I've been trying REALLY hard to work on this one. You may have listened to my podcast episode about loving my mom bod. I want you to know that what I said in that episode is 100% truly how I feel about my body. Except it's just not how I feel 100% of the time.
I mentioned in my last post how I protect myself by avoiding sources and content that make me question my own worth and beauty. As you know, motherhood (especially these early days!) takes a huge toll on you physically and mentally. I definitely subscribed to the idea that "it took me nine months to grow this baby, it will probably take at least nine to get my body back". Whatever "get my body back" means.
I think I realized pretty quickly that my body might not actually 'get back' to what it was before. And if I'm being completely honest with myself, what I was trying to get back to wasn't that great anyway. I hadn't taken great care of myself in the few years prior to getting pregnant either. I was very devoted to my 5:00 am workouts but generally, I didn't eat very well and I ate at weird times of the day while in grad school, teaching during the day, and bartending at night. I virtually ran on coffee 24/7. I also experienced two early pregnancy losses that I took harder than I let on. I was fairly depressed and did not treat myself well because of it. Grad school and my body denying me a baby that I wanted so badly lead me to do some major stress eating. I don't think my husband has any idea how much and what exactly I ate in the hours I spent at home alone during the day planning courses and grading papers. These were not healthy habits, my friend!
As you know from the general theme of the blog and podcast, I'm extremely devoted to the notion that self-care should be non-negotiable. This is a topic in which you should definitely do as I say but not as I do (at least not as I do right now as I click Publish).
A few moments have really made me snap out of my funk and really decide to take care of myself. And make this a priority. First, as we seriously plan for baby #2 I want to try to get into the best health I can to prep for that journey all over again. Second, I've noticed a huge lag in my energy lately. I partially blame this on the lack of structure in my life while on summer break but I also know deep down that it's actually because I'm livin the 'rose all day' / 'no coffee, no workee' mindset at the moment!
The third reason is going to make me be a little vulnurable with you and I hope you'll be kind. Have you ever seen a picture of yourself and think, "is THAT what I look like?" Ok, well, that moment hit me like a ton of bricks this weekend!
So there she blows! The pic that sent me on a bit of a spiral this weekend.
My little boy is SO sweet and beautiful here (even with a little runny nose!). I know someday he'll be happy that he has pictures to look back and remember me so I won't click 'delete' like I want to. Disliking this pic doesn't discredit the fact that I truly have a huge appreciation for my body for growing and giving birth to him. I'll admit that maybe it's just not a flattering picture. I'll also tell you that we were up almost all night the night before with a fevery toddler and this was taken at 6:30 am the morning after said night.
But it bothers me SO much that B will look back and see his mom- tired, bloated, blotchy, and pasty. A portrait of someone who definitely isn't taking the best care of herself.
I let myself have a moment to spiral and berate myself. I believe that we have to allow ourselves to feel whatever emotions come up...but then let them go! Which I'm trying to do. And in doing that I'm making a commitment to myself to do better. I'm making this commitment to you as well so hold me accountable! For the month of August, I've already planned out my acts of self care and I'll be sharing them with you as I go.
This is the portrait of me as a mom -sometimes, for this brief season of my life, because that's reality. But in commiting to caring for myself my hope is that I will show up as a better version of me for B! I hope you'll join me / cheer me on/ share your secrets this month! I could definitely use my tribe for this one!