By Samantha Stroube-Daviss
Corsicana Daily Sun
I don’t know why I thought of this or observed it over the Easter weekend.
As I was looking through all of my friends, and some just random people’s photos shared on various social media sites, I saw some of the most gorgeous women I had ever seen in my entire life.
They were beaming from ear to ear with smiles, all surrounded by their families dressed in their Easter best. And then I thought of how we all beat ourselves up for not having the “perfect body” or the “ideal figure” — most of us hoping to acquire the look we had in high school or college.
I’m not saying it isn’t possible, because some women may be fortunate enough to “bounce” back into their former silhouette. But what I realized looking at all of those photos of faces that I have known for many years was that they were the happiest I had ever seen them. Their lives were complete, and they were surrounded by all the little miracles that their bodies had produced over the past few years.
No, they may not be the bean poles they once were in high school, or the ideal image of physical perfection they were in college, when they had time to work out at the student rec center. They are concerned with toting everyone from activity to activity, or going to work, or whatever they do during the day that may keep them from being able to spend hour upon hour in the gym.
And I realized that those little miracles that surrounded the smiling faces of all those mommas, were worth every single stretch mark, every single “muffin top,” every single size we had to go up in pants, and every single new curve we may have acquired over the years because of our little darlings.
I’m not saying exercise is not important. I think it is extremely important. Sadly I don’t get to do it as often as I would like, but I steal every opportunity and spare second I have to exercise, as long as I am not interfering my kids’ activities or needs. My poison is walking. Just a 30 or 45 minute walk does me wonders. I feel better, I have time to clear my head, and more importantly I am doing my heart some good — that is the most important reason to exercise, to stay healthy for your kids so you’re around for them as long as you possibly can be.
So to me seeing a woman with her womanly shape is the most gorgeous thing you can see. She has brought the miracle of life to this earth, and to me that is a blessing that every woman deserves to experience. And you can’t expect your body to be what it once was in your youth. Even if you are able to obtain your former silhouette and figure, that is wonderful, but there have been so many changes that have happened to you internally, you may not be able to see. All the scars and tears and stretch marks to me are just badges of honor from motherhood.
Moms, don’t be so hard on yourself if you aren’t able to look the way you once looked, or fit back into that skirt you have had your eye on squeezing back into — just enjoy the blessings you brought to this earth.
Just the other night I was lying in a hospital bed next to my oldest son, watching him sleep peacefully from all the anesthesia he was under from his recent surgery on his broken arm (for the second time this year). And I couldn’t help but tear up, because the last time I spent the night with him in a hospital room was during the first 48 hours of his life, just after giving birth. And I thought about how this amazing little boy has changed my life for the better, how much happiness he has brought me, how much he and I have survived together, and how long our path of life together is yet to come. And through all those thoughts, tears, and smiles and mental path of memories, not once did the thought of “Gee, I don’t have my old figure because of him,” or “Yea I used to be able to fit into those super cute designer jeans before I had him” — not for a second did any of that cross my mind while I thought of our life together.
All I thought about was what an amazing little boy that was laying in that bed across from me, and oh how I wished I could take the pain away he was feeling.
So love yourself and the skin you’re in. Your Mommy body is an amazing machine, and parts of it have changed, but only for good reason.
Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears on Thursdays. She may be reached by email at email@example.com. Read her blog at Samantha-daviss.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @samanthadaviss1