How many times I hear women so proud of being mums talking incessantly about their children while showing their photos but suddenly shy away at the mention of being photographed?
It is no secret that having a baby – or even more than one – is a wonderful experience. The rewards are fantastic – and a little challenging – but somehow they leave us with that “not being ok with my body” kind of feeling. We give so much to our children – love, dedication, care, attention, time and energy to name a few – that we forget to think of ourselves. We almost feel guilty if we happen to think “I would love to see myself feminine again” because in our heads it sounds as bad as if the “F” word was shouted with full force in our kids’ face. But still we look in the mirror and we pull faces at our image and we are ashamed of uncovering our rounded bellies and those stretch marks because in our minds they makes us look less beautiful.
What happened to my body?
Suddenly we start wearing ample shirts, there is no way we put our arms on show and our stomachs are absolutely out of bounds.
I am a mum and I admit that I have been doing that particular gesture of covering my belly a lot and especially when photographed. I have even thought of trying those high waisted knickers that were in vogue when my granny was a young gal but my husband gave me the tiniest piece of lingerie you can think of instead. How I could possibly slip into that thing without feeling a giant mortadella is beyond me…
But then I hear my wonderful husband compliment my figure every night when I undress and every morning when I get dressed. He loves my curves and my shape. The other day he told me that of course I look different from my 20s but he totally loves who I am now because I am a woman even with my baggy shirt and my sweatpants!
And I remember the beautiful feeling when my little Ethan does not want to go to sleep and standing in his cot he embraces my hips and rests his head onto my belly. He does it every evening and he calls me “mommy”. He loves it because I am soft and reassuring. This is what a mom feels like for her kids. A soft, warm and gentle embrace that will take all their worries away.
Rethink “scars”, rethink you
I want you to think of those stretch marks not as scars but signs of the beautiful gift you gave life to and it is something no man will ever experience in their lives. And let’s be honest, with time men themselves develop a pretty rounded stomach, but beer is not the same as the miracle of life…
Jokes aside, those lines that you hate are beautiful instead. They carry the character of your choices, the love for your family and your infinite patience, but they do not define you as a person.
Would you really love if the only things people could see about you is what you are unhappy with? Why would you do that to yourself? A wrinkle or a flabby stomach does not tell anyone who you are, you do. You do it when you quickly cover those “difficult parts” every time you meet somebody, when you cannot help but complaining about your baby weight that you have not quite managed to shed yet, when you pull a miserable face every time you try a new pair of jeans and when you shy away from having pictures taken because you do not feel and look ok. You are saying to the world to look at those flaws you hate instead of looking at how beautiful you are inside AND out.
Do you have stretch marks? Wear them with pride. You have done the most beautiful and incredible thing a human being could do: you created a new life.
If you respect and focus on what you love about yourself, you will start embracing who you are and become irresistible. There is only one “you” in this life. Only one, do not waste it.
And if you love your kids, remember that they will become what you show them they can become. So, start showing yourself some love and they will love themselves as well.