Disclaimer: This article is an account of my feelings. They are part of my truth,…
Have a bod. Be a mom.
Boom. You have a mom bod.
Like it or not, you have now joined the ranks of other mamas running around the planet sporting true, authentic, one-of-a-kind bodies.
In fact, you are now qualified to buy Mom Jeans as featured in the amazing SNL commercial with mom icons Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Maya Rudolph.
As you can probably already tell, this is not another article telling you everything will “go back” where it came from if you work hard enough.
It’s also not an article telling you to love your body as it is and throw out your old pants because size doesn’t matter anyway.
I can’t lie to you because I love you.
I also can’t lie to you because I would be lying to myself and I don’t do that anymore.
I marvel at what my body has done. I tell Everett as often as I think of it “I made your body with my body.” And I am so proud of that.
And still, when I catch my reflection in the mirror I am shocked.
Whose body is that?! WTF?!
What do I do with this…mombod?
On New Years Eve, I posted a hilarious video of my dancing to N’Sync’s Bye Bye Bye saying goodbye to 2020.
It got a LOT of views. And I got a lot of rude comments on my mom bod. A lot of body shaming.
And while I have a thick skin when it comes to criticism (thank you first marriage, a lifetime of dance training, and a long running, successful career in show biz) it was shocking.
A lot of people have a problem with my mom bod.
My favorite comment was something along the lines of “Put a bra on! Disgusting.” It made me laugh because…I was wearing a bra!
The world has some deep issues with women’s bodies. And once we become mothers it gets really intense.
We are supposed to “bounce back.” But not “too fast.”
“You shouldn’t take time away from the baby.”
“Who’s with the baby?”
“You should really take some time by yourself.”
“Are you sure you should be eating that?”
“You’re working out?”
“Why aren’t you exercising?”
“Ew gross. Put a bra on.”
“What a MILF”
“Can I still wear this? I’m a mom now.”
“Moms can’t wear crop tops.”
“I should buy mom jeans?”
“Whoa. Your boobs are huge. You should cover those up.”
Like everything in motherhood, it’s relentless. It’s contradictory and confusing and worthless.
I have already accepted that Everett will talk to his future therapist about the amount of spandex, crop tops, and jumpsuits I will never stop wearing.
No matter what we wear or the shape our bodies have taken, we cannot control how the world sees us and the reactions they have to us.
And we don’t need to. Because their reactions are just that. Theirs!
These “opinions” or “advice” have absolutely nothing to do with us. It’s all about the person giving them and their relationship with their own mother.
Also like everything in motherhood, if you listen to what other people have to say, if you value their input more than your own, you’re going to be miserable.
I’m speaking to you as a woman who furiously returned pants recently because the european sizing is rude; what matters most is how you feel in your body.
What matters most is how YOU feel in your body.
Not someone else.
You go to sleep with yourself every night and wake up with yourself every morning.
While you may not be able to control how your body has changed since pregnancy, something you can control is what you do with the feelings that come up around your glorious mom bod.
Here are four exercises to help you embrace and even befriend the skin you’re in.
- Write your body a thank you note. You two have been through a lot together. Everything. And it feels good to be thanked once in a while. Need inspiration? Check out this article “How To Write A Letter To Your Vagina.” Write that letter and read it out loud.
- Put away the scale and step away from the mirror. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath and scan your body. Notice how you feel in your body. Open? Closed? Light? Heavy? Flexible? Stuck? Strong? Disconnected? Intimate? Foreign? Let how you feel guide you instead of relying on what you perceive in the mirror. You may find that a hug or a walk or a chat or a good cup of tea is what you need in that moment.
- Tell your baby “I made your body with my body” three times in a row. Every day. So that you focus more on the power and magic of being the creator of another human being than the urge to fit into your jeans ASAP.
- Bless your body. Yes, give your body a little blessing. We love this little writing prompt from Amelia Bethel in the Spring 2017 issue of Darling Magazine.
Grab that notebook again and write down your answers to the prompts below!
- Choose one part of your body that you love that will never change (i.e. your eyes)
- Choose one part of your body you love, but could change over time (i.e. your skin)
- What motion do you see in the human form that you find beautiful? (i.e. skipping, dancing, running, etc.)
- What motion or activity do you find fun and joyous? (i.e. toddlers laughing)
- What is the best sound a human can produce? (i.e. whispers, humming, etc.)
Now take these 5 answers, add them in order to the empty spaces in the following poem to create your “Body Electric” blessing.
I Sing the Song of My Body Electric
I, the keeper of ____________ fantastic, and steward of _____________ .
These may change, will change, can change. I will bless them.
I see __________. I am filled with their beauty.
I see __________ and joy, and joy is mine.
I hear __________. All these souls, held in great regard. My body blessed.
I will not be silent to give praise where it is due.
Instead of rushing yourself into a new body that resembles the body from before, what if you said goodbye to her and waited with grace as your new body healed itself?
As your new body reconfigured your organs and closed blood vessels.
As muscles drew back to one another like magnets seeking out their match.
As your boobs made milk and then slowly backed away from doing so.
Here’s to doing your best to leave your expectations of what your body needs to look like, owning where you are right now, and telling anyone who comments on it to … you know what.
Grab your mom jeans, your crop top, and your diaper bag and cotton eyed joe, cha cha slide your way to freedom.
That, my friend, is how you have a mom bod.