The postpartum period and I have never really gotten along. Truthfully, my body and I have never really gotten along. And when you pair the two together — it’s not usually good. At least it hasn’t been good for me in the past.
After pregnancy, there’s no doubt your body changes and for me a change in my body is hard. I intellectually understand why it changes and that I won’t be perfect again after, but that all goes out the window when I look down at my softer mid-section and only see things I wish I could change.
In my past pregnancies, my husband would get his ears ready for my complaints and comments, me bashing my body during the postpartum period — and even further after that. He was kind, offering me positives so I could see myself through his eyes, but it never seemed to matter.
But, just seven weeks after I welcomed my fourth child, it matters now more than ever how I talk about myself. I have little ears who are always listening — two girls aged 7 and 5 and a son who just turned 8. If you have children, you know they’re listening even when you don’t know they are and they hold on to all things — including how we talk about ourselves and the language we use.
I didn’t grow up hearing my parents say anything bad about their bodies. If I did, I don’t remember any specific situations, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think hearing these things can’t or won’t influence children. These days, body awareness seems so much more negative. Already, I hear really young girls talk negatively about other people’s bodies — and I am shocked. The last thing I want is for my daughters to hear something I say about my body and apply it to theirs.
I’ve also found it to be very beneficial to myself — watching the way I frame my postpartum body. I do my best to frame these body changes, which are inevitable, in a positive light. In doing so, I’ve been feeling a lot less of that hatred — so I know it’s done me a lot of good, too.
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