I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You’ve earned those tiger stripes.” I have too – and I hate it. They are stretch marks, people. Dozens of horrible, tiny little, permanent scars left on some women’s bodies after pregnancy.
Now, I am only 2 months post-partum, from back to back pregnancies. I’ve just a few more pounds to shed, to get to my pre-pregnancy weight. I know my body will continue to heal, shrink, and feel like me again. It will take more time, I get that. It’s not pounds on the scale that are depressing. It’s this god-awful mommy body, that will be with me for the rest of my life. No amount of laps on the track, or sit ups will ever make my boobs perky again, or these stretch marks disappear. Likely, my pre-pregnancy clothes will never fit the way they used to, because of my new mommy-hips. I think the only women who can “accept” these things, have given up. I’m going to get a lot of eye-rolls for saying that – but I think it’s true.
Because I am in such a state of physical-limbo, I find I am rotating 3 outfits that currently fit this body of mine. Do I throw my hands in the air, and buy a whole new wardrobe? Do I continue to rotate these outfits, intermixing with the ever-so-popular-mommy-yoga pants? Why do you think so many women wear yoga pants, and they’ve no clue what downward facing dog is? It’s because they too refuse to face the truth, and buy clothes that fit this permanent new body of ours. I feel like the next steps will fall into place, out of my control – even though I fear them. The mom-short-haircut. The mom-mini-van. The mom-jeans!
So, what’s the solution? Acceptance? Surgery? Possibly time will pass, and I won’t remember? Maybe an official mourning stage to say goodbye to the old me? This is one of the battles many women fight – positive self image. Why do we look and feel so differently about ourselves in the mirror, than how others see us? My husband says I’m beautiful. And, I believe him. But, that does not mean he likes my new body. I was at my utmost best shape, 2 months prior to my first pregnancy. Back when I used to think “ughh, I’m so fat.” or “that love handle is so gross.” What I would do to go back in time and slap the shit out of me, for thinking that way and not reveling in it. I am working to get in shape again – but I will never have that body again. Never. That’s a long time for my husband to live with this. I feel shameful. And that’s not fair to him, or our marriage. Every stretchmark cream, pushup bra, and pair of spanx in the world, will never make me youthful, and confident in the mirror.
I’m not sure who is trying to sugar coat it with this tiger-stripes bullshit, and it drives me up the wall. Why is a woman supposed to love and accept stretch marks, wide hips, and deflated boobs? Who possibly thinks these things are beautiful? The creation of a an embryo? Beautiful. The growth of a fetus? A miracle. Child birth? Amazing. THIS? This post-partum, mommy image? SUCKS.