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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

For Mothers: You're Amazing

I don't have children, but I know and love a lot of people who do. One of my dearest friends is the mother of three beautiful girls; girls who know that who they are is pretty fantastic. 
Didn't we all start out that way? 
Excuse my language, but I know for a fact that three-year-old Camilla KNEW she was the shi*. I was adored my parents and Brother and aunts and grandparents; to the point that my little baby-mind thought, "I appear to be some kind of Goddess. Excellent." But along the way I was taught something different. Something maybe less true.
I wanted to share these articles written by mommas that illustrate beautifully the fears I have about pregnancy, and having children (especially girls) in this world. What will it do to my body? Will I be unattractive? How can I protect my daughters from the lying media? From this disease?
I've become annoyed reading/seeing/hearing about celebrity "bodies after baby." Stories that perpetuate the lie that there's something wrong or ruined about a post-partum bod. Like Kate Middleton wasn't stunningly gorgeous after she was delivered.
Like getting induced simply to avoid stretch marks is totally normal behavior (as are 1200 calories a day/4 hour daily workouts/personal chefs/personal trainers). When I was a young woman I overheard a friend of my mom's saying that she and her husband saw her stretch marks as "sacred." Concrete and physical evidence that she her child had lived inside her; that they both had experienced something divine in bringing a spirit child of God into the human world. This article ("Babies Ruin Bodies") reminded me of that.
There are probably no tried and true methods to ensure our girls won't struggle with body image... I don't remember my mom really talking about her body or food very much, and yet I still learned to loathe my curves. I'm grateful that recently actresses like Annasophia Robb and Jennifer Lawrence (ok, ok . . . Even the Kardashian sisters...) are popular--yes they're thin, but also so much stronger-looking than the waifish women I wanted to look like. 
When I read this,
"13 years ago, when the ultrasound technician turned to me and said, “It’s a girl,” my first thoughts weren’t rose-colored feminine fantasies of toddler tea parties and tutus, they were panicked premonitions of passing on my own permanently warped body image and twisted eating habits." I thought, yes. This is one of my greatest fears and I don't even have children. I fear it for my future kids, my friends' kids, my cousins, and pretty much every little girl I ever see. I just pray they don't have these demons.... I loved this woman's outlook. She can't do everything, but she can accept herself. Even if it's hard. For her daughter. ("I Gained 10 Pounds So My Daughter Won't Hate Herself")
I really wasn't expecting to write this much, I just wanted to share these articles (and putting them on here means I'll be able to find them again...). 
Fight the good fight. 


4 comments:

  1. This is on my mind all the time. I'm so afraid for my girls. I actually cried when I found out I was having a second girl, for a number of reasons, but one of them was just fear. Fear that I wouldn't be able to protect another girl...that I wouldn't be able to teach her and her sister. I have vague ideas on what I will do as they continue to grow, but...I'm still scared.

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  2. I liked the article about "Babies Ruin Bodies." It's true. BUT, they change your life, in so many fantastic ways. You love their bodies more than your own. Their toes, their bellies, their little hands...everything is so perfect and wonderful. I'd gain a million pounds again and again and again to have them in my life. Plus, it's nothing really that life doesn't do anyway. You get older, things change, so using your body in a miraculous way while it's still healthy is a wonderful thing. Also, my children don't care what my body looks like. My body is for playing with them, rocking them to sleep, hugging them when they're sad, hurt or scared, throwing them in the air, tickling them, being a personalized jungle gym, chasing them...

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    1. Thank you for this comment. What a beautiful ode to the body. :)

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  3. Having a daughter can be scary when you are very conscious about your weight and seeing all the misguided body messages around you, but having a daughter is also very MOTIVATING! It helps me stay on track--to want to be better about focusing on inner beauty and eating balanced and being an example in word and deed. It is a leap of faith, but we were not meant to be perfect and God makes up for what we lack when we are trying our best to raise that beautiful girl in a toxic world. And when we have moments like this week, when my 8-yr-old daughter was asked what makes you beautiful by someone and she answered "A lot of things, but mostly virtue!", then you know there is hope! Hang in there, Camilla! Never, ever give up the fight!

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