy (whether healthy is 134 lbs for one daughter and 150 for another) and to be active but not to take it to the extreme and not to focus on the scale. Or better yet, never even have a scale in your home!
And don’t forget about dad’s part in this. Its not all the mom’s job. Daddy is the first man that will tell her that she is beautiful. The first man that she will look to for approval in her outfits as she comes out of her room all dressed up for an occasion. He is the first person that her little heart will turn to to know if she is beautiful. I know the most heart bursting emotions were always when my daddy called me beautiful or when he would just nod his approval over my outfit and I just knew that he thought I looked pretty. Dad is very important to a young girl. I know that my husband tries very hard to let Elle know that she is beautiful. She may not understand yet, but when she is a teen it will make her heart and spirit glow. Same with our little River.
How different would our teenage years be if we weren’t constantly worried about our weight, our looks, or how we appeared? I want that for my daughters. I hope you want that for them as well and we try our best to help them through the hardest years of their lives confident and independent young women ready to take on the world.