I’m four weeks post-baby and lately all I feel is pressure– the overwhelming pressure to “get it back.” The body, the energy, the charismatic spirit and ultimately everything that I was before our third baby arrived.
Honestly, the pressure didn’t just arrive. I’ve felt it since the day I delivered my son. Immediately I looked into the hospital mirror and felt pressure to get back to my “pre-baby” body. The body that wasn’t perfect by any means, but was less fluffy and flawed. Looking in the mirror actually evoked so much anxiety and disgust that for almost a week I tried to avoid mirrors at all costs. Tonight as I sit here, a little less swollen and a little less sleep deprived, I can’t help but wonder where this pressure comes from.
Source of the Pressure
While I can’t track down the root issue, I can tell you where it’s NOT coming from.
My husband isn’t the source of this anxiety-inducing pressure. He continues to tell me daily how beautiful I am and a million reasons why he loves me. I’m blessed with this amazing man and lucky to call him mine.
My family isn’t the source of the pressure. They support me and love me, even on my heaviest days, both physically and emotionally. They’re one-of-a-kind.
My friends aren’t the source of this pressure. They love me through it all, no matter what my body type or energy level is.
All of these special groups of people in my life are in no way the source of this anxiety. These are my people, the ones that matter, the ones that mean the most and the ones I choose to surround myself with daily.
Some might say it’s society. Others might say it’s celebrities and their superpower ability to bounce back and display their modelesque bodies to the world. Or maybe it’s social media and the perception that our appearance is the key component to our self-worth.
Embracing My Post-Baby Body
At the end of the day, it boils down to one person, ME. I’m the one responsible for my thoughts, my feelings, and my stresses. Then why am I putting insane amounts of pressure for something that is not meant to be rushed? Why am I filling my thoughts with disgust, when I should be using these mandated 6 weeks of rest and recovery for just that, rest and recovery?
Upon reflection, it’s easier to see what matters. It’s easy to see that my body may be bigger, but so is my heart, my capacity to love, and the blessings that surround me.
My current waist size might be larger, but so is the number of people that call me mom.
My face might be fuller, but so is my home, as it’s filled with more kiddos to love.
My dress size might have increased, but so has the size of my family.
You see, everything is bigger right now, and that’s ok. Eventually my body will return to the size that it was before, but my heart and life will be forever blessed by this change.
It’s easy to see what matters now but a few weeks ago with each glance in the mirror it wasn’t as easy. For that reason, I have a few reminders for anyone out there with the same thoughts:
If you have a tribe of people surrounding you, take a close look at them. They don’t care if you’re heavier than before, if your hair hasn’t been washed in 3 days, or if the dark circles under your eyes are the darkest they’ve ever been. These are your people. They love you, and that matters more than any number on the scale.
If you find it hard to look in the mirror, then find something you love about yourself and choose that to be the focal point. Find the attribute that you love and let that be what you find yourself looking at more than your flaws.
If that doesn’t work, take a deep breath and look around at the beautiful souls that you have created. Your body is a miracle worker. Your body created life. You, my friend, are the closest thing to a superhero that this world has to offer.
I’m a mother to three now, and as I look around at my beautiful family, I vow to start counting my blessings more than the pounds on the scale. I hope you all do the same.