I’m scrolling through Instagram after finally getting my baby to sleep, giving myself a few minutes to zone out before collapsing into bed.
As a new mom myself, I’ve recently started following many other mothers on Instagram, searching for my people, or at least slightly more relatable people to my life at the moment, rather than my usual feed full of gorgeous sights and perfect influencers gazing at said sights.
The moms I follow run the gamut from heavily curated feeds, to the letterboard-heavy, to the ones promising “honest motherhood.”
There are mothers all over the world, mothers with multiples, traveling mothers, and new moms like myself. Amongst the new moms especially, I notice a trend.
Many of these new moms are saying the same thing–I can’t wait to get my body back after having my baby!
This always gives me pause.
First off, the phrase has always bothered me–get your body back? Where did it go?
Secondly, although I am well over the time limit for the old rule of thumb: “Nine months to gain the weight for the baby, nine months to lose the weight after baby” rule my mother recited to me when I was several weeks postpartum, I have no desire to get my body to the way it was before.
I am beginning to realize this is not the norm.
The very fact that I was told by my mother, only a few weeks into the motherhood thing, that I had time to lose the weight–implying that I should lose the weight–shows how very normal these expectations are.
Here I was, recovering from a C-section and working my way through serious postpartum anxiety, and oh yeah, learning to be a mother, and my mother was concerned about my weight.
Moreover, she expected me to be concerned about my weight, when in fact the only things I wanted from my body at that moment were to keep nourishing my child, and to heal from major abdominal surgery.
My body is certainly different than it was.
I struggled with my weight and body image before baby, and those issues most definitely aren’t resolved.
My stomach and breasts especially feel foreign to me.
But, here’s the thing–I didn’t have much love for my body before baby.
Although there are many things I would change about my current body, I have love for it I never did before.
This body made and birthed a baby.
I’ve been my daughter’s primary source of nutrition and comfort for over a year now. How incredible! This body created my perfect angel baby and I like to be reminded of that.
Even if it’s a reminder found in saggy, leaky boobs and a pouch and a few tiger stripes. My body is different, because motherhood has changed me, in every way.
Motherhood, the thing that has been the one of the biggest joys of my whole life. And I would never go back to the way it was before. Not even for a perfect figure.