It’s a long hard slog back to yourself after having kids. Let’s be honest, do we ever make it back? No of course not, not really. The reasons why are obvious and yet it’s oh so easy to tear ourselves up trying to. It’s funny because the mental changes are so permanent that it’s completely futile to think your brain can go back to what it was before having kids given all that has changed. So why is it that with our bodies the same rules don’t apply?
‘Tighten it back up!’ one of my favourite lines from Knocked Up that always replayed in my head after both my kids were born. I still think of that line and chuckle every time I get on the scale! Problem for me was – I was depressed. I had a miserable, colicky, high needs, can’t please the prick kinda baby and my coping mechanism was food. It was my best friend, my favourite warm cozy blanket to snuggle up with when stress came knocking on my door. Still is at times. So I ate myself into a health crisis kicked off by some postpartum ‘stuff’ and wound up sobbing my way through my naturopath appointment. I had to get my health and back on track or I was going to be a very sick, very miserable mommy – and nobody likes a miserable mommy.
It’s been 2 years since that appointment with my naturopath and my health, hormones and balance have really come a long way. My mission was not the scale, but balance. Balance in all things. After having a particularly gluttonous holiday, I felt my old habits starting to creep back in and I started falling out of the good habits I had been trying to stick to…ie: the gym. I began critiquing myself and judging myself, when something incredible happened. My daughter walked into my closet and declared ‘you look really beautiful mommy’. Right at the very moment when I was eviscerating myself she saw nothing but the mommy she loves. That’s when I decided…..the next time I look in the mirror and want to criticize myself I’m going to pretend it’s my daughter looking back at me. All the noise and nonsense just disappears. I stare into those innocent, loving eyes and the thought would never even cross my mind to do anything but lift her up.
Seriously, try it. I know you’ve all been hard on yourselves; it’s part of our DNA. Instead, picture your childs face standing in front of you before you spew that venom and see what happens. It’s eye opening. Ladies, we need to praise, love and support the bodies that brought these babies into the world in the same way we do with the babies we bore. So that’s what I’m going to picture in my head and so should you. Peace.