Because humans aren’t made of rubberbands.
And you’re not a kangaroo in reverse.
Because you, you, and only YOU grew an entire being with a heart, kidneys, liver, GI tract, brain and the cutest butt dimples known to mankind.
Because you have more important things to do than obsess over your calorie intake, exercise regimen and body fat percentage.
One of those “things” is putting all of your heart into raising a child who will leave this world a better place than when they entered it.
Just slightly more important than the size of your hips. Just a wee.
There’s a hormone called prolactin that actually increases fat storage so that you can provide your baby all the nutrients he or she needs in the first 6 months of their life and beyond.
Because estrogen and testosterone are suppressed during breastfeeding which makes it difficult to gain muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat. You know that.
But muscle doesn’t tell your body to feed your child the best way it knows how. It just looks nice to you.
Because that’s what the media told you to think.
You’re sleep deprived because you’re up every night letting your baby know you will always be there for them.
You’re sleep deprived because you’re up every night feeding your baby so they have all the nutrients they need to achieve their goals – even if that goal is rolling from left to right the next day.
You’re sleep deprived because you’re up late worrying about the extension of your being in the crib or co-sleeper next to you.
You’re worried about bringing them into a world where terrorism, political unrest and natural disasters make the news everyday.
You’re worried because you want to protect your baby from anything that could hurt them whether real or imagined.
Because the female body wasn’t created to be finely tuned and obsessively controlled.
It was created to create and sustain life.
Because you spend 40 to 60 hours a week working on your career, another 56 sleeping and the remaining 52 hours rolling around on the floor with your child, laughing until you pee your pants (because you always forget to do your pelvic floor exercises, oops)
Because comparison is an imagined state of reality based on past experiences, society’s positive reinforcement, and a lack of acceptance and love. Because it’s always been “in” to change yourself but seen as “complacency” to accept yourself, stretch marks and all.
Because no blogger, author or “guru” can make money by telling you to accept yourself in this present moment. There’s no $19,99 manual, 21 day fix or “challenge” in your self love journey post-partum.
Finally. You have the inner strength and confidence to recognize and reject the massively contorted and garbled information you are fed every day. You know your body participated in the miraculous cycle of life that billions of women before you have also participated.
For thousands of years before you existed and before social media and magazines existed, women did not have a puzzle piece figure they were “supposed” to fit into by 6 months post-partum.
Or 60 months post-partum.
Have compassion for yourself and other women for existing in a world where women are told to find their worth in a measuring tape and scale. And then give those notions a giant middle finger.
Send love to your past self, your present self and your future self. Stare into your baby’s eyes and find your purpose, their pureness, and decide on your definition of beautiful. Chances are being a compassionate, eternally loving and immersed mother, partner, friend, daughter, sister, peer and neighbor will give you a lot more confidence than losing 12.5 pounds.
And guess what? You can do that while still exercising and eating well.
Without obsession. Without self-criticism. Without comparison.
A mother with one breast size A the other size C. A mother with cellulite who still wears a two-piece bathing suit in public and isn’t on a diet.
A mother with a closet full of clothes that fit her 15 pounds ago and remind her of the experiences she had while wearing those clothes, not the way she looked in them.
A mother who has learned over the last 15 months that she is a more beautiful, more intelligent, more impactful and generous woman than the girl she used to be.
And she can thank her baby for that.
(Oh, and also a mother who works everyday on reminding herself of ALL OF THE ABOVE.)