My body after kids
Peace starts from within. I’ve been wanting to talk publicly about this for more than one year now. Fighting against our own internal voice is difficult. Most of the time the only person that knows the real struggle is you. It could be fear, embarrassment, sadness, shame, anger, frustration and more.
Usually what we don’t say out loud is not positive or happy, that; we hide inside of us in the deepest places of our hearts and minds, we do this so nobody can see how fragile or vulnerable we are or can be. If no one can see this, we won’t get hurt.
If you feel identified with this, let me tell you that there are so many of us just like you that shed tears when nobody is watching or feel self conscious about something.
For me, my struggle was my body after having my first baby. I wont say it’s all good now but I am in a waaaaay better place than 4 and half years ago. My daughter was born, January 2013 and for the first 2 months I cried a lot. It was not postpartum depression and I did not have baby blues. Not everything has to have a title and an explanation and if it does, it doesn’t mean that being diagnosed makes it better.
I was actually very happy, grateful and felt blessed every day after the birth of my daughter, I embraced my new role so naturally that it seemed so easy and comfortable but when a mirror was near or I had to take a shower, it was then that I felt dark, sad and wanted to act negative and bitter. I liked to complain about how miserable I felt and how “unfair” it was that my belly got destroyed.
My main issue was that most of my friends look amazing after having babies. It seemed like 90% of them did not have stretched skin. I was not able to relate with my friends. It felt like I was the only one going through this.
And I was constantly being bombarded on social media, tv and magazines by perfect or decently looking postpartum bodies that felt like a slap on the face.
When I was in that negative space I felt sadness for living in a body I did not recognize. It was a foreign body that did the most amazing thing; create life inside of it and birth a baby and then make food to feed the baby… How amazing is that?? I would celebrate it and be mesmerized by the miracle our bodies are capable of and then again I was so confused and had mixed emotions every hour. I was happy and sad 10 times a day, my days felt like a rollercoaster.
My poor hubby tried so many things to make me feel better, happier, loved! Actually he did something so nice, he gifted me a trophy that he bought at a dollar store with a letter saying how grateful he was for seeing how I became the best mother upon his eyes… the best! It impacted me.
It was maybe 2 weeks after I received that trophy, that I looked at myself in the mirror, cried one of my last frustrated, sad, scared, confused & angry tears and made the decision to never be sad about the way I looked. That day was my last day of feeling miserable and I chose to embrace my NEW me.
What helped me get to that better place was to think that, if God came to me, showed me a photo of my “mom body” and gave me a choice:
“Aliser, this is what you will look like if you become a mother, you can choose to have that blessing or not. Do you want to be a mom?”
I would say YES, one thousand times yes, with no hesitation. Even if I saw a photo of the way I would look after a baby and being warned about the changes to my body, I will always say YES!
That’s when everything changed for me.
It’s ok to be in a dark place if your intentions are to not stay there for a long time. Sometimes we need to fall so we can rise strong and powerful. We need to understand what being sad is so we can appreciate when we want to be in a happy place and stay there.
Talking about it makes it better and helps you realize that you are not alone in whatever struggle you are going through. When I’ve talked about, I’ve learnt that more people close to me feel the same way. I talk about my journey because I’d like people to know that this happens to many of us but we are just afraid, feel alone or are embarrassed of showing it or talking about it.
My skin is different, I now wear a mommy skin. The most loved, kissed, caressed skin I’ve ever had. My kids see my mommy skin, their mommy’s skin; and hug it, touch it, squeeze it and literally Love it. Laying on my belly feels like home for them. A belly that has held them since the moment their hearts started to beat.
The belly on the photo is the belly I have hated, feared, cried about and now accepted as part of this amazing journey called motherhood. I feel in peace about it and finally feel brave to show it.
Why have I decided to share it? Because if you are reading and you can relate, you are not alone.
If your body is marked, has changed or you feel sad because you don’t look the way you did before having babies, remember; that does NOT define who you are.
Many of us struggle with the changes after an incredible blessing. You are not being superficial or vain, it’s being a human being that has emotions and is real and honest about what is going on. We don’t have to pretend everything is perfect and it’s not necessarily postpartum depression if you feel sad about it.
My advice to you… BE KIND. Be kind to yourself the way you are kind to a stranger. Don’t be too hard on yourself and take the time you need to overcome the fact that things are different. Embrace your new you and turn it into something amazing! You are amazing.
I am Aliser, art lover and owner of Smallprint. I create custom silver pieces & host quarterly tea parties to celebrate mothers and daugthers in communities across Alberta. Reach out if you'd like to host one.