Friday, April 29, 2016

changed for the better

Mid-March, I found myself staring into the mirror, with a sullen expression on my face. I just wasn't happy with the sagging skin, the muffin top, the bags underneath my eyes. For a moment, I let myself forget that I had just given birth one month before. 

One month. 

And not only was I just one month postpartum, I was still a full month away from getting medical clearance to work out because of having a c section. All this and I was already unhappy with the way my body looked. I was already not good enough. 

As I was telling a friend about this experience, she expressed to me that after her first child was born, she was sharing some of these same grievances with her mom. To which her wise mother responded something to the effect of when I was your age and having children, no one expected us to have a baby and bounce right back to our normal selves. They didn't expect us to act or look like nothing had happened to our bodies...because something HAD happened! 

I've really tried to keep that in mind as I transition back to a non-pregnant weight and size. Something DID happen to my body. Something incredible. Something amazing. Something miraculous. And I'm so grateful that it did. I'm so grateful for a cherubic infant who snuggles into my curves and sagging skin. Who grabs hold of my muffin top with her tiny, chubby fingers, with no intent to ever let go. Who stares just above the dark circles that hang below my eyes and peers into my soul. Because when she does, I catch a glimpse of heaven. 

I'm so grateful for my angelic Leah, who reminds me every day that our bodies - functioning or not - aren't the only things that are important. It is our spirits, our souls, that truly have worth. 

I'm grateful for my silly Kate and that she mixes up words sometimes. Because it's so much better to hear "Mom, I think your shirt is too big for you" as I exercise than what she actually means - that I'm too big for my spandex shirt.   

I'm so grateful for my own mother who never valued herself (at least in front of me) based on her physical fitness, but did show that taking good care of your body was important. 

I'm grateful for a husband who, when I'm indulging in a much-too-big bowl of ice cream at the end of a really long Thursday, doesn't say a thing. 

And I'm so grateful for Jane. I'm grateful she is reminding me that my body changed because she is HERE. She is in my arms! A living, breathing miracle. And with that reminder, I hope to remember I'll always be good enough.  

(I know, you really wanted to see a picture of my curves. You get Jane's instead.)


t.t.turner said...

This is so beautiful. I need to read this daily. This world today has set up such unrealistic expectations for women, it's miserable just thinking about them, let alone trying to keep up. Thank you so much for this, Maren.

robin marie said...

I have been feeling the same way. What a great way to put it! Your baby is darling and so is that quilt!

Josh and Laura said...

You're blogging again!! Woohoo! I really love this post. What a great reminder. I never got back to my pre-baby jeans after Tate and I beat myself up about it for months! Then I finally realized " I am a mom of 3! I'm not supposed to look like a teenager or a fashion blogger!" Sometimes we hold ourselves to such ridiculous standards of perfection- at least I do! Love you!

lis said...

Thanks for the wise and positive words. Xoxo