The Same Expectations
I reposted a brilliant, beautiful post the other day.
It was from a husband who was talking about his wife and the changes she had undergone to bring life into the world. Recognizing the sacrifice and challenging men/society to think about pregnancy and post-partum bodies on a deeper level.
After I shared it, it continued to be shared amongst my friends who were moms like wildfire.
It got me thinking, though… do we share this stuff because we feel self-conscious and don’t always accept ourselves? Do we leave it up to the men and the rest of the society to deem whether or not we are OK because our current state of being? Permission to exist?
I had varicose veins and an insane amount of loose skin going into my marriage from my initial weight loss of over 130 pounds. Oh, and stretch marks too, but those fade after a certain number of years. Anyway, my husband knew full well what he was getting pre- or post-baby. It was REALLY hard for me to even be seen in shorts around him for a long time. And still some days I get self-conscious if he happens to see me in a towel. “Will he love me less? Does he still find me attractive?”
We beg, plead, DEMAND everyone to accept us. Take us as we are. Praise us for what we’ve done. Look past the current state of our body. “Forgive” us for not being perfect.
But… is that really a cry from our depths in all actuality?
Could it be that we’re looking for that outside acceptance because we refuse to give it to ourselves?
Sometimes I look in the mirror and get so mad at myself. And then if my husband happens to come into the room too soon after and doesn’t tell me I’m beautiful or attractive he’s in the dog house. And he doesn’t.even.know.what.is.going.on. (Anyone else?!) He’s not the best at complimenting anything so it’s not a surprise. It’s not like he used to and no longer does. It’s just that- in that moment- I needed vindication. I needed to know that I was wrong. And I expected him to say that for me. But he didn’t. BECAUSE HE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT WAS HAPPENING.
I’d like to challenge you to do 2 things:
1. Write a letter to yourself. Thank your body for what it’s done. Thank your mind for what it’s done. Apologize for the negativity you’ve cast on it for simply doing its job. Remind yourself how kick-ass you truly are. And keep that letter close for when you need to read it. Again and again.
2. Spend some time with your “after baby body” in the mirror. Study the changes. Think about what caused those changes- keep a picture of your child close in case you need a reminder.
Your BODY made a HUMAN. MADE.A.HUMAN. And it GREW a human. Not only that, but it BIRTHED a human. When I was pregnant, I often thought about how weird the process of pregnancy really is. They start out as little dots and come out with noses and arms and dimples and moles. Crazy.
And yet, after all that, we choose to Despise. Hate. Cover up. Hide. Resent.
Ladies, ladies, ladies:
This madness HAS to stop. And it starts with us. #selflove