For a woman who has ever felt insecure about her body, those feelings can often be compounded once she becomes a mother. From the uncontrollable changes that happen to your body to pressure from social media and peers to “snap back,” many have a hard time embracing their postpartum bodies — even if they want to teach their kids how strong those bodies really are.
However after looking in the mirror and taking note of how much her body has changed, one 36-year-old mom is doing something different than she would’ve done as a woman in her 20s: she’s stopping the internal criticism. “Over the past 12 years my body has drastically changed. I have had three children and four surgeries,” Meredith Masony of That’s Inappropriate wrote on Facebook. “My nipples have been eviscerated by breastfeeding. My tummy looks a bit Frankensteinish. I have cellulite and stretch marks.”
In her candid post, this brave mom admits that she used to hate when her husband would feel her waist and her thighs and that she would cringe if the lights were left on out of fear of him seeing her imperfections. However, now after seeing a “sea of gray hair” looking back at her, she had a new thought that she hopes penetrates the mind of other mamas: “I’ve earned this. I’m OK with this,” she wrote. “I am so happy that I am now able to embrace those imperfections and welcome these changes.”
Since learning to love her physical self, Meredith has seen a difference in herself as a parent. “As women, I think it is very important that we own our bodies. We need to own our personalities. We need to own our choices,” she wrote. “I have learned to love myself. As a result of loving myself, my relationship with my husband is stronger. My relationship with my children is stronger. I am able to take risks simply because I can.”
For those mamas who are still doubting themselves or don’t fully love every inch of their bodies, Meredith has an important message:
You can learn to find happiness. If you are struggling please know that you are not alone. Your insecurities do not need to rule your life. You are enough. You are beautiful. Your imperfections make you amazing. They make you strong. They make you courageous and unstoppable.
The best thing I ever did for myself was find myself. If you are lost, I promise you are still in there. Keep searching. Take the time to listen to the voice in your head and give yourself the benefit of the doubt. You are enough. You are beautiful. You are perfectly imperfect.