A Mothers Day Tribute

 

Let’s have a moment of silence for what once was.

For smooth, flawless skin under those once bright, fully rested eyes.

 

For breasts once perky, peppy and friendly.

 

For tummies tucked with a resilience not yet weakened by the earth’s gravitational pull.

 

Hips not yet stretched with the bearing of young.

 

They’re gone.

 

Never again can we look in the mirror and see that body again. No amount of crunches or squats or three-week dieting “fixes” will undo what’s been done. We’ve changed, and there’s no going back.

 

Facebook’s Time Hop feature recently resurfaced a status posted nearly a decade ago, by a 20-year-old me who had pulled an all-nighter from studying. “Chronically tired,” I had posted, probably the result of a night spent cramming after one too many partying.

 

I’ll be honest - I’ve long since let go of my desire to get my “pre-baby body” back. That figure was frail and weak and in no way equipped to withstand the rigors and demands that come with all that is motherhood.

 

The girl who once needed three Red Bulls to make it to daybreak does so now stimulant free when sickness and teething emerge.

 

These eyes with dark circles sense danger and mischief three rooms away, and they hold an entire world when they share a gaze.

 

The girl who once required narcotics for a low-grade ankle sprain passed on the juice when it came time to welcome a girl of her own. The scars just beneath the bikini line bear the memory there’s nothing I can’t face, nothing I can’t endure, nothing I won’t do to protect the little ones I love.

 

It’s nestled on this post-partum belly that my children feel love, where I tell them stories of their past and encourage the possibilities of their future.

 

These now-saggy breasts are a sign that my children were nourished, even at my own expense. These hips can carry 50 pounds of babies up two flights of stairs, plus the groceries and bags and tantrums that are always along for the ride.

 

I am never more sure and doubtful of my ability to get it right than I am each waking moment. I can dry a tear, incite a laugh, calm a fear and find a path, and the strength to withstand it all is birthed mentally, emotionally and physically from the knowledge that yes, I do have what it takes – and I prove that to myself daily.

 

As moms, there’s no shortage of pressure to revive that ‘pre-baby body,’ the thing of the past that’s a far cry from all we are and can continue to be. This pressure tells us to retreat, shrink down, hide. It says who we are today is a lesser model than the counterpart of our past. It chokes us of our joy, our confidence, our romance, our dreams. But while we don’t have to give in, and we don’t have to give up or become complacent.

 

I am not the perfect mom. There are days – ok, most days – that I wonder how I’ll manage; nights I’ve flooded the kitchen floor with my tears. I have never felt more disconnected, disappointed, disillusioned and drained since becoming a mother, but I’ve learned what I’m capable of; I strive to continually improve that capacity, and what I lack becomes a testing and strengthening of my faith daily.

 

This Mother’s Day, I’m reflecting upon so much – the seeming loss of my individuality, the changes that my life has seen that I haven’t fully grasped, how to expand my heart and emotions for all that motherhood has brought to me. There’s so much difficulty, but so much joy. There’s no way I could possibly consider trading it for anything.

 

The encouragement I hope to leave with you heading into this Mother’s Day is this: you’re not your thighs, your dress size, your energy levels or how many organic foods are on your table. You’re good enough, simply because you’re showing up and making the very best decisions with what you have to work with.

 

May you spend time this weekend basking in all that is good and sweet and full in your life, while embracing the challenges not as a reflection of what you’re doing wrong or where you’re falling short, but as a living testament of all you’re capable of enduring, overcoming and achieving.

 

And may a new confidence consume you, as a daily reminder that you do have what it takes.

 

Take up habits that will invigorate and inspire you, because strength and health physically always translates into strength and health mentally, emotionally and relationally.

 

Break ties with the lie that you need to go back, shrink down, or hide.

 

We can be bold. We can be fierce. We can do mighty things. Set your sights on taking up more space, with your love and your presence and your desire. Be the woman you want your daughters to one day become, who you want your sons to one day marry.

 

This is what I wish for every mom, woman, daughter, grandmother, aunt, sister, friend. May we join together and inspire a generation of others to find and unleash the strong, confident woman within.

 

Happy Mother's Day.

 

 



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