So I just finished reading this "momblog" written by a beautiful (yet humble) 27-year-old Christian woman with 3 kids. In her blog, she uses terms like "hot mess" and "tragic" to describe herself, all while looking glamorous in her size 4 jeans alongside her GQ-esque husband and J.Crew model children.
Girlfriend, let me tell you about tragic.
Please hear me out first - I believe comparison is the #1 self-esteem killer for all women, especially new moms. We have the habit of trying to measure up to the breast-feeder, the cloth-diaperer, the coupon-cutter, the homemade everything-er, the stay-at-home caregiver, the "I lost all my baby-weight in two weeks while sitting on the couch eating bon-bons"-er. Everything we do is met with criticism. We can never be good enough for everyone.
I wholeheartedly believe in the healing power of honesty. For years I have fought the battle of trying to be what others wanted me to be, only to end up stressed, disappointed, and exhausted. I'm learning to let go of my impossibly high standards and accept my hot mess for what it is.
- 5+ months postpartum and I still wear maternity clothes on occasion. Yes, I do have real pants with a zipper, but sometimes I just need an elastic waist. My clothes still don't fit correctly despite my workouts, but we cannot afford to buy a new wardrobe so I make do.
- Stretch marks are a pain in my tookus (which is also covered in stretch marks). Whoever said stretchmarks are a badge of mommy honor needs to be punched in the face. They're hideous and I am incredibly self-conscious about them.
- Being a full-time working mom is the best decision for our family. I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom and I feel no shame admitting that I enjoy going to work each day. In fact, I am a better mom because I work. My fuse is longer, my compassion is deeper, and my time spent with the Bear Cub is not taken for granted.
- Yoga pants accentuate my lack of a butt. I can say with confidence that I am NOT the reason for all of the "yoga pants aren't modest" articles.
- I don't pluck my eyebrows. If people want to focus on the condition of my eyebrows, they're missing out on life.
- Because I am a working mom, I have supplemented with formula and the Bear Cub is doing just fine.
- I had an epidural and GOD BLESS IT! I tried to go naturally, but my body wasn't having it. My mind wasn't having it. The Man wasn't having it. No shame.
- I am terrible at keeping track of the Bear Cub's milestones. First smile? Not sure. First time he rolled over? No idea. First laugh? No clue. First tooth? Not yet. Poor kid is only going to have a handful of Facebook posts to remind him of his first year of life.
I say all of this in hopes that you'll cut yourself some slack and find contentment in the woman God has made you. We aren't meant to be anyone else - we are meant to be the best mom, wife, sister, daughter and friend to those around us. So to the rail-thin, Jessica Alba look-alike? We are on the same team. I was just picked last. :)