Thoughts on body image

 

My body, mind, and spirit has transformed so much since we were surprised with not one, but two placenta’s on the ultrasound screen what seems like a lifetime ago….this was the first of 10 billion times I would say the word TWINS. Double the diapers, double the feedings, and most certainly double the hugs and love. Our minds have been babies, babies, babies for so long that sometimes I forget who the old me even was. My husband and I finally got away a few weekends ago for the first time. We went to Vegas for the weekend for my first time away from the kids overnight. Of course, we spent the majority of the time face-timing the kids, telling funny stories about them, and missing them like crazy. I know private getaways with your sweetie are so important for your marriage… and your sanity! But I have to admit that I wasn’t ready to get away so far without the kids. I think for now, local Bay Area staycations (Napa, San Fran, Monterey, etc.) are the best option for the self- proclaimed stage 5 mama clinger over here, but that’s another topic.

What I really want to talk about today is body image… as a mom of 15 month old twins, my self- esteem totally took a hit that weekend as I compared myself to the girls at the pool. For the first time I wasn’t in “mom- mode” chasing around babies in opposite directions, changing diapers and covered in stains…I had … what’s that word? Silence. In the silence, I did find myself feeling a bit self- conscious.

Back in the day before chasing around babies!

This As a mom and even as we get older, our bodies change so much and if our only self-worth is dependent upon our body image… then we’re kind of screwed. The fountain of youth only lasts so long. I absolutely am one that struggles with my body image after having children, and also find myself comparing to the “old me”.  I used to be one of those annoying skinny bitches that now makes me roll my eyes… you know, the girls that are a size 2 with flat abs and LITERALLY eat the kitchen sink but never seem to gain a pound (anyone who knows me can attest to this one… until I had kids). Additionally, without having kids I had more than enough time to work out if I ever felt like I should tone my bod. Getting to the gym is such a circus act now– simply getting there and coordinating around nap schedules, etc. and the childcare fee alone makes it not worth it for me. Getting my little monsters in and out of the car seats, lugging the heavy double stroller in and out, packing lunches, sippy cups and milk in ice chests, dressing all of us and our endless items we tote around, etc… it just sucks the fun right out of the “joyous” (eye roll) gym experience and makes me want to eat a Costco- sized bag of goldfish and maybe some fruit snacks too. Seriously though, I know I could work out at home but it’s just so hard for me to get motivated solo. I know, I know… excuses are like assholes and everyone has one. I will say though as mothers we often put ourselves lowest on the totem pole and we have this guilt we carry as if it makes us horrible mothers to do something for ourselves. When really, in reality when we take time for ourselves, we are doing our children an even greater service because we are usually more present and happier when we get back from our “me” time.
Current me… 

So back to being self- conscious during these summer social situations… I was in a place where the young and beautiful girls flaunt what they got. I really didn’t feel up to flaunting what I’m not that proud of at the moment. I have to say that I haven’t been in a social situation where I’ve felt as insecure with my body as I did on this particular weekend, because my body has completely changed since I had kids. I also am usually chasing around double trouble and too busy preventing them from drowning to notice or care about my pot belly, stretch marks, c- section scar or deflated balloons post- nursing. I had to keep reminding myself to stay in MY lane and that comparison is the thief of joy. I attempted to be proud of what my body has given me and tried to give myself grace. After all, my kids JUST weened from breastfeeding, so my wardrobe the last 15 months has consisted of nursing camisoles, nursing bra’s, and loose shorts from Target, which didn’t necessarily motivate me to be on my A- game. My style choice has been based off practicality and comfort for over a year now.

I know I can’t compare myself to the gorgeous, younger girls that have perfect pre- children bodies… but it definitely gives me motivation. I am grateful that I saw that I do want to feel more confident in any situation. Whether I’m swimming with my kids and don’t want to worry about running to my cover- up or if I find myself in a similar social situation again. I want to work on myself and challenge myself to be stronger than I was before. I want to strive to be patient with myself and realize that it might look different for me to get in shape than it was before kids, but to remember it is a marathon not a sprint that I want to maintain long term. Comparison is truly the thief of joy… I can’t remember who said that but I know it was someone great! So I’m ready to get healthy and strong for me and my family but above all else, give myself grace and gratitude that I’m even able to have that as option! And not to compare myself to the “old me”!

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