I stood in the bathroom mirror this morning, brushing my teeth and admiring my own form. Usually, I take these moments to push out my stomach, grab my fat and try to envision what I'd look like if someone took a scalpel and removed the excess skin from my stomach. I look at my legs and tell myself that I will start running tomorrow. And push ups. I should do pushups to combat these flabby arms. But today, the day after Mother's Day, I kept my shirt in place, put my hands on my hips and had a moment of gratitude.
My body has held the three most important things in my life. It was their home for nine months each, bending and contorting to accommodate their growth, wrapping them tight and keeping them safe before my arms could hold them. It grew them strong and bold and perfect. My body gave me three spectacular, miraculous gifts.
For the last eleven years straight, I've stood in that mirror, thought about what my body looked like before I had children, and wished that I could go back. I had a flat(ter) stomach, my thighs and arms were small, I fit skinny jeans like a glove. I loved my body for it's physical attributes and, of course, society has reinforced that I am now less than for my current body shape.
But you know what? I AM MORE THAN. I'm more than happy to have changed, not only physically, but as a person. Sleepless nights and being a shoulder for my childrens' tears have made me stronger than I ever thought I was. I am a mother first, before anything else in my life, and no matter what else I do, being a mother will always be my proudest accomplishment. My body gave me that and I don't want to go back, because going back would undo the things that have made me, me.
Yesterday, my kids took the time to celebrate me, and so today, I take the time to celebrate my arm flab and my saddle bags. They mean I've been so busy loving my children and enjoying my life, that I haven't had time to focus on what society thinks it needs from me. I have watched my children grow from tiny versions of myself to brilliant, hilarious, magical little people and I wouldn't give back a second of that to have worked on my abs.
My life is full and my body is perfect. It's mine and the love on my childrens' faces prove that I've worked hard for it.
Happy Mother's Day, body. You've given me more joy than I could have ever imagined.