To my new body,
I truly believe this is the hardest thing I’ve ever written, not just putting in to words how I feel but reading them back to myself and accepting them for all they are. I think subconsciously I know it’s accepting myself, my bodies imperfections and flaws that is daunting.
Firstly, let’s take a moment to appreciate the women’s body for all its glory, what it can do and how it heals itself again is just incredible. We certainly don’t give enough credit to ourselves, of course we are taught all about reproduction and I’ve always been appreciative of women but until you physically go through pregnancy, I cannot fathom how the change in your body impacts you.
From post partum hair loss to saggy tummies, we have it all. How could you be happy with those stretch marks on your skin? Why doesn’t it bother you that you have dark circles? There isn’t an inch of my skin that I don’t think is damaged but there’s not an inch that I don’t love either. It’s a constant reminder of what your body did.
Secondly, we need to acknowledge ourselves. The person that existed before motherhood. Sometimes being a parent is all you think you are, but the interests and hobbies you had before you will still be there when you are ready to find yourself again. When you need time to just be you, not a mother, not a wife, just a person.
I discovered this when the baby was asleep one afternoon, all the housework was actually complete (not a regular occurrence might I add) and I sat down for a moment just thinking. What do I do with my time now? My first thought was a nap, sleeps when baby sleep right? But I’d not long had my third coffee of the day and it was 1pm, today was not the day for that. I picked up a book I’d started when I was pregnant that I had been meaning to finish and not found the time (I’m not saying I never have a spare hour or two but my household can’t take it when I do something on my own, for me). I sat for over an hour in silence completely engrossed in this tale, it was glorious.
Ever since, I’ve been doing things each week that make me feel like myself again. It could be as simple as taking the dog for a walk or having a pamper session. But spending that time with yourself and rekindling the love for your body and your mind. That’s an amazing feeling.
Being a mother is life’s greatest gift. It always will be and you will continue to put your family first before yourself, but occasionally please remember to spend time alone. Not only does your body thank you for it but your mind will too.
Remind yourself daily you are a woman. That is a super power in itself. Remind yourself what your body has done and cherish it for the extraordinary lengths it’s gone through. The changes we see in the mirror are memories we hold. Our bodies may not be the same but instead of dwelling on that thought, grow with it. Accept the changes you see and be happy.