I hope you enjoyed Part I and Part II of my Body Beautiful series. I asked moms everywhere to accept the beautiful bodies they have been given through pregnancy and child birth. During this process friends kept asking me why I wasn’t posing in front of the camera and including my own post partum body. Well, I didn’t want this project to be about my image, I wanted it to be about the journey’s. I thought I’d offer a more intimate look at my post partum body acceptance journey by sharing my story and how I got here.
Nearly five years ago I stood in my bedroom and cried. I was only a few months post partum, but this was the first time I had looked at my body. I was so big during my pregnancy with twins that I couldn’t see the stretch marks forming. Now they were bright red lines stretching out like lines on a map. I was also left with a C-section scar and what most twin moms are lucky to receive, the “twin skin.” That’s a nice roll of skin that will never snap back into place and so it just kind of hangs off of your mid section. I was feeling pretty powerless.
My husband walked in just as I was in the moment of taking it all in. I covered myself up quickly because I didn’t want him, or anyone else to see me like “this.” He asked me what was wrong and I told him, “I am hideous now.” Then he stepped closer and said, “show me.” I wasn’t prepared for what he said next. He looked me in the eye and said, “how could you ever think this isn’t beautiful? This was our babies first home. It kept them safe and healthy.” I was absolutely stunned. So stunned I stopped to really soak in what he said.
Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just flip a switch and suddenly love my body. But, that moment is the touch stone that keeps me on this path of acceptance. I worked my body hard after having the twins. Despite five months of bed rest and a painful year of physical therapy I made myself lose the baby weight and then some. I felt accomplished. But really what did I accomplish? There wasn’t a trophy or award handed to me. No pat on the back with “atta girl.” What I accomplished was satisfying everyone else’s expectations of what I was supposed to look like after having children. I mean every mom is supposed to make it her mission to lose the baby weight, right? I started to really wonder where that pressure comes from.
People made comments about how I looked good “for having twins.” I wondered what they would say if I only had one baby at a time. Did their comment mean I didn’t look as good as my singleton mommy counter parts? Did they mean I look healthy after coming through medical complications and a major surgery? Did they mean I looked great now because I looked like a giant whale before?
Maybe I don’t have the time in my day to really focus on my flaws like I did before having children. Or, maybe since turning 40 I am just tired of listening to my inner critique. I’ve gained a bit more wisdom about what’s really important in life. I don’t really care that I now weigh more than I did right after having kids. I don’t really care for people’s judgement of my body because they don’t know the story behind my body. They don’t know how fit I used to be, or how months of bed rest reversed all of that hard work. They don’t know what my body has lived through and survived. I don’t really need them to know either.
So go ahead world, judge away. What you see on the outside isn’t a reflection of the love and care I’ve given to my body to be able to create two healthy and amazing little humans. It isn’t equal to how big my heart is, how generous I am, how much I love to laugh or how much I love my children. I’ve always had a “love me or leave me” attitude. So, if someone isn’t going to love you for the person you are (not the body you are)… just let them leave.
The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here, Find her two party Body Beautiful project here and here.
Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy
You’re a beautiful woman and with a wonderful husband, don’t ever feel bad about your body! I’m glad that you’re well now!
It took some time, but I think having my husbands support really helped!
Oh, gosh, those qualified “compliments” are just the worst. I realize most people don’t even know what they’re really saying when things like that tumble out of their mouths, but that’s the problem, isn’t it? People don’t think about the words we use enough to make sure we’re really saying what we mean! I’m glad you were able to let go of all of that!
I know people mean well, and I am sure I’ve said somethings similar thinking I was offering compliments. But, I definitely rethink my words before letting them escape my lips!
You are exactly right. This is why the mom judging, the body judging, the judging all together needs to stop.
I’m over the judging! 🙂
This is wonderful. You did something amazing and you have the right to rock how you look now. Twins are a lot of work, both before and after they’re born, so you do you!!
Thanks so much for reading and the kind words! 🙂
Oh my goodness! Your husband is precious. That brought tears to my eyes. Every woman is beautiful. Our bodies endure a lot and it is truly a miracle.
He will be happy to hear those kind words. Thank you! 🙂
Thank you so much for the honesty in your story. It can be rough, but loving yourself is key. <3 this series!
Thank you for reading!!
The judging needs to stop and I hope posts like yours help spread that word. Stay the beautiful and loving person you are!
Thanks! Right back at you!! 🙂
all I can say is you are so right on this.
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This is so inspiring! Every mom is beautiful!
I struggle with body issues too, it’s important to try and feel good for yourself and not anyone else!
You are so right. It’s always about what’s on the inside and so important to look past the outside. None of the physical ever matters!
I think the issues with my body will always be an issue because the stretch marks will forever be there. It’s just a matter of changing my attitude and trying to feel good about myself.
Yes, stretch marks are always there. It took me a long time to see them as a part of me- not something that happened to me and I just want to hide them. Not that I am showing them off, but I feel a lot less insecurity about them when I remember how they became a part of me.
Your husband sounds so supportive, which is a huge part of self confidence. I think people try to be kind and don’t always realize how much we analyze their comments. Just from reading your blog, I know you’re a beautiful person.
What an incredibly kind thing to say! Wow. Thankfully, my hubby has never complained as I make my travels up and down the scale. 😉
Ahhhh only if all the judging can stop! Loving yourself is the key to success and happiness though! I’ve learned that myself 😉
I love your posts! I had a similar experience with my husband (though I didn’t have twins), but it’s still a struggle to accept myself everyday.
There are some days that my body confidence is strong and other days that it just sucks. My son is always telling me I’m beautiful and I look like a princess so that helps!