As much as I’ve learned to love and celebrate my curves, there are times when old thoughts begin to surface, and I have to work extra hard to believe everything it took me so long to learn about self-love and body confidence.
Swimsuit season, along with tropical vacations like my recent one, have a way of making old insecurities come up, but there’s something else that’s afflicted my body image over the past few years that I’ve yet to discuss: my mom pooch.
Like almost every woman I know who’s carried a baby in her womb, having a stretched tummy simply comes with the territory, yet it’s still a very hard pill to swallow—especially for those of us who have struggled so long to accept the bodies we were born with, only to now be left with a different body we must learn to love all over again.
After having my son, my stomach was certainly stretched out, and I had some excess skin and fat, but it wasn’t as noticeable as it is now, after having my daughter.
If I’m being completely honest, it’s taken me a really long time to be able to even say the word “pooch“ without wanting to cry. Coming out and expressing my feelings about it feels like a major step in the right direction. And while I know I have a long journey ahead of me, learning to accept the new version of my body after babies, I’m finally ready to acknowledge it, accept it, and tackle my emotions head on, without hiding behind denial or the glimmer of hope that the appearance of my stomach will change over time.
So here’s my truth: I haven’t fully accepted my after-babies body (aka larger breasts, waistline and mom pooch), and that’s OKAY, because self-love and acceptance is a journey.
For now, I’m going to work on looking at myself in the mirror more, and appreciating what my body has accomplished in birthing two healthy babies I have the honor of raising and loving. My hope is that anyone out there struggling like I am will do the same.