Self-love has always been hard for me. Even as a kid, I would imagine being skinnier, prettier, smarter, taller. I always envied girls who I thought were all of those things.
Then, I had kids very young and back to back.
Droopy boobs, wider hips and a wider waist, streaks of stretch marks. It’s difficult having kids and watching as your body takes on a completely different form. But, that different form grew my beautiful babies for 9 months. My body went through all the growing pains, all the contractions, gave me my 2 babies, and continues to grow my third. Those stretch marks are my battle scars and a very small price to pay for what I gained in return.
Now that I have a daughter, a son, and another daughter on the way, how I talk about myself and my body in front of them is so important. Sure, I could pinch my thighs and wish they were smaller, I could stare at my widening hips in the mirror, I could cover up at the pool, or wear longer pants in the summer instead of shorts, I could say how “fat” I feel as my stomach continues to grow to make room for my third baby.
My children are like human sponges and soak up everything we say and notice when we’re unhappy. I’m sure if you have kids, you’ve noticed they’re the same way. They’re watching you, mama. They’re watching you as you stand in the mirror for hours poking and prodding all the excess skin that sags down. They’re watching as you change clothes for the 7th time because you don’t feel good enough in any of it. They’re watching as you wish to look like the other mom at the park that bounced back within weeks of having her baby.
So instead, celebrate those stretch marks! Put on that sexy dress that makes you feel like a million bucks. Tell yourself how beautiful you are. Our kids don’t need a perfect, skinny mom, they need a happy one; one that loves the woman she sees in the mirror. This isn’t all to say you can’t try to better yourself. Strive to be fit, eat healthier, go on walks, work out; but meet yourself where you are. Love yourself, your whole self, fully and completely, where you are and for who you are right now. Our positivity towards our bodies will rub off on those little girls and boys we’re raising to be strong and full of self-love!