Dear Mom Bod: A Love Letter

Dear Mom Bod,

We should probably talk.

You know I haven’t seen you—I mean, really seen you in full-length-mirror-glory-- since the day you pushed out our amazing child.  I guess I should probably stop being all passive aggressive about it and just confront the situation.

The thing is, you’re just….how do I say… freakishly unpopular.

According to everything, I’m supposed to be ashamed of you, so whatever, I am. I just do the thing I’m supposed to do. I order my spanx and cover you in all things ruched and flowy and  maternity-sized and pretend you’re not here.

Because obviously this fools everyone into mistaking me for a supermodel.

In my defense, the pressure is on. I’d be crazy to wear you loud and proud. I’d be arrogant if I don’t laugh off any complement you receive, or take every opportunity to point out your flaws.  I am constantly fed a thousand mostly unhealthy ways to get rid of you as quickly as possible, cover you so that you don’t exist in the mirror, and (can you even believe-) asked what my “excuse” is for keeping you around. Huh. Hashtag #HereTaketheBabyandHandMeYourTrainer.

On one hand, the dad bod has enjoyed an incredible surge in popularity.  No doubt in part because women folk can appreciate what a true dad bod indicates: a man who’s made family his priority and can let go of a few things for himself as a result. No such love for you, Mom Bod. You are appreciated like the McDonalds French fry—completely irresistible while still hot, genuinely repulsive once it gets real.  

But…there’s this one thing that gives me pause through all of that (used-to-be-hot) mess.

I saw you out there on game day.

You played hard.

Ok.

Understatement of the year.

You’re a BEAST. The work you did to give me my most precious gifts is enough to choke a girl up.

 I have never seen anything work harder, be more intuitive, be willing to sacrifice itself so deeply.

You knew what to do when I didn’t, you were stronger than I ever thought I possibly could be, and you carried me and my babies through many months of growth and many difficult hours of really tough birth.

Yes, you’re the reason my hips are now wider than all the jeans. You’re the reason this once almost-six-pack is keeping Spanx in business. You’ve written lines and marks all over me that will forever remind me of our work together. And thanks to you, everyone can tell just by looking at me that I’m a momma.

But you are no longer my excuse not to feel awesome.

You are way, WAY stronger, tougher and more legit than my previously uninitiated body could even imagine. And if I think about it for a minute, I really can’t agree that perfect abs and a tight butt have more wow-factor than the jaw-dropping natural power you’ve shown yourself capable of. 

What you do to create, sustain, and bring forth life is solidly heroic. No shame in that. I am indebted to you, you warrior beast, for showing me my strength and making my experience of life so rich and full.

You are carrying me through my most soul-transforming season of life.

So… it’s cool. I can buy new jeans. And not listen when I’m told you’re shameful. I can treat you well and look at you in the mirror and love you. And if you ever decide to disappear and give me my twenty-something body back, please know that 1. parting is such sweet sorrow but I’ll be okay I promise, and 2. I am grateful because you are awesome. You have changed me in so many ways.

If I ever forget it, all I have to do is sneeze or jump up and down, and I’ll remember. #thanksbuddy

 

With all the love and deep respect,

Momma

 

* It's been almost a year since my daughter was born, and as I look back on what happened during that week of labor and many hours of birth, I am still amazed at what we do to bring people earthside. Both of my births did not go as planned, one ending in cesarean and the other a natural but traumatic birth experience (posts to come). I have absolute and utmost respect, regardless of method of birth, for what we and our bodies do to bring life into the world. And also how these bodies recover while also caring for a small human and getting no sleep. You guys-- we're amazing. So wear it proud, momma. Your have the body of a superhero.