Some women give birth and look exactly like they did pre-baby in no time. I was not so lucky. Pregnancy left me covered in stretch marks and feeling like a stranger in my mom body.
I was ashamed of my scars and felt like my body had betrayed me and let me down. I spent years hating what I saw in the mirror.
3 years ago, the day before Christmas Eve, I was in the dressing room with my youngest daughter, Bella. I was trying to find a pair of jeans and a cute sweater. I hated the way everything I tried on looked and was complaining out loud about my weight and my squishy belly.
I was frustrated and angry at my body. Bella said “Mommy please don’t say those things about yourself!” I looked down at her and there were tears running down her little 12 year old cheeks. “I don’t like when you say mean things to yourself. You’re so beautiful!” she said. I’m sad to say my response to her was “What’s so beautiful about this?” as I gestured to my torso with my hands.
Her tears flowed even faster as she said “Everything! I love your belly. It was my first home. I wish you could see how beautiful you are in my eyes.” At that point, we were both crying. I sat next to her on the tiny dressing room bench and muttered “me too baby.”
I apologized to her and promised that I would say nice things about my body from then on. Becoming grateful for my mom-bod had nothing to do with my body and everything to do with attitude.
I want to feel as beautiful as she sees me. And you know what? I’ll never feel that way if I keep bullying myself.