Monday, November 19, 2012

The Beautiful Mother {Mindful Mothering Mondays}


We sat in her car in the dark, the headlights blazing a trail through the yard while the engine idled.  She leaned against the steering wheel.

"I never understood body image stuff...until I had a baby. And now..."

I glanced toward my house, the darkened bedrooms housing my 5 sleeping babies.  Oh yes.  I know these feelings.  And I know that there's not a woman in this country, in our culture, who doesn't.

My sister in law is beautiful.  But that doesn't really matter much, does it?  I'd wager that the most beautiful movie star has thought these thoughts, felt these feelings once the babe was born and she realized that some things would forever be changed.

We all know.  I read it in the status of a friend.  I hear it from my closest friends.  "If I could only lose X lbs..."  "If I only had time to work out..."  We keep convincing ourselves that we are less than, falling short, in some way lacking.

The truth is, a woman who has carried a baby for 9 months, breathed him into the world and given him the gift of nourishment from her own body - this woman's body cannot be compared to that of her 18 year old self.  It's apples and oranges.  And not because this new body is ugly or wrong or contorted or "ruined."  But because it is the body of a woman, a mother.

When will we choose to see it as beautiful?  When will we realize that drawing comparisons to our pre-baby bodies may as well be a comparison with our pre-pubescent bodies?  It is that changed.  It is that big of a difference.  But it is not any less beautiful.

I go inside and find my husband waiting for me on the couch.  He wraps his arms around me and playfully squeezes my side.  "Stop," I say.  "I hate that...fat."  He turns my face towards him and says "Why?  You are just right.  You are growing a baby, your body needs to be this way.  It's just right."

Could we see ourselves as just right?  Our Mama bodies as warm and perfect for the vocation we have been given?  A place for babies to grow and be nourished, strong arms to carry out our daily tasks and to hold older children close.  Bodies that God entrusted with His beautiful and holy creation?

In our world today, it's hard.  Like so many things about motherhood, it's not valued.  We grocery shop and try to ignore magazines boasting movie star's "amazing" shedding of baby weight in mere weeks and we feel -- less than.  Defective.  Broken.  Unlovable.  The only way to step strong and confidently away from these thoughts is to name them: Lies.  Falsehoods.

And maybe to encourage one another.  You?  Are beautiful.  Yes.  You are.  And so am I.  And not because I squeeze back into pre pregnancy jeans, or because you dye your hair.  But because God creates beautiful things.  And a godly Mother is a beautiful thing indeed.

Grab the graphic here:


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  1. So precious, those words: "...because God creates beautiful things."

    What a privilege to have a husband who understands the value of this baby-building process. The other night I commented that my hands felt swollen, and mine graciously made light "Ah.." he says "...that's all a part of it."
    We know that being pregnant is a season, and that post pregnancy part... well. It's kind of a right of passage. Too bad that's so hard to see and to remember.
    You know, we've always had small houses and very little room for mirrors. I have to say it's been one of the best things for me personally, to only see myself in snippets rather than being faced with one whole image of me every time I pass my reflection. There's something about not being confronted with that all the time that removes the opportunity to dwell on things I might otherwise consider imperfections.
    I just want enough mirror to see if I have something green in my teeth and that my earrings match! :-D

  2. I have a three month old. (and four olders). It is amazing and eye opening and freeing to hear you say these things.

  3. YES!!!! We are all beautiful in our own unique and individual ways.


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