I know. I know you avoid looking at yourself in the mirror. I know your clothes aren’t fitting the same as they did before your baby arrived. The postpartum hairs aren’t cooperating. The stretch marks aren’t fading. The number on the scale isn’t going down as quickly as you’d like. You aren’t ‘bouncing back’ like all of the other moms on your Instagram feed. Let me ask though, what is there to ‘bounce back’ from? You just grew, GREW, a human being inside of your body – bounce back?? More like, celebrate that!
That pre-pregnancy body is gone. You will never go back to a time when your body didn’t do the most incredible thing in the world, like house a whole person for nine months.
You can certainly try to fit back into those clothes, by drinking more water, eating less, or going to the gym – and if this is what you want, you should put yourself first, because you deserve it. You may even succeed, and your confidence will skyrocket when those skinny jeans that you haven’t been able to wear in a year start to fit again. That’s amazing Mama and congrats to you!
But if that doesn’t happen, your value or worth isn’t any less. You have some extra love around your midriff because you needed to make room for a little person to grow. Your stretch marks are tiger stripes, and you earned each one of them. Each one telling the story of how you shared your body with someone else. You might carry your weight differently now than you did before your baby arrived. That’s a curvy reminder of all the blood, sweat and tears that went into delivering your newest best friend.
Why rush getting back into those jeans? Your days are spent covered in spit up, crawling on the floor, and chasing after little ones at the playground. The memories you make now aren’t defined by the size of your clothes. Never once has your child looked at you and thought, “My mom is wearing that?! What happened to her favorite cute little romper she used to look so good in?” – your child looks at you, like you hung the stars in the sky.
Your little one’s favorite spot is curled up on your lap listening to a story. Even if your lap has a little extra cushion these days – it’s your child’s safe place.
When you have your arms wrapped around their fragile little bodies, all is right in your child’s world. Your little one beams with pride when you walk into their room in the morning. Their heart bursts anytime you hold them close and smother them in kisses. Your children don’t look at you any differently now that you have curves or stretch marks, so Mama, follow their lead. Be proud of what your body did.
Pregnancy followed by labor and delivery changes a person. It changes your outlook on life. Having children changes everything – how fast you can eat a meal, how clean the bathroom is (or isn’t), how many hours of sleep you lost, just so your baby could sleep. It also changes your body too. (As it should, I mean, your body grew an entire person inside of it, and then birthed that human) Your body spent nine months readjusting your hormones for somebody you never even met. Your body stretched and expanded far beyond what you thought it was capable of, to create the perfect living environment for a complete stranger. Be proud of that.
It may help your postpartum mentality to work hard at getting down to a specific weight. You might make the effort to go to the gym a few times a week and begin a healthier diet or lifestyle. There is nothing wrong with this, you need to do what makes you happy Mama.
It may also help your postpartum mentality to embrace the “survive not thrive” motto, and merely make it to bedtime each day. Or, you may find yourself somewhere between the two extremes, yearning for that pre-pregnancy body back, while also surviving on lactation cookies and coffee. Whatever your journey is, whatever number is on the scale, you have nothing to ‘bounce back’ from right now. You are a beautiful mom, living the most beautiful life. You rock that postpartum body, and all of its curves and edges.