I’m not sure if anyone checks this blog regularly enough to wonder why I’ve been so absent for a good month or more now, but in any case the reason is that I started my new job a few weeks ago so between that & the everyday adventures of caring for a baby I’ve been a bit busy. I’m only working two days a week which is perfect for me because it gives me just enough time away from Rachel to really miss her but not so much that I feel like I’m really missing out on these momentous days of her early life.
Anyhow, I’ve been coming across a lot of articles lately about loving your postpartum body & learning to embrace your stretch marks & less than flat tummy, yada, yada, yada. Maybe it’s because Spring just started & thus we’re coming up on bikini season but I for one am struggling a bit with loving what I see in the mirror lately. Logically I know I am doing about as well as I could hope considering I’m just under 4 months postpartum & I’ve lost, depending on the day, all but 3-5 lbs of my baby weight. I’m going to the gym on the weekends when my husband can watch Rachel, & I’m taking walks around the neighborhood at least three days a week. I’m even lifting weights at home occasionally, though I could definitely step up that game a bit more. Furthermore my husband certainly doesn’t seem to have a problem with my postpartum body.
But no matter what logic tells me, every time I see the stretch marks on my not so flat tummy I’m less than thrilled. Please don’t take this to mean I don’t appreciate my daughter; without a doubt she is worth every stretch mark a thousand times over. But that doesn’t mean I have to love them. Unless these “tiger stripes” fade considerably (which I know they probably will with time) I’m quite sure I’ll never feel comfortable enough with my body to wear a bikini again, at least outside of my fenced-in backyard. To be clear, feeling comfortable wearing a bikini in public is not high on my priority list. But I have to be honest & admit that every time I see a picture of a mom with a flat stomach & no stretch marks, I feel a pang of envy. And I’m not talking about celebrity moms because I’m perfectly aware that they are not living realistic lives. I’m talking about moms I actually know.
I know the body positivity movement tells me I should embrace my “imperfections” & part of me wishes I could. Even though I’ve never worn much makeup or been terribly interested in fashion I have always valued looking decent. To be clear, I’ve never been one to expect myself to look like Victoria’s Secret models or movie stars or anything like that because I’ve always realized most of their pictures are highly photoshopped anyway, not to mention they don’t exactly live “normal” lives like we plebeians do. Nonetheless I have to admit I’m not as happy with the way my body currently looks as I’d like to be. Now this isn’t a huge deal; it’s not something that’s seriously affecting my overall happiness or life satisfaction or anything. After all, with Rachel around I have more reasons to smile than I ever have. And being annoyed by stretch marks certainly isn’t going to stop me from having another baby someday if/when I decide the time is right.
Before anyone tells me I’m being selfish & that thousands of women would be happy to have my body (either because they’re significantly bigger than me or because they’re struggling with infertility- or both), yes, I am perfectly aware that all of this is a bit superficial, & trust me I do feel guilty for thinking about this enough to bother writing about it.
But even so I admit I wish I liked my postpartum body more than I do.
I’m not really sure what the point of all this is other than to clear my mind a bit. But I’m sure I can’t be the only mom out there feeling this way, right?