This is not a pity post, this is a truthful post about the obstacles of loving yourself from the point of view of a young mother.
I am twenty-three years old, I have a one year old and a two year old. Carrying my children changed by body forever.
I know a lot of you will be able to relate to the feeling you get in your stomach when you look in the mirror and absolutely hate what you see. That exact feeling is what urged me to start my self-love journey. I couldn’t take it anymore, I was so sick of feeling down about all these marks on me, about the change in my breasts, about the loose skin I have all over. I wanted to be done with the feelings of hatred towards my own body. As I am quickly realizing it is harder to love yourself than I anticipated.
I thought if I just told myself that my flaws are okay, they would be. I thought if I just immersed myself in loving my children and husband the love for myself would eventually just happen on its own. I thought if I just ignored all the true hateful feelings I have towards my body they would just end or go away. Well, needless to say, I was wrong.
I was just trying to take the easy way out.. which I honestly need to stop doing. It has done nothing but prolong this whole process and journey. I feel like I am worse now than I was when I gave birth to my first son, because of all the excuses I’ve made. I have just justified hating myself. I’ve just blocked out these feelings of hatred and labeled them ‘normal’ and assumed it to be ‘self-love’.
I can sit here and say I love myself all day long. I can sit here and pretend that I am fine with what my body looks like. I can tell you I don’t feel jealous when I see other moms without a single mark from carrying their child. I could tell you I don’t feel sad about myself, or that I find happiness in the marks on my body because I earned them.. I could feed you these lines all day! I typically do, and they’re all lies.
I do find myself feeling jealous when I see moms who have no marks, loose skin or saggy boobs from carrying babies, I feel jealous when I see other girls my age who have no flaws at all. I wish I could just be in my old body for one more day. I do love myself, I love the person I am on the inside.. I despise how I look on the outside; tired, run-down, and stretched out. I honestly find myself wondering how my husband even finds my body attractive anymore. When I look at all the marks on my body, I don’t find happiness in them.. I find happiness when I look at my children.. I find sadness when I look at the havoc that carrying children caused my body. I feel sad that I’m only twenty-three and can’t wear a pretty bikini comfortably. I can’t wear my favorite jeans because my stomach skin is too loose, I can’t wear pretty bras and tank tops because everything is just a mess. I dwell on the fact that I’m only twenty-three, and can’t take part of the normal things that I want to because I’m a mom and my body is chaotic.
What I’ve been grasping is that these feelings are okay to have. All my feelings are valid, they are real. I think the first step in this journey should be confronting all these negative feelings. Pay attention to them, understand them. Talk about them or get them down on paper so they’re no longer inside of me. I wish I could just move on from this topic.. I’m as sick of talking about this as you are.
Cheers to motherhood, I guess. And all the feelings we feel.