In college a professor spoke of visiting a fellow faculty member after giving birth. Apparently, she had on her usual jeans and makeup while in the hospital. And I thought to myself I want to be just like that when I have a baby.
Spoiler alert: I was not.
I did not put an ounce of makeup on in the hospital or the four weeks following her birth.
I left the hospital makeup-less and you guessed it…in maternity leggings. A far cry from my “regular jeans”.
I admired maternity pictures of friends with perfectly round baby bumps. Once again telling myself that had to be me. I took a weekly picture of my own growing baby bump but craved the ones that were flattering.
I didn’t always look at the picture with love and admiration. Sometimes it was downright frustrating. I would catch a glimpse of a non-flattering angle of myself and would melt down.
I visited a friend after she had her first baby. She looked amazing.
She was already in her prematernity attire and looked completely put together. I vowed to myself that that would be me.
But you guessed it…it wasn’t.
I decided that the logical thing to do four weeks after delivery was to go for a run. Well, you can imagine how that went. I peed my pants a block in. The rational side of my brain told me to stop, that my body wasn’t ready, but another part told me “you want to bounce back right?”
I wish that I could go back to that new mama and give her a little shake.
Don’t you see how amazing your body is?!
You are strong.
You are healthy.
You just grew and delivered a HUMAN BEING!
My body was capable of more than I ever could have imagined and yet the only thing I was focused on was how it was changing. Of course, it was different, it had done things it never had before.
Whether you fit into your prematernity clothes in 4 weeks, 4 years or never again your body is amazing.
Whether you had the perfectly round basketball shaped baby bump or not, your body is beautiful.
Stop telling yourself that the journey to motherhood only looks one certain way.
Above all I would go back and remind that sweet new mama that the precious little baby girl nestled in her arms will be watching.
If you learn to love your body, she will grow up loving hers.
This post originally appeared on the author’s Facebook Page