This pic was taken on Fourth of July…Independence Day. A day where across the nation we celebrate great sacrifices, bravery, and freedom. I didn’t share my thoughts right away- not wanting to stray from the actual focus of the holiday- but it did make me think…
After a morning parade in the hot sun with a kiddo that turned sick and another that was cranky as all get out- I came home to relax by the pool and declared the rest of the day would be bathing suit only! This meant swimming, sun, and (the most important part according to my youngest) snuggles. You see, he LOVES my belly. LOVES it! Anytime he can get #thisclose to that expanse of skin he is all about it. Face smooshing, kiss after kiss, jiggling, shaking, grabbing. His smooth baby cheek against my soft, well worn skin that he once called home- it’s his favorite place to be. He doesn’t think it’s strange. He doesn’t know enough to view it as taboo, ugly or immodest. He just knows that he’s my baby and I’m his mama with the soft and squishy belly that he loves. So if this little man loves it so….why can’t I?
I spent YEARS hiding my stomach. Worrying and fretting over the many stretch marks that criss cross over my belly making a real life tic tac for board. Shaking my fist in the air saying “Why me?!?” Because I was absolutely certain no other woman was stricken with the amount of loose skin and stretch marks that I was. I only ever saw perfect, flat, unmarked stomachs at the beach. And, oh gosh, T.V. and magazines were even worse. My belly was the worst. And the only. The only belly marred to this ugly degree.
But that, my friends, is a LIE. My belly is your belly. And her belly. And your mom’s belly, too. I’m so thankful to the body positive movement and particularly Instagram for showing me what REAL is. Some of us might have more stretch marks, loose skin or mommy pooches. Some might have less stretch marks or even none! But NOONE is perfect. Not a one. And if you see a belly pretty close to perfect you can be assured it won’t stay that way forever. We all age. We all stretch and grow and evolve over time. The idea that there was something wrong with me was one of the biggest lies I was told. By society and by myself.
But now- I’m free. And you should be, too. I know I’m more the norm than I am the exception. And I know that there is nothing shameful about my belly- just look at the beautiful journey it took to get where it is! That little boy smashing his tiny face into me grew from that place. And in turn his love for my belly, strange as it may seem at times, has caused another thing to grow in me. Love for myself. Freedom. Bravery. My smooth stomach skin may have been sacrificed but just look at the result of that sacrifice.
I’m challenging you all- and myself- to make every day Independence Day. Be INDEPENDENT from the opinion’s of others. Be BRAVE enough to show yourself and accept who you are. Be FREE of negative self thought. SACRIFICE your own pride or facade of perfection and be unashamed so other women and girls can know what real is. It isn’t perfect but it’s perfectly normal.
Bio: Cara Kilton
Hey there, I'm Cara. My three favorite things are coffee, sun, and cute summer clothes. My hubby and I raise our LARGE blended family of TEN in the frigid Northeast with our eye on the prize of moving south where I can indulge in all three of my favorite things all year round and continue to grow my sunglasses collection. Until then I maintain my sanity by traveling as much as I can and documenting our family experiences as well as my own MOMumental musings on my blog, MakeitMOMumental.com, with a focus on creating memorable moments whether home or abroad.