Baring Our Battle Scars

If you’re not into talking mom bods and stretch marks and swimsuits, you can stop reading now. You’ve been warned…

Yesterday, I posted this photo on Instagram:

Lexi loving her first swim!!!

It looks rather ordinary at first glance. Just me sitting in a little pool with my baby girl getting photo bombed by one of the three amigos. But this image is so much more than it appears. Like most photos, it has a story…

Just before it was taken, I very sternly instructed my husband not to get my stomach in any pictures. Why? I was embarrassed. Self-conscious about the scars, stretch marks and general “squishy-ness” that resulted from growing two tiny humans at one time.

After the scolding, I turned my attention back to my daughter. She was LOVING her first time in the pool, and I was enamored by her adventure. My husband kept snapping away in the background. He even stopped to take a video. He wanted to capture the moment. To him…it was beautiful. Our daughter was beautiful. I was beautiful.

As mothers, we bare many battle scars. Some physical, some emotional, some spiritual.  It’s just a part of the gig. Motherhood changes us. But oftentimes, we view those changes – especially the physical ones – as “ugly” or “undesirable” when, in reality, we should be honored to have them.

As I later scrolled through the images on my husband’s phone, I couldn’t help but cringe when I saw the loose skin hanging from my mid-section. When I brought it up…again…he rolled his eyes. “It’s a beautiful picture,” he assured me. I turned my attention from myself to my daughter, and saw the delight on her face. She was engaged and elated…while I was anxious  and apprehensive. How incongruous.

So last night, I did something uncomfortable. I posted one of the pictures. Yes, it was one that strategically concealed the mommy marks…or warrior wounds as one friend calls them. But, I put myself out there in a way I hadn’t before. Because I’m only certain there are other mamas out there feeling all of these feelings. And I want you to know – it’s ok. It’s ok to put on your one piece – or your itty-bitty bikini – and not worry about the world around you. It’s ok if instead of a six pack you have tummy slack and it would take the jaws of life to give you anything resembling a thigh gap. I’m right there with you. But really…who cares? Because those babies you are making memories with…you grew those. And they are totally worth rocking a mom bod.

I am still learning to love my new body. To embrace what it reprints. Slowly but surely, I’m baring my battle scars.

With Grace,

Jen

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