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Monday, September 1, 2014

embracing the curves

Here's what I know about being a woman: it's really hard to love every part of your body. Right? I mean, is there a woman out there who loves every part of her body? Is there a woman out there who accepts every inch of her skin?

And post-pregnancy, it gets harder to accept all the flaws, right?

Well, I think that we should try to change that up a bit. I think for those of us with daughters especially, we need to change our viewpoint of ourselves. We need to find a way to be confident, to show that we're cool with the stretch marks because they brought our babies to us. To be fine with the extra leg jiggle because it means instead of spending time at a gym we chose to play in the sandbox after work while it was still daylight.

I realized this idea this summer, while spending so much more time looking at myself in my skin, spending much of my time outside under the sprinkler or sitting at a beach with the kids. I realized, honestly, it ain't that bad around here. I have a strong body that lets me chase, run, and play tag. What more could I ask for?

Here's to embracing the curves, ladies.

Sometimes we take pictures where we hate the angle our face is, but because there's the most ADORABLE smile on our child's face, we don't delete it.

Sometimes you see the zits on the skin, or the skin that hasn't had a real facial in years because it's too expensive and all extra money goes toward the kids' Christmas gifts. Yet, the smile on that mom face is so genuinely happy, we keep that picture on the phone, because, well, it's just amazing to feel that happy.

Then there is the baby belly. The one that is still there. STILL. 
Even though it's been 2.5 years since you last delivered a child from that belly.

The belly that you suck in sometimes. The one that you buy certain shirts to cover, or certain jeans to make look more flattering. 

That belly we pretend we don't really have. Yet you know every mom has it.

The one that remains despite how much running we do, how many carbs we avoid, or how many crunches we say we're going to do when we get more energy at night after the kids are in bed. 

The belly that you buy a certain type of bathing suit to cover, as a last ditch effort of feeling comfortable on the beach in the summer. 

Let me tell you something about that belly, ladies.
It brought life into the world.
It carried a human. It nourished and allowed a miracle to occur.

Stop hatin' on that belly, moms! Stop it right now.
It's a part of you. It's a part of your child's story. Don't wish it away anymore.

Love it. Squeeze it even and just accept that it's there.
Believe that it's OK to look this way.

There are those legs. The ones that used to be in such good shape, that didn't jiggle when you ran after something.

Again, how could you hate them? They are perfect jungle gyms for your kids.

Here's the thing about post-pregnancy bodies. They look AMAZING to most people. They look strong and unique. They look curvy, which apparently most people really love in another person. They look confident and quite frankly AWESOME.

Moms bodies are powerful, sexy, phenomenal.

It's all based on our point of view, our perspective, our ability to see past what we first see when looking at those so-called "flaws."

Another mother is going to see your body as gorgeous. While you're sitting there wishing you had her body, that she said she hated this morning.

Sometimes we hate that our breasts are saggy or not quite in the spot we had them before the kids came along.

But those girls fed your babies. They helped grow your kids. They changed while your belly changed. They had purpose.

Purpose is good.
Hating the only body you have is bad.

So try to be OK with what you see.
Most days. I know it's not going to happen overnight or every day.
I'm not saying my body is perfect. I'm not there yet either.
I'm just saying all moms should TRY.
Try to really, truly, see yourself. SEE what others probably see.

They don't know about all those stretch marks, I guarantee you. They don't see your legs jiggle when you chase after you kids. Instead, they're watching that smile on your son's face or hearing the laughter that's coming from his totally cool mother who isn't caring about what she's wearing or how she's looking on this beach, but instead is totally in the moment enjoying her child's childhood.

So stand up and be OK.
Accept your body for what it is.

Workout, exercise, take a walk, do yoga NOT for the sake of losing weight or changing everything about your body, thinking it's not good enough as it is, but to become stronger, so you can run faster outside with the kids, so you can easily keep up with their adventures.

Do it for time alone, time to reflect on how great your body is for doing what it did for you through pregnancy and bringing your kids into the world.

Learn to love your body so your daughter will someday, too.

So that your son will respect the women in his future for being strong, confident, and beautiful, not by some magazine's standards.

Love yourself. Be OK with what you see.
Embrace those curves, ladies.

You're gorgeous. Did you know that? You are. I see you and I mean it.

*Show your confidence and post a picture of you in your bathing suit on the Mommy Stories Facebook group * SMILE. You're beautiful !

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