For the last six years my body has swayed back and forth. It sounds gentle, to sway, but as we mamas know, the changes our bodies go through from pre-pregnancy to postpartum is anything but gentle. It's hard physically and it's even harder emotionally. Often I've found myself looking in the mirror and wondering, "Who are you?" It's true, motherhood leads me to barely recognize myself.
This season of my life, the childbearing years, takes me through lots of clothes sizes—my closet boasts smalls to x-large; and even more pounds—at least 40. As my waist fluctuates, my boobs balloon and deflate depending on my breastfeeding status. My heart seems to do the same thing. It beams when I'm having a pulled together day and sinks when the reality of my worn body hits home.
I'm not the same as I once was. Motherhood has changed me—inside and out. There's no doubt I'm better because I'm a mom and, as I've made this connection, I've learned to love my postpartum body.
But saying "I love my body" takes more than just words. It takes actions and sometimes a swift kick in the bum to remind myself how truly awesome I am even though I'm in transition. Here's what I'm doing to jumpstart the postpartum body love while celebrating six weeks of having my little one earth side!
I told my husband to hide our scale.
I don't need that thing pestering me for a good nine months. It took my body almost a year to gain 40 pounds so I'm giving it at least that long to shed it.
No matter that it might only be my size for a handful of weeks. Having something that feels good and supports the girls is a must!
Comfort matters, numbers don't.
I went to the grocery store with just me in mind.
While breastfeeding I'm 10 times hungrier than normal. So in an effort to fuel myself with healthy choices, I went grocery shopping and filled the cart with quick snacks and meals just for me.
I accepted my current size.
That means I marched myself into Nordstrom and bought a nice pair of jeans without worrying about the number stitched into the waistband. Comfort matters, numbers don't.
I chose to document this season.
I promise it isn't in vain when I snap photos of my postpartum body. Rather, it's to remind myself what real beauty looks like and show my kids that it's what is inside that counts. It has been so encouraging to join the Take Back Postpartum movement on Instagram too - you must check it out!
I wrote postpartum affirmations.
I adore birth affirmations and the motivation they bring, so why not postpartum affirmations? Visual reminders that say, "You grew a tiny human!", "Your body has done great things!", "You are strong!", and "It's what is inside that counts!" give me the pep talk I need when I'm feeling down.
The time will come when I have energy and interest in working out. Today is not that day. And that's OK! Right now I'm sleep-deprived, nursing around the clock, and caring for all the needs of three children—gym time ain't on my radar! Instead, I focus on the fact that I'm burning calories during dance parties with my big kids and making memories. That's enough for me today.
I found myself a loving tribe.
We all need someone who gets what these postpartum days are like. Find those people in your life, love on them, and let them love on you!
I gave myself a break.
This is just a season, a precious one at that. I deserve kindness and that kindness starts with me.