We gave Noah a bath the other night (we call it "tubby time") and I was astonished to realize how much he's already grown. He has this cute basketball belly and chub...I about cried from the cuteness and just stared at him with love as he basked in the glory of the warm water. Later that night as I was getting changed, I spotted myself in the mirror and sighed. My body just looks so different than it used to. I have an extra 20 pounds on me right now. My stomach muscles are totally blown out that when I don't suck it in I look 5 months pregnant. My boobs have become saggy beings; compared to how they used to look. And worst of all, I have stretch marks all over my belly. I had them before, but not this bad. I have a genetic predisposition to them...but I DID put stretch mark lotion all over during my pregnancy (to no avail!). They surround my belly button in a sort of spider web-ish pattern. In truth, it makes my belly look like it's hairy. The total effect? My belly looks like the hairy pot belly of an old man. sigh.
I slumped off to bed and stared out in the darkness. This body of mine has been through a lot. It seems like yesterday I was 21 and fit. My body was slim and tight and I totally took it for granted.
I wish I'd enjoyed it more.
As I lay there on my back, I placed my hand on my squishy soft belly. I felt a slight disdain, but I also felt something different...a sense of pride and love. My body has given me my precious children and I am so grateful.
How could I feel anything but good about my body?
I thought back to Noah's tubby time and how I looked at his sweet little body with such love and joy. I thought about my own mother and how she must have felt the same way when she looked at me in the tubby all those years ago. She probably still looks at me in that same light? I would NEVER want Noah to look at himself and think he's anything less than perfect no matter what. I realized right then that I need to look at myself with love and joy the same way my Mom does. The same way I look at Noah.
It's funny how the lessons from motherhood open our eyes to so many things we'd never considered before. I appreciate my body and love it for what it is. (But I don't have to like the stretch marks!)
Is there anything YOU see in a different way now that you're a mother or mother to be?