Surprising people find it entirely ok to comment on my postpartum body. Since giving birth I've become so much more aware of our societies obsession with weight - the number more than anything else.
Ive heard from so many, things like "you look great, you've really lost all of the baby weight" and "it must feel good to have your body back and more" while also adding their little jabs like "you still have a bit of work to do on your thighs though".
While these may sound primarily like compliments they reveal so much more to me - people expect woman to regain "who they once were" after pregnancy and childbirth. Not only do I find it strange that anyone but especially strangers and acquaintances feel it necessary to comment on my body but that they believe I do or should want to return to my "old" self because you know what? I don't.
I invested a lot to get where I am. I waited y. e. a. r. s. to finally become pregnant, I waited 42 amazing weeks for that little someone to grow inside me and be ready to meet me. I braved 4hrs of labour - through intense contractions, last minute birth plan changes and a sleepless night. I birthed - 4 sweet pushes in our home, in our bed and my son had finally arrived. I've breastfed long hours, all day, all night, whenever my child needed. I've grown, waited and loved in this body in a way I n. e. v. e. r. had before. Why would I ever want to give this up to be the old me?
I know, you're thinking "but the old you was tighter, prettier, dressed better, wore make up every day" and you may believe that equates to something better, you may even think you're right about me but you know what I see when I look in the mirror now? I see strength, a depth of beauty I'd never seen in myself before, I see love, the marks of life on my body and the home I made for my son while he grew. I see a happy soul, contentment and joy. I never use to look at myself this way - before when you thought I was better I was really weak. I struggled to find my own beauty. I covered up what I saw as imperfections with make up and clothes and was ashamed of my body. So when you look at me, the lowly mom who "doesn't care anymore" and "needs to loose some of those baby rolls" and "who is doing so great with weight loss" but you think looked better before; know this. I care more now because I want my son to grow up seeing the truth. I AM beautiful. I don't need the other stuff because I couldn't be more than I already am. I'm content. Happy. Loved.
Next time you think it's complimentary to comment on a moms (or really anyone for that matter) body and weight perhaps skip over your opinions about that person and just remind them - you're more beautiful today than you have ever been. Say it. Mean it.
Our parents were right guys, beauty isn't the adorning of the outside but the spirit on the inside. Be rare and bare your soul. That's where the real beauty of motherhood comes from.
If you're struggling to find beauty in pregnancy or postpartum reach out to us. We'd love to listen and show you some love.