Pregnancy and childbirth can be a really amazing thing, but it can also do a real number on your body and mind. There's so much pressure on women to be the perfect ... everything. The perfect pregnant woman, the perfect postpartum woman, the perfect mom. We're constantly bombarded with these unrealistic beauty standards, and they really ramp up for moms. We see pictures of celebrities who bounce back from having a baby almost immediately. We hear about all these different diets and exercises and tips and tricks to get back to our pre-baby body.
It's a lot of pressure, and it can cause a lot of stress to new moms. Mel Watts, the Aussie mom behind the popular blog The Modern Mumma, has a message for moms everywhere. And we have a feeling it's exactly what a lot of you needed to hear.
View this post on Instagram
BRB just waiting for my pre baby body to bounce back - two years later (well actually 12 years) Oh and I’ll also love my old set of jugs to return to say 16 year old ones if that’s okay. And whilst we’re at it I’d love my teenage mental health to flick itself right in there too, the IDGAF mind would be absolutely trick right now. ITS NOT COMING BACK, NONE OF IT. I get so angry and fired up when I see people writing about bouncing back post baby. You’ll never ever ever be the same body or mind after you’ve had a baby. It’s gone. Just like your ability to stay up all night and feel fresh the next day. We set so many up for failure because they feel like they need to bounce back, they need to get back to their pre baby selves. Sheesh I’d love my husband to bounce back post birth too, but he ain’t and no one is telling him he should. The reality is that’ll he’ll never be the same either. We either bare the scars on the outside or feel the changes on the inside. Not one person has walked out or been wheeled out of birth the same as they went in. We except we can just go back to our past selves as we cradle our future. Embrace the what the heck you have, if you don’t like it, fix it. With the right mindset you could love the person you are right now, and if someone’s telling you differently - do you really need that? It takes time to like you, but once you do you’ll see that you aren’t actually that bad. And in my case you’ll realise your sense of humour and stunning set of abs will get you the tribe of friends you deserve - including being my own friend!
We spend all this time worrying and stressing and working for our pre-baby body. And you know what? It's not coming back! Not in the way we remember it, anyway. Mel posted this brutally honest picture on Instagram, and she laid it all out. Pre-baby you and post-baby you are two completely different people.
Physically, mentally, emotionally. NOTHING about your life after you have a baby is going to be the same. Not your body. Not your ability to stay up late. Not the way you see the world and process your emotions. Everything is different, because YOU are different. You're looking at the world through a new lens now. And you are walking the world in a new body. A good, strong, AMAZING body!
We need to stop focusing so much on what our bodies used to look like, and embrace and love what they look like now. Scars and all! The stretch marks, the saggy boobs, the extra pooch - they're not anything to feel shame over. They're each a badge of how much you've done, how much you've accomplished, and how strong and resilient we are as women and as mothers.
Let's all take Mel's advice here: say goodbye to your pre-baby body, and start loving your body NOW. This is the one we'll be walking through life for many years to come, and it's a good body. They're all good bodies.