I look in the mirror. I hardly recognize the me that stares back. I see my body and can feel society holding the syringe and waiting to inject me with the shame that shall run its course through my veins. The wear of motherhood makes me cringe as I face the stretch marks, the loose skin, and the extra pounds. The annihilation of what my body was prior to my children suffocates me, numbs me. I exhale completely. Although my values could easily be lost in the societal expectations of me and my fellow mommies, I find the words, words of war.
My mommy friends, hear this, believe this, know the truths of motherhood. The female body is a vessel for the miracle of life. Nothing is more beautiful. The self-hatred toward something of such awe-inspiring ability is truly sad. Our stretch marks are our battle scars which mark our endurance, our strength, our unconditional love. Why be ashamed? Why loathe the body that made it possible for you to know the greatness of motherhood? Cherish this body. Love this body. Be grateful that your body with all of its imperfections allowed for you to be blessed with the perfect, precious baby.
Every day is a battle in this war. Expectations ignite bombs leaving us to feel like we most be apologetic for how we look. The sickness of self-loathing for a true mother’s body spreads through magazines, through music videos, through most of social media. The real shame is in those who would choose to promote the fallacy, as if a mother’s body should look the same as before she birthed her children. Society and social media shall not dictate unhealthy, unreasonable, and unrealistic expectations for me. I take another look in the mirror. I recognize the spirit of motherhood, abundant and beautiful.