Part 1: Motherhood has changed me in a million ways, but two of the most important are helping me to finally see my body in a positive light and changing my perspective on bullying, acceptance, and being different. This post focuses on the first one.
Sometimes I think back to the time before I had children and wonder to myself, “What the hell was I doing with my life?” But seriously. I had so much free time and was doing nothing with it. Since I had my first baby three and half years ago, I have written and self-published two books, lost 100 pounds (then gained 60 of it back when I got pregnant again), started this blog, finally figured out what kind of makeup looks good on my face and what kind of clothes look good on my body, and finally learned to have some love and compassion toward myself, just to name a few.
I don’t know what it was about having a baby, but suddenly I had a drive to do things I had wanted to do but never made the time for before. I think part of it was there was this tiny new baby relying on me for everything, someone I was going to have to raise and teach and hope didn’t turn out to be a little asshole. I think another part was the very scary medical experience I had when he was about three months old.
Those two things changed everything. All the things I had been putting off became more important; there was no time like the present to reach goals I had set for myself years ago. But more important than all the physical things I have accomplished since August 2015 are the mental and emotional growth I have been through.
Growing a tiny human inside me and pushing him out into the world was the catalyst that helped me see my body in a whole new light. My body grew an entire human being, and I didn’t die when I pushed all nine pounds of him out (without drugs, I might add)! If that doesn’t make you appreciate your body, I don’t know what will. It wasn’t a love at first sight type of thing. I didn’t give birth and suddenly love my body. In fact, I hated my pregnant and postpartum body more than I had hated anything before. It was squishy and covered in stretch marks, and the hormone swings made me (and my husband) crazy.
But as I started to take better care of myself (both for myself and for my baby boy), I started to see how resilient and amazing my body really is. I put it through a lot of shit over the years and yet it is still here, supporting me and allowing me to live my life every single day. It has literally grown and supported an entire life, and that little baby could have cared less if I was at my goal weight or not. He did and still does love me with his whole little heart, regardless of what I look like.
The mental shift didn’t start with love. It started with simple appreciation and simple gratefulness for all the things my body has and continues to do for me. I started to see that my body was not the enemy. My body wasn’t waiting for me to stop feeding it junk food and start working out to support me. It was showing up and doing those things every day no matter what, and maybe I could do the same. I could stop waiting for my body to be “perfect” and could start showing it some kindness and love. It was the very start of a journey I’ll likely be on for the rest of my life and just one of the many gifts and blessings my two little boys have given me.
Check back next week for part two of how motherhood changed me.