Before having a baby, I thought the most flattering thing to say to a new mom was: “You don’t even look like you had a baby!” I have always been sincere in saying that, but now after having my own daughter I feel there’s both a compliment and an insult wrapped into that statement. A compliment validating that the mama is taking care of herself. But an insult that negates the incredible process of pregnancy and birth.
Why wouldn’t I want to look like I had a baby? I grew a human in my body from scratch!
I birthed that baby through my vagina without any drugs or medical intervention. I have fed that baby with my body to grow her into the thriving child that she is. When I truly think of what my body went through in the last two years, I’m freaking proud to look like I had a baby. I’ve grown to love the saggy skin, stretch marks, and weird dimples that now adorn the bottom half of my belly. When my daughter plays with my tummy, I tell her “This is where you used to live!” I am both amused and in awe of my boobs that are completely different sizes now but have fed my daughter for the last 14 months. My hips are wider, my once toned body is a little softer.
Look, I’m not going to lie and say that everyday I wake up in love with my body, but I will say that more often than not, the way my body looks and feels is something I can at the very least, appreciate everyday.
I think what I meant when I’d tell a new mom that she didn’t look like she had a baby, was actually something along the lines of: “You look like you’ve embraced your new body.” And now, after having my own daughter, I know that saying “You don’t even look like you had a baby” would discredit the amount of time, work, love, and more that went into the growth and birth of that baby.