I have a confession to make. I have been hesitant to write this post but now I have finally mustered the courage to speak out. There is no denial that motherhood (most of the time) ruins your body in some way or the other; it takes your vanity and crushes it with all its might.
I was fortunate to not gain too much weight during pregnancy as I was really active throughout it. I also did not get any stretch marks until the very end that is. The scraggly reddish lines that I now have are a permanent reminder of the journey my body and I went through.
Honestly, I loathe them. Although my mummy tummy has almost gone, I still have a soft and squidgy texture there that refuses to go. Each day, when I see myself in the mirror I wonder if I will ever get back my pre baby flat, rock hard abs. Maybe. Maybe not.
As a breastfeeding mum, my breasts are huge. No amount of chest press seems to be working. It makes me extremely self-conscious even though I try not to care.
And don't even get me started on bladder control.
I am a young mum (29 is still young, right?) but these signs that motherhood has given me makes me feel old. I wonder almost every day why women have to bear the burden of perpetuating life on earth?
Recently, a model came under fire for showing her "pregnancy abs" while being eight months pregnant. Unsurprisingly, some men on social media have applauded her "for not letting go" during pregnancy. This seriously irks me; men cannot experience any aspect of pregnancy, child birth or breastfeeding. They cannot understand the havoc hormones play and they just cannot understand the trauma a women's body goes through during the whole journey. Hence, it will be a great service to womankind if they keep quiet.
Fitness (and not just being skinny) is of course important. But the fact is most of us do not have the luxury of nannies, tailor made diet plans, cosmetic surgeons and personal trainers to lose the baby weight. We just have plain old willingness to toil and work hard to get fitter while taking care of a tiny person and managing thousand different things.
Also, who is to decide that only "perfect" bodies are beautiful bodies? The silver lining is that I am also in awe of my body. I have new-found respect for it.
Each day when I do my work, the little one perched on my side, I don't see the ugly love handles but a safe and secure spot for the little one to sit on. When she lovingly tries to climb up on me I don't see a less than perfect body but a safe haven that holds her tightly and nurtures her steadily.
When I feed her, listening to her happy tune I don't see my huge boobs but my ability to nourish her each day. When I walk holding, comforting and patting her, I don't see my big thighs but legs that continue to do its work each day without giving in.
This body with all its imperfections really has served us well.
In taking care of her, I see my body for its strength, its amazing ability to adapt to the challenge of motherhood and I see love--unadulterated and pure.
To use the cliché, I am now a tigress who has earned her stripes and yes you will hear me roar.