When you decide to have children, you go into it most likely with a naïve attitude. I like to consider myself a prepared person, but I was pretty clueless as to what motherhood would really be like. I have always been a tall, thin woman. Enter three babies, and well, my body is different.
Here are some ways to rock your mommy body and leave your pre-baby expectations behind.
Focus on the positive. For me, this is easier said than done. While my weight hasn’t changed greatly since babies, my body sure has. The positive thing is I grew three amazing little people. I have been fortunate enough to breastfeed all three, and I am thankful for that. I have stronger arms than before babies. I remember first holding my sweet Johanna. My arms ached and I didn’t realize all of the heavy lifting I would be doing in the future. I have thicker hair. I am stronger. What’s your positive, momma? How has motherhood made your body more beautiful?
Embrace You. For me, this means finding clothes that make me feel pretty, even after kids. I am simple. I don’t like fancy clothes, but a new cute graphic tee or new tennis shoes puts me in full-fledged mommy happiness. I have learned to accept my tummy. I see pictures of moms who have babies and then have amazing abs. More power to you, girls. I can’t do that. I like food. I like to eat cookies and cake late at night. While I do want to work toward a healthier me for my kids, I am learning it’s one-step at a time. Treat yourself to some new earrings or something simple that makes you feel pretty. Simply Southern t-shirts have done this for me, lately! Jujube also makes me feel cute as a mom. Many swimsuit brands also have amazing suits to rock your mommy body. High-wasted bottoms and cute tops are in style and flattering.
Start slowly on changes. You can’t automatically transform overnight after having a baby. Things hang differently. Your body is squishy. Mine still is, 20 months postpartum. Focus on one area you want to change. Maybe it's getting more sleep, cutting out processed foods, or getting a little bit of exercise every day. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to change every area of your life at once.
It’s not easy embracing who you are after babies. I still struggle, and I’m not sure I will have any more little ones. But I do know, this is my body. This is all I have. I want my children to grow up with a positive view of themselves and I want to be happy in my skin now and later when things look differently. You’re beautiful momma, just ask your little ones. Embrace it!
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she is now motivated to work on herself a little at a time even more.