my "mama" body

12:50 PM

The first time I went through postpartum it hit me like a ton of bricks. Seeing my body for the first time without that familiar roundedness. Seeing the effects of the pregnancy on every square inch of me was... tough. I've always been petite so every "mistake" so to speak shows, there's not a lot of room for error. And my goodness all I saw was error. Combine that with my struggle with breastfeeding, a long road towards healing and all those wacky hormones and I was a mess. I eventually got to a place where I was more or less happy with how I looked and then... We got pregnant again! LOL
With Teddy I was much more prepared for both the changes during and after pregnancy. I knew what to expect - the hair loss, the lumpiness, the belly, the sagging and the hormones. I lost a lot of the weight significantly faster than with Birdie, probably in a large part due to having to care for Birdie who was a very active two year old by now. But to say that I looked the same as I did pre-pregnancy would be a huge stretch. I do not. I probably will never look that way again. And for the first time ever I think I am ok with that. 
I work out a little bit here and there. I try to eat healthy but to be honest with you my body and my weight simply are not priorities for me. I am healthy and able-bodied. High-waisted jeans are back in. And there are too many things that are needing my attention right now. Like pretend camping trips in the teepee. Dinner on the stove. Time with my husband that is so precious to me. And the need to nourish my mind that has been on sabbatical since approximately 2012. I want to read more, relax more, play more, cook and bake more and dream more this year. I don't want to calorie count or stare at the numbers on the elliptical. I think perhaps one day very soon I will again but not now. 
This choice doesn't always sit well with me. Sometimes I see a photo of myself from a certain angle and I cringe. I wish I had that dang thigh gap (although I've never had a thigh-gap, even at my skinniest in college I had sizable thighs). I wish my arms were slimmer and I had a flatter tummy. There are days I really, really wish I looked different and am weighed down by the guilt, self-flagellation and envy. Those days are tough. 
And yet it's so very silly. All of it. My body, though perhaps not aesthetically pleasing, gets me around every day. My body allows me to care and love my family. My body allows me to give hugs, bake cookies, rock feverish babies all through the night and carry them up flights of stairs all day long. My body may not be thin, or perfect, or model material but it is strong, healthy and capable and I really need to stop taking that for granted. And I want to raise a daughter that doesn't derive her sense of self from what she seems in the mirror, in a photo or what other's may think of her. 
We are beautiful not because of how we look but because of how we love.

*Kevin snapped this photo of us this past fall and I never posted it because I thought I looked unflattering. I still do but it was such a sweet moment so I'm going to share it anyway.

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