This blog post will make you think differently about your 'mum body'
It's funny how we have been made feel as if "mum bodies" are a negative thing, something to be ashamed of and be rectified as soon as possible after having our babies.
Having been pregnant, having grown a baby (two babies, even) from conception to birth, having brought them into the world and fed them from my own body and having lugged them around on my hips, lifted them up and down a million times, soothed them with my hugs and touch and voice, should that not mean my body should be celebrated?!
Just pause for a moment and think about how utterly amazing women's bodies are. What they can do. What they can endure. And how they should be treated with love and just the utmost respect. Every scar, every mark, every slightly-squishier-than-before bit, they all tell a story, they all show what amazing adventures your body has taken you on. You earned those stripes, mamas.
And also, try for a moment to see yourself through your children's eyes – and see just how much they love your body – just as it is. To them, you are their mama. You are their place of comfort, the lap they want to sit on, the arms they want when they are tired and the smile that will make everything better.
Which is why this blog post from one of our very favourite mummy blogger, Cup of Jo, tugged at my heart strings when I read it. It is an important reminder of how our children see our "mum bodies" and how – to them – it is pretty much their favourite thing in the whole world.
Here is Jo's post in full:
This summer, Toby and Anton have been sharing a bed, and and when I put them to sleep, I’ll climb right in the middle. We’ll sing songs and tell stories, and the funny thing is, Toby and Anton each like to take one of my upper arms and squeeze. Because they’re comforting and… squishy?
At first, I was like, oh, my arms, they should be more muscular. Probably not ideal for them to double as a squeeze toy or pillow! But my second thought was, how sweet that the boys love my arms. They don’t judge anything; they just feel my essence. They love lying next to their mama in the dark, listening to her sing “Edelweiss” slightly off key and squeeze-squeeze-squeezing her arms.
Whenever I wake up in the morning, no matter how bleary-eyed I look, my boys just see my smiling face and bear hugs and offer of banana pancakes. They don’t see my dark undereye circles, they see my glowing, endless adoration of them.
I remember a comment from a reader named Sadie: “My three-year-old was sitting next to me the other day, reached over, patted my belly, and said absentmindedly, ‘You’re just a big ol’ mama. Biiiiig ooooool’ maaaaaamaa.’ The way he said it, it sounded like the best thing in the world.”
Recently, I had a conversation with a friend about her body image. She told me: “Sometimes I look at my daughter and think, Oh my god, she has my thighs, that poor girl. She has my big feet and my huge hands and these things that I always saw as being less than perfect. But she’s so completely beautiful to me. I love everything about her, including her thighs. Seeing myself through that lens helps me see my own body more kindly. All that unconditional love, how can it not extend to me, too?”