It’s no secret that pregnancy and motherhood can drastically alter a woman’s body. Weight gain, stretch marks, saggy breasts…there are countless ways your body might change after having kids. It’s true that some of us weren’t exactly slender pre-tot, and others somehow leave the hospital weighing less than before getting pregnant. But I have yet to meet a mom who can’t instantly tell you what “flaws” her body possesses now that it didn’t before. Here are mine: I wear a size larger jeans than I did pre-baby. I have a 6″ scar under my tummy pooch. Oh, and that pooch has gotten unquestionably more prominent.
But why do we have to look at our c-section scars, stretch marks, and yes, added weight, as flaws? We wouldn’t have them if we hadn’t done the single coolest thing a human being can do. WE MADE PEOPLE, Y’ALL! So let’s embrace the bodies that made that possible. Let’s come together to Rock Our Mom Bods!
Ok, so I’m not saying that we should all give up on our fitness goals or stop trying to eat healthier. I’m still going to work on being able to run further and lift more. I still want to try to drop a couple sizes. And I definitely need to work on eating fewer sour worms. But I’m not going to hate on my body while I do it.
Luckily, we are in an age of women empowering women. I see new hashtags and posts all the time that encourage us to love our bodies for what they are. #BellyJelly and #weartheshorts are two I keep coming across. They both tell us to be proud of our bodies and not to hide behind flowy shirts and long pants just because society dictates that we should hide our extra fluff and dimples. That’s awesome, and those are things every woman should feel comfortable doing, not just moms.
So how can we take this a step further? How can we truly #RockTheMomBod?
Wear the shorts, or the dress, or the halter top. Whatever it is that makes you happy and comfortable, just wear it! And let your child hear you say things like “I love the way this makes me feel” or “I like how this matches my eyes”, rather than “This is too tight on my stomach”.
Don’t let your child see/hear you obsess about your weight or size. Yes, of course, if those are areas that you are working on, continue to do so. But be positive about it. “Mom has worked really hard to look and feel this good” is a way better impression to leave on your child than letting them see you frowning at numbers on a scale.
Show off what your body can do. Carry your child on your shoulders. Run circles around them at the park. Go for a family bike ride (in your shorts, of course!). Show them how strong your arms are by mixing cookie dough, or doing push-ups, or just giving them a super tight hug.
Put a positive spin on things others might think of as flaws. If your child points out stretch marks or asks about your c-section scar, acknowledge the miracle behind them–they wouldn’t exist without your children! Grey hairs? They show how much wiser you have become and all the knowledge you have to share with your kids. A little extra fluff? Maybe it’s so you can provide a soft lap to sit in.
Regardless of how you decide to go about it, let your children see you loving the body you have. It’s the body that brought them into this world. It is the body that has allowed you to take care of them.
As for me, I’m 33 years old with a 2-year-old daughter. I’m 5’4″, 188 pounds on a good day, and I wear size 12 jeans. But I try to make sure my daughter sees me loving my body. I wear swimsuits without cover-ups when we go to the pool. I wear tank tops and shorts and take selfies without filters. I enjoy rocking my mom bod.