Ah, summer. You either love it or you hate it. Here in “famously hot” Columbia, it’s easy for me to fall into the latter group of people. Now that I’m not a student or a teacher anymore, the magic of summer has worn off over the years. Summer days for me are just like any other days, except hotter.
Also, there’s nothing like summer time for self-consciousness to creep up right along with the temperature. Images of tanned, bikini clad young girls fill up my social media timelines and I sigh as I scroll past them. Sitting here with my mommy ‘pooch’, stretch marks, and unshaven legs (just keepin’ it real, y’all), it’s easy for me to want to fast forward to fall with comfy sweaters and leggings.
Since I can’t control the weather, one thing I can control is my attitude towards my own body. I look at myself in the mirror, groaning over each stretch mark, each thigh dimple, and my not so flat tummy. Not that I ever had a great physique, but it can be a bit disheartening to see your body for what it is rather than what you would like it to be, postpartum or not.
One thing I love to see across social media is this movement of body positivity. Women of all sizes sharing their stories about overcoming body shame and loving themselves. I also know this isn’t easy for everyone, including myself. The weight (no pun intended) of feeling beautiful or worthy is a heavy one to bear for women.
I saw a quote recently that really gave me a new perspective on body image. It said, “Imagine if we obsessed about the things we loved about ourselves.” So when that self-esteem sinks, think about the wonderful things our bodies have done and can do rather than those stretch marks or extra pounds. Things like:
My body has carried, nourished, and birthed two amazing children.
My body somehow functions all day despite months of sleep deprivation.
My arms can carry both of my kids at the same time.
My legs are often the favorite napping place for my baby.
My back and shoulders carry my toddler when she wants to go for a ride.
My heart loves more than I ever thought possible.
So mama, don’t fret over the fact that your body isn’t the same as it was before kids. Because it’s not! Your body is different. Your “mom bod” is amazing! It’s stronger than we ever imagined. Nourish it, take care of it, and love it the best way you know how. Because your little ones looking up at you love it just the same.