I remember looking at my wedding pictures and telling my husband I hated them, because I looked fat. I wasn't...I'd love to look like that now. I also remember feeling like a whale when I was pregnant. I wasn't...I was carrying super small.
After my son was born and I was exclusively pumping, the weight I had gained was melting off. I was so psyched to visit my office to show off my son before returning from maternity leave and everyone was telling me how great I looked after just giving birth. It felt amazing!
Then, something changed.
Suddenly, those last 10 lbs wouldn't budge, and they were distributing themselves in places they hadn't been before. And, after I went back to work, my weight went back up a little bit. Maybe it was sitting around so much. Maybe it was eating delivery meals for lunch. Maybe it was because it was post-holidays. Maybe it was feeling too tired or guilty to hit the gym before or after work because I wanted to hang out with my baby. Whatever it was, I hated it!
I had a closet full of beautiful clothes that I missed. They were now too small and I worried they would never fit again. My maternity clothes were all too big and I was mad and sad to buy new clothes in bigger sizes. I resisted for as long as I could until I realized I wore the same two pairs of pants on a loop. Then, I only would buy cheaper clothes because I didn't want to accept the "new body" and get comfortable in that, but those made me feel even fatter and less attractive.
A woman goes through so many physical and emotional changes during and after baby. You are so hormonal and if you had ANY body image issues prior to baby, well, they are magnified afterwards. I have always had body image issues and compared myself to others. I'd compare myself to my tiny friends or other moms I'd see around and about. Why is that mom so little 10 days after having a baby? Why did she gain 50 lbs at pregnancy and I gained 32 lbs and she has a six-pack now while I have a gut? People tell you to love your post-baby body. To see those stretch marks, saggy boobs and c-section scars as proud reminders of your child that you created, grew, and brought to life. I see my child as that reminder, but still don't want the marks and scars. I wish I could have that attitude, but do people really feel that way or just say it to try to make themselves feel better?
We all do it- we worry about our bodies over and over and make ourselves crazy. We wonder if our husbands still think we are sexy because we don't feel sexy. We don't want them to see the post-baby version of ourselves. It's all our own stuff in our own heads. Do you think your other mom friends are looking at you saying, "Wow! She looks awful. She should do something about it. I remember before she had that baby, she was so toned?" No! We are doing it to ourselves. Your mom friends are NOT checking you out unless you have something cute on that they want to purchase for themselves!
The point is, most post-baby bodies aren't perfect and our body image issues won't just go away. We can and should remind ourselves that this amazing little human came out of it. I've gotten used to my new and (not so) improved body and I sure do love this little boy that I get to kiss and hug every day....but, I still do wish I could fit into my pants again!