I’m Proud of My “Mom Bod”
A few days ago, while I was hanging out with my 20-year-old sister (who, for the record, looks like an extremely fit version of a Victoria's Secret model and also has never had children), I noticed she was reading an article that has been making the rounds lately.
You've probably seen it by now, the mom-of-four who “bravely” showed off her imperfect stomach and some barely noticeable stretch marks. I mean, look, I know we all start with different bodies and end with different bodies and even skinny people can be insecure after having kids, but really? If my stomach looked like that, I can guarantee you that I would probably be asking people to grate cheese on that thing. Go ahead, childless people–I dare you.
But my point is–I'm so over people trying to pin women who show off “imperfect” bodies or stretch marks as “brave.” Last time I checked, no body is perfect and it doesn't take being brave to wear a freaking swimsuit to the beach. Most of us have stretch marks, so what exactly is brave about that again?
I don't know, but I'm just so sick of it all. I am a woman who has had four kids and I still, honestly, look like I'm pregnant. I've been working out like crazy and I think I have diastasis recti going on, but most days, all I think about is my stomach and how gross it is–which is pretty darn depressing, isn't it?
For the record, here's me, totally unedited:
A few weeks ago, my two-year-old son was cuddling with me on the couch (a rare occurrence, so one that I treasured) and as he was settling in, kind of fluffing me up like a pillow he commented, “Mom, you're so comfy! Like a blanket!”
I couldn't help but laugh, because I am pretty soft and comfy like a blanket. And tell me again, why, that is such a bad thing? I've been working my buns off to get my stomach down after four kids (I've always been a belly person, even pre-kids!), holding on to this ideal of someday being the woman who could sit down without rolls popping out over her jeans. But what if that's not the real ideal I should be aiming for? What if my husband really does think I'm sexy and what if I just let go of the fact that I think I need to prove myself through a perfectly flat stomach?
What if it really was OK if we all had different “mom bods?” What if it really was OK that right now, my stomach is a little bigger than I want it to be, but that it just so happens that my particular body and its individual make-up might need a bit more time to get it down to where I feel my healthiest?
I'm not going to lie and say that the road to postpartum body acceptance is easy, because it's not. A lot of my mood and my self-worth is tied to how I look, and more importantly, how I feel about my body. I feel better, have more energy, and am happier when I exercise and eat right, period.
But something tells me that if women can embrace men who have “dad bods,” and my son can happily snuggle with my “mom bod,” and my husband can certainly appreciate my “mom bod”…
Why shouldn't I?