Having children changes your life, but it also changes your body. Regardless of what your shape looked like before you got pregnant, having a child changes it all. It can be easy to feel a bit self-conscious with sagging skin and stretch marks where there was once firm, smooth and taut skin. After all, these are often permanent changes that women need to embrace as a part of becoming a mother. Hayley Garnett is a mother of three and blogger who recently posted a picture on her Instagram page showing her own postpartum baby belly, sagging skin and all. Instead of writing her own words of acceptance and self-love, she asked her husband to write his thoughts.
Her husband Cody took some time to think about his wife's postpartum belly and what it means to him. "Sure, things look and feel slightly different--but in the grand scheme of things, nothing changed," he began his post. "The reasons I fell in love with her had nothing to do with any of the body parts affected by her postpartum."
He went on to write that "She still has the same beautiful smile, determined mind, banging body, and strong work ethic as the girl I fell in love with over 15 years ago. She still has the same sense of humor. She still smells great and tastes great too. Her postpartum body does look and feel slightly different, but why should that be a factor in my life at all?" he asked.
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Words written by my husband: Hayley asked me to write something about her postpartum body. I figured it’d be easy but then I started thinking—what is there to even write about? Sure, things look and feel slightly different--but in the grand scheme of things, nothing changed. The reasons I fell in love with her had nothing to do with any of the body parts affected by her postpartum. She still has the same beautiful smile, determined mind, banging body, and strong work ethic as the girl I fell in love with over 15 years ago. She still has the same sense of humor. She still smells great and tastes great too. Her postpartum body does look and feel slightly different, but why should that be a factor in my life at all? The soft pillowy skin around her belly button held my three best friends for 18 months. The marks show the strength it took to carry the weight of two beautiful girls that will be raised by this bad ass mom. Nothing has changed or altered my love for my wife. I get praised for being a ‘great husband’, but that’s nonsense. I’m literally doing the bare minimum by loving my wife for who she is, “imperfections” and all. Imperfections make the world fun. If everything was Barbie doll perfect, wouldn’t we all get bored? How else would we show what life has put us through? So whether it’s regrettable tattoos, scars, surgeries, dumb facial hair, or a postpartum tummy, honestly...who gives a shit? Be good to each other. Learn from mistakes-yours and others. Help those in need and let’s stop dwelling on who looks like what. My wife isn’t perfect and that’s what makes me love her. That’s why you are all reading this. If she was perfect, not a one of you would be able to relate to her. And to the husbands out there that don’t do their fair share of diaper duty, cooking, cleaning, and telling your wife how beautiful she is—step up your game bro. You’re a team. So yeah, I was supposed to write about a belly.... but honestly, it affects me so little I rambled about everything else.
He wrote about how special his wife's belly was because "The soft pillowy skin around her belly button held my three best friends for 18 months. The marks show the strength it took to carry the weight of two beautiful girls that will be raised by this bad ass mom. Nothing has changed or altered my love for my wife."
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Today is my 31st birthday. I still don’t know what I’m doing. I still don’t have my shit together . I still google things like “how to clean your microwave” and “how many days in a row can I wear the same pair of blue jeans before it’s considered gross”. Something I do know: Ice cream is an excellent form of bribery to get a last minute family photo. So grateful that I’ve lived 31 amazing, challenging, and fun filled years on this earth. Looking forward to the next several decades . Thanks for having my back, guys 💜🤘🏽. P.s. posted some fun birthday flashbacks in my stories if you want to see 😊!
He continues to write about his wife's "imperfections" which kind of ruins the initial message and asks fathers to step up their game around the house. Hayley's followers loved Cody's message and took to the comments to commend the father of three for his views. "This post makes it easier to come to terms with my postpartum body," wrote one commenter. "Wow! I’m speechless! Thank you so much for sharing this! I have pretty much the same tummy and I feel so bad about myself. We’re having issues with my husband because I hate myself so much. Your account and your posts help me so much. Thank you!" wrote another.
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IT’S MOVING DAY YA’LL! Tonight we will sleep in our new home. It’s hilariously empty. I can’t wait to bring our energy into this space. To make new memories. I have some words to say about leaving our current house, but I don’t really feel like crying right now so I’ll save that for another day 😝! Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me out through my stories whether it’s decisions about the house, or just general support through this absolutely insane time in our lives ! Love the crap out of you guys! P.s. showed a sneak peek in my “new house” story highlights of the progress in our open concept living/kitchen area !
Hayley told Health that she posted the picture and message because she thought there were women who could really benefit from hearing it. “I had been getting messages every so often asking me things like ‘Are you embarrassed by your body in front of your husband?’ Or ‘Is your husband still attracted to you after having kids?’” she says.
“Both of these questions might be slightly offensive if you take them at surface value. But what I hear is the worry in these questions. The fear that maybe their worth as a partner has fallen off because their body has experienced profound change.”
Hayley says that while Cody's message didn't surprise her, it did mean a lot to see the words written. “I wasn’t surprised by what he wrote,” she says. “I cried tears of gratitude and love while reading, but I was not surprised. Because he’s never once made me feel like less of a woman."