During pregnancy I read a lot about giving yourself realistic expectations of your body and your overall self-image after giving birth. That it will take time to adjust, but reading about it doesn’t make it easier. There are days when I wonder what happened to my hair, my skin, my body… Is it completely unreasonable to have a baby, not get any consistent sleep and still look 25? Learning to move forward and accepting those new curves, or stretch marks, dry skin, different hair texture, etc. is a really hard transition, and one we’re all struggling with. You’re not alone.
When I think about the incredible gift that God gave our family, it seems so petty to focus on these things, even if just for a little bit. Yet we all do it because we’re human and change is not an easy dish to swallow. We’re always focusing on our flaws, when we really should be relishing in who we are. We’re accomplishing more than we ever thought we could, and its OK that our old selves seem like a distant memory. This is a new chapter in our life, a pretty exciting one, and living in the past will only keep us from growing and loving who we are in this new role.
A big part of why we feel differently about ourselves is probably due to the fact that we, well, feel different. It’s hard to go through the struggles to conceive, the ups and downs of pregnancy, the pain of labor and then the all the worry, stress and sleep deprivation that comes during this incredible, yet fragile part of your life and not have it affect your self esteem. Parenting pretty much puts you through an entire range of emotions in one day so it’s not abnormal to feel less like yourself. It’s also completely normal to grow a baby and end up looking a little differently after he/she comes into the world. And know that to everyone else those “flaws” you see are beautiful.
Acceptance of your new self doesn’t happen over night. It takes time. Sometimes lots of time to be OK with who we are. In the meantime, you know what helps? Putting on a face mask when you have time. Painting your nails. Working out. Being with friends and family. Watching a good movie. Doing your hair, your makeup and finding a dress that makes you smile. It may only help temporarily but it helps. Little by little those feelings of being inadequate will fade, and you start to really see how amazing you are (especially when you start sleeping again!). Also, don’t worry about what people are doing on social media. They’re only sharing their best moments and don’t look perfect 100% of the time. No one does. I know I personally take a lot of pictures for my blog and end up trashing half of them because I’m not happy with how I look.
Anyways, I’m sharing this post today because I want to let other moms know they’re not the only ones struggling. That we all feel this way. That we’re all tired, overworked and feeling like we don’t look our best anymore. But it’s ok. We’re going to get through it and one day we will think how incredibly silly it was for thinking this way! And those laugh lines from our new little baby? Totally worth it.