There are lots of challenges that come with becoming a first time mom: the sleepless nights, the first time your baby is sick, the stress of molding a new human, finding a good daycare that won’t cost your left arm, just to name a few. Most of these challenges are from the perspective of a parent, worrying about your baby and their wellbeing. However, one aspect of becoming a new mom has slapped me in the face like I didn’t expect. The mom bod.
I have always been a self-proclaimed feminist, a love-yourself-for-who-you-are kinda gal. I have always felt confident in my own skin, dressed how I pleased, and not thought twice about how I looked. That is, until my post-baby body didn’t bounce back like I saw my mom’s body bounce back after having my younger siblings.
I find myself almost daily saying, “I have accepted that my body isn’t the same after having a baby,” or, “I’m going to eat what makes me happy and full until I’m done breastfeeding.” And I do just that for a few days, feel happy with my choices, and feel like a re-enlightened feminist. Because, down with the patriarchy and all that business.
And then my friend with TWINS posts a bikini pic on Instagram and I spiral back into questioning why my body didn’t bounce back like hers. I just had one kid, not two like her. I was in MARATHON shape and ran 18 miles at a time during my pregnancy. I had abs! Why weren’t they just there under the surface, ready to reappear when my babe came out??
I heard breastfeeding was supposed to give you great boobs and a skinny body. Personally, that has not been my experience. The first 20 pounds came off super quickly, but the last 10-12 are hanging out long term while I fuel my body for two. I feel mostly like my old self and my body can do anything I ask of it. I could run a half marathon tomorrow, but I still can’t fit in my pre-baby jeans almost a year after giving birth.
So, I’ve decided it’s time to truly embrace this new body, accept myself for the strong, persevering mama that I am.
I purged my closet last week to rid my space of any lingering reminders that I am no longer a size 2. No holding back…I even got rid of the dress I wore on my first date with my husband. I bought larger running shorts and sports bras that fit my mom boobs. I am on the lookout for thrifted items that make me feel sexy and good in my own skin.
I don’t know that my body will ever be the same size again. Even if it can run miles and miles. Even if it can carry my sweet chunky boy around all day. Even if it can do all kinds of awesome things…it might not be able to look like it did before it produced another life. And that’s okay.