At a recent MOPS meeting, the moms were encouraged to talk about something that they struggle with and this was the most brought up subject.
I’ve always been a big girl. I’m almost 5’ 10” and I wear a size 12 shoe, so that alone should tell you how big my frame is. I was able to relate to these other mamas because I’ve almost always carried extra pounds, too. Part of the reason is that I’ve struggled with food being a huge comforter in the past. Another part was that I didn’t know how to eat properly. My physical pain limitations the past 6 years have played a recent factor.
Extra weight seems to be the most common thing that women struggle with when they think about their body image, but it’s not the only thing. A lot of mamas have a hard time with how carrying and giving birth to and breastfeeding their babies has changed them. Some have other things they don’t like about themselves (teeth, hair, nose, you name it). Others wish they could put on a few curves in certain places that they think would make them look more attractive. I think just about every women struggles with body image in some way.
I’ve mentioned that my only dreams and aspirations for life are to be a wife and mother. That is what I always wanted to be “when I grew up”, and becoming these things really helped me learn to accept the body that I have. A small part of it was seeing that my hubby enjoyed my body, but a bigger part of it was creating, carrying, and delivering new life with my body. It’s interesting that the time that I felt the most proud of my body was when I was at my biggest weight, when I was giving birth to my children. I remember being in complete awe that God made my body powerful enough to go through that much pain and that He used my body to bring this beautiful new little person into the world. And then there is all the caring for baby after birth, the breastfeeding and packing that baby on your hips or back for hours. And no one else’s arms and soft lap are as comforting as mama’s.
We should be proud of our bodies, mamas! There is no one like you in this world, and no one is as wonderful to your babies as you are.
So this summer, don’t let your bodily “imperfections” stand in the way of enjoying time with your children. If you want to have a swimsuit body this summer, put a swimsuit on your body and go have fun! That’s all you have to do. Your kids won’t remember your cellulite and flabby arms. But they will remember if you never came into the water to play with them. And they will also definitely remember if you did. Thinking back to when I was a kid, the most fun part of the river day was when my mom finally got hot enough to come swim in the creek with us. It wasn’t that she did anything special, she just swam with us, but for some reason we were always so excited to have her do it.
In your babies’ eyes, you are a rock star. You are the center of the universe. Don’t miss out on awesome memories because of your insecurities, mama. Go have fun!
Love and blessings,
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’”