The Mum Bod. Built for endurance. Sustained by coffee and the crusts of her children’s sandwiches. The Mum Bod comes in infinite different shapes and sizes; all of them beautiful. More often than not, it’s carried children [inside and out] for hours/days/months on end. It’s been stretched and pulled on, and it often bears the scars as reminders of what it can endure; what it is built for. It’s soft and sometimes saggy. It’s not what it used to be. But it’s strong. It’s unstoppable. And it’s bloody beautiful.
What I see:
I am my own worst critic. I focus on the saggy bits. The stretched and scarred parts that wobble when I walk. I cover my Mum Bod with Spanx, and spend hours trying to tone it. I impatiently wish away the postpartum weight. I remember what it once was, but forget what it has since achieved. I fight unhealthy habits that sneak in when I pour my time and energy into my children. I unintentionally miss meals, and then hide in the pantry eating cooking chocolate – respite from the tiny dictators.
I forget that my children love me regardless of my shape and size.
What my partner sees:
He watched me waste away while vomiting up my breakfast [lunch and tea] throughout the first trimester. He saw when I waddled around, threatening to drop a watermelon out my fandango every time I sneezed. And then he watched as this amazing Mum Bod birthed those gorgeous [albeit needy] watermelons.
..And speaking of melons:
Boobs. My partner see’s boobs. [Although not as often as I’m sure he’d like to.]
He watched [intently] as my breasts grew during pregnancy/breastfeeding, and also witnessed their steep and steady deflation afterwards. And while I might be struggling to come to terms with the myriad of changes; given the chance [any chance], he’s always willing to demonstrate his loving appreciation of a body that is far sexier than I give it credit for.
What my child sees:
A food source. A safe place. A climbing wall.
My child doesn’t care what shape I am. My child rests her head on my soft stomach; on my empty bosom. My child see’s my scars as the equivalent of a My Little Pony ‘cutie mark’ – something to be proud of, not something to hide away.
The rolls on my stomach and my swinging spaniel ears act as foot holds and harness, as my baby climbs onto my shoulders to embrace me, and cover my face with her dribbly kisses.
I am what she believes she will be. So more than anything else, I need to be confident and proud, regardless of the shape I’m rocking.
So if you’re like me, and currently inhabiting a Mum Bod; bloody own it. It’s the only one you’ll ever get. It’s achieved amazing feats. It’s made people. Give it a break.
Love the [excess] skin you’re in.