Many things become more challenging after having a baby but for me one of the toughest adjustments I have had to make is learning to accept the reflection of the woman staring back at me when I look in the mirror.
She reminds me of me, but she’s different now. She’s exhausted, her hair is a mess and starting to fall out in clumps and her skin is stretched and loose. She looks weathered and worn. She’s not the same woman she was a year ago and she never will be again.
And that’s okay.
Because she is also strong, resilient, brave and the fresh scars on her skin are a reminder of the amazing things her body can do.
It’s hard to see past the things we don’t like about ourselves. It’s hard to stand in front of the mirror and tell ourselves that we’re beautiful and truly mean it. It’s even harder when you’ve just grown a human being inside of you. It doesn’t matter how much weight you gained during your pregnancy or if everyone else tells you that you’ve bounced right back. Things are different now. Maybe it’s subtle; maybe it’s not. But we know our bodies and we tend to take inventory of the things we don’t like and pay no attention to the things we do like.
It took me six months to appreciate what my body has done. Every stretch mark is a reminder of my daughter. The scar across my tummy is a reminder of the sacrifice I made to get her out safely. The bags under my eyes and the messy hair are reminders of how I put her needs first without a second thought.
I am feeling better in my skin than I did before I got pregnant. This body has done something that not every body can do. There is no shame in these imperfections anymore, only a deep sense of accomplishment.
I hope I never see the old me looking back in the mirror again. I only want to see the woman I have become because she is amazing, she is exhausted and she is strong as a mother.
Written, and shared, by Cheryl Poitras. You can follow her on Instagram here @chunkymomlife