Face it ladies, pregnancy, birth, and postpartum can do a whole lot to your ego. In fact, there are so many changes that occur during the nine months of pregnancy.
I remember after I had my son I woke up the following morning and stared at myself in the mirror. I stood in front of that big bathroom mirror, shocked and overwhelmed. Tears streamed down my face and I locked the door, not wanting to leave that bathroom because that’s where I felt somewhat safe and sheltered. My body changed. Everything stretched out for nine months and now it went back down but not like before. My belly sagged and I couldn’t even hold my breath and suck it all in. There were stretch marks I didn’t see before.
The skin was lose. The belly hung. The boobs were massive and highly sensitive. Oh and I wore grownup diapers. The image was far from beautiful. I didn’t care about all those Instagram moms who boast about their postpartum body. I hated mine. The stretch marks didn’t make me proud. In fact, I didn’t want to accept this body.
The baby was great. Cute, easy, and I felt so much love for him. But my body? I hated it. I hid behind baggy clothes for weeks and avoided my dresser. There was no feeling of pride that I just birthed a 7lb baby. I hated the stretch marks, the overstretched skin, the swollen ankles, and the smell of breastmilk followed me everywhere.
There was no blissful postpartum moment for me.
You know, postpartum is a crazy thing. There is so much overwhelming love for this new human being that you can hardly contain it all. But at the same time you feel disconnected with yourself. It’s almost as if you lost the beauty inside of you and you feel 100% unhappy with the new you. You birthed a human being and on top of all the body changes, you don’t sleep and having time to eat a nutritious well balanced meal seems almost impossible at times. With my first I remember eating eggs right out of the pan, no fork, just my hands.
Motherhood really takes a toll on a woman. There is so much change, no sleep, and it’s so easy to fall into a pit of depression. The sunny days soon turn cloudy and eventually you feel as if you’re sitting underneath a rainy cloud for days and days. The rain lingers and sometimes lightning strikes. Y’all, motherhood is no joke. It’s tough.
I was blessed both times to not experience postpartum blues but I have friends who went through it. I’m not to say I have it easy. Gosh no. I had my second baby six weeks ago and dealing with two under two has its own stress. I can’t say there has been an easier day. But I can say there are many wonderful, sweet, and beautiful moments.
Postpartum is a real issue
The tears are normal and so are the smiles. It is absolutely normal to feel like a monster is tearing you up from the inside out and for you to not even recognize the skin you are in. I remember dreading showers after I had my son. I hated undressing even in front of me. But in all honesty, I was hurting myself more than anyone and not to forget, my marriage as well. I hated my body. I loved the baby, but hated the body.
Ladies, hear me out. You don’t have to accept the body after birth. You don’t have to be okay with the wobbly belly, the saggy butt, and the feeling of being depressed. I know there are a ton of moms who accept and deal with this “mom life reality factor” but listen to me, if you’re not happy with that decision then why settle?
Don’t settle for less
Once you decide to settle you’ll have a real hard time telling yourself to reverse and go the complete opposite way. A super tiny portion of me wanted to settle. I wanted to believe that I didn’t have enough time in my day to stay fit and healthy and that it would be so much easier to just sit, watch TV, munch on potato chips and candy bars, and feel sorry for myself. But you know what kicked me in the butt? My son. I made a commitment to portray a good example so that he will grow up knowing the importance of healthy choices.
Forget the mom body
You don’t have to have the mom body in order to be the mom. Just because you are fit doesn’t mean you are a loser of a mom. It doesn’t mean you care more about yourself and less about your family. In fact it’s crazy important to care for you so you can be the best mom to your means. If you feel good about yourself then you can give 100% to your family. I want you to feel beautiful, mama. I want you to feel confident, strong, and valuable. You don’t have to settle for the jiggly belly, the muffin top hiding underneath your husband’s t-shirt, and the saggy butt covered up by the mom sweatpants. Get out, make yourself feel beautiful and care for your body.
Active is Key
After I had my son I made a commitment to workout a minimum of four times a week, five to six times would be a bonus. Since that commitment I have stayed true to my word. Let me be honest with you, my living room is my gym. I have weights, bands, and no excuses come in my way. I incorporate my children in my workout if I have to. Your children will copy your habits. What habits do you have that you portray in front of your kids? They are like sponges. Choose wisely.
You Matter and How YOU Feel Matters
You know the saying if momma ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy? That’s the darn right truth ladies. I make sure to fit in a 30 minute workout every morning. I also make sure I’m on top with my nutrition. Oh and I stopped comparing myself to other moms long time ago. Feel proud of who you are, what you are capable of, and give yourself credit.
Just because you birthed a baby doesn’t mean you have to stop right there. You took so much consideration the past nine months and cared for this tiny human’s health. Now it’s your turn to take care of you. Postpartum is really difficult. The changes are unasked for. But you don’t have to accept all of it.
Kick postpartum in the butt!
Number One Best Part:
Don’t worry too much. Seriously, that might sound so hard to do but eventually your body will go back. Kinda. Don’t feel overwhelmed with everything I talked about. Begin a light exercise routine and carry a mindset that doesn’t care what others think. If you absolutely love your body from the git-go, then heck, all the power to you. But if you’re more like me (someone with a healthy lifestyle, full of exercise and fitness), push yourself to another extreme. You don’t have to settle if you’re not happy. But please remember to love yourself regardless. You birthed a human. That’s a superpower, woman!
What’s one thing you struggled most with your postpartum journey?
And don’t forget to check out last’s week’s post here!