Lately, every time I’m in the car, I hear the same radio ad trying to sell me a mommy makeover.
It’s the one where a man I’ve never met tells me that a breast augmentation and tummy tuck are necessary parts of motherhood. He kindly offers his phone number after matter-of-factly pointing out that the saggy and squishy parts of my body are problems to be dealt with—problems that he can fix!
And, if I’d like, he can add a variety of other “lifts” and wrinkle reducing procedures to my mommy makeover package.
He even offers a payment plan lest finances get in the way of such necessary procedures. Because nothing should hold me back from looking like I haven’t birthed small humans.
Frankly, I find it annoying. Maybe even a little offensive. It just feels gross to me.
But I didn’t always feel this way.
There was a time when I stood in front of a mirror in the Target dressing room and cried. Apparently, I hadn’t really been prepared for what real postpartum bodies look like (Hint: It’s not what you see on magazine covers in the grocery store checkout line.) And apparently, I’d believed that “bouncing back” was of utmost importance; that my body looked all wrong.
My body looked how it was supposed to look after carrying another human inside of it and then birthing that human being.
I suppose it’s age and experience that have changed my view on my mom bod.
After my first pregnancy and the shock of my reflection in the mirror as well as my efforts to restore my body to “normal,” I lost two babies. Suddenly, having a mom bod didn’t seem so bad. I’d have gladly accepted all the stretch marks and extra weight in the world if it meant holding those babies in my arms.
A few years later, I stood in front of a dressing room mirror again, carrying a whole lot of extra weight, but also carrying a new baby.
No longer was my postpartum body a burden to be dealt with, but a gift. Evidence of life.
And now? Well, I’m just glad I’ve got two kids who still love to snuggle up against my sag and my squish. And a husband who doesn’t mind it either. Plus, the closer I get to entering the next decade of my life, I don’t much care anymore if my body doesn’t meet someone else’s standards.
I used to think my mom bod was a burden, a problem—just like the man in that radio ad says.
But I was wrong.
Because to have a mom bod AND two of the babies who gave me that body? That’s no problem.
It’s a privilege.
This post originally appeared here. Jenny Albers is the author of Courageously Expecting. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
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