I <3 my mom bod - but do I?

My belly is wobbling. My breasts are hanging. My upper arms are waving.

Sometimes, when I have time to stand in front of the mirror for a minute, I notice this. Then it bothers me, my mom bod, I and compare it to that picture of myself that I have in my head from once upon a time, when I could actually think about exercising five times a week.

But at the moment, I can’t even manage to get to pilates once every two weeks. I don’t have the energy, I don’t have the time, and my own body is not at the top of my to-do list as long as it’s more or less functioning.

Yes, sometimes it bothers me, my mom bod. And very often, it bothers me even more that it bothers me. After all that it has done for me.

The tummy you’re allowed to have

Getting pregnant was a relief. How nice it felt suddenly to be allowed to have a belly, not to have to comform to society’s common ideals of beauty!

I am not one of those women who especially loves to be pregnant and simply “glows,” but I did learn to appreciate this one aspect: I did not have to suck in my stomach anymore, because it simply was not an option any longer. And when the gynecologist during my first pregnancy advised me to gain a bit more weight, I clapped my hands with joy. I officially had permission to have a belly!

Mom bod in the honeymoon period

And when my son was there and the first few weeks had passed, I felt fabulous. Slim compared with those last months, strong, and unbelievably proud to have brought a human into the world.

Thanks to that tiny body, which mostly rested against mine, my own body was above all a service provider. I was a moving bed & breakfast. And sometimes that was very hard, and often absolutely wonderful. I appreciated my mom bod for everything it had accomplished. I didn’t have time to inspect it thoroughly anyway.

But this peaceful state would not last long. As I stopped breastfeeding and the progesterone began to drop, my body started to belong to me again. I had been looking forward to that, but now I looked in the mirror and wasn’t so sure who it was I was seeing in there.

One for all

All mothers go through that. Even those women who, two weeks after giving birth, wear the same jeans they wore before conception. Even they surely find something about their bodies that bothers them. Because, sadly, we women always do this.

And also, because other people are always telling us that we should do it. Every mother has heard that rude question – just how much weight did you gain, anyway? (And how do you plan to lose it again?) Same with the glance from other mothers that wanders first to your child, and then directly to your stomach. Sometimes jealous, often relieved.

Celebrity and human interest magazines flip out if a woman can show off a flat tummy four weeks after giving birth. The internet goes nuts over Six-Pack Mom. And what’s especially aggravating: The back-patting on Instagram with hashtags like #Discipline, #Fitmom and #Hardwork.

I love my Mombod – but do I? #fitmom www.anyworkingmom.com

 

Why? Because such hashtags imply that it’s a worthy goal for a mother to look as if the last 10 months had never happened. And that such a body is possible for every woman if only she would work out hard enough. And that every woman who doesn’t do it is a failure.

Such messages put on pressure. And mothers are already under more than enough pressure as it is.

Waving back

The Six-Pack Mom would shake her abs with disgust, but I have neither the nerves nor the time to model myself after an aesthetic ideal that maybe 1% of the population lives up to (with the help of Photoshop and a personal trainer). I don’t have a problem with women who look like that – really – but I do not want it constantly to be implied that I have to look like that, too, in order to be good enough. Because I never will.

What we experience changes us, and motherhood impacts every woman like nothing that ever came before.

My C-section scar reminds me of the moments that made me the person I am today. My “muffin top” reminds me of the fact that – how crazy, just think about it! – life grew inside me. Three whole times.

Why am I, too, hung up on a bodily ideal that completely disowns the most important thing in my life? Instead of learning to stand by my mom bod and maybe even be proud of it? Why do we celebrate a pregnant body 10 months long and then drop it, find it ugly, feel ashamed of it? Women who aren’t able to conceive shake their heads over such “problems.”

To love the mom bod - why is that so hard? www.anyworkingmom.com

I would like a new ideal. One that is attainable. One that makes me happy and doesn’t distract from everything that really matters. I would just like to feel comfortable again, get more fit, but accept the changes I’ve gone through without feeling weighed down with negativity.

I would like to.

No, I have to admit I am not there yet. Varicose veins, cellulite and love handles bother me, to be honest. I can ignore them only very actively.

I also cannot become a poster girl for a new mom-bod movement. But I want to try to finally stop being so damned ungrateful to my body. It deserves my respect. And love, a lot of love.

Maybe my upper arms are waving.

But my baby is waving back. zu den Kommentaren

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