I haven’t always had the healthiest relationship with my body. I think it is something everyone struggles with on some level at some point in their life. As a teen I hated that I was built like a ten-year-old boy. I’ve now got the chest I always wanted then (well actually way more than I could have ever wanted lol), but it came with a lot of extra fluff in other places as well. The image I see in my mind, and the one I see in the mirror don’t always match up. Learning to love my mom body has been a process, and I’m still working on it.
When I had baby #8 we decided to hire the amazing Elsa Shaw to photograph the birth. When I first saw this image as a small thumbnail in our gallery I loved it. Then I made it large and was tempted to never ever look at it again or share it with anyone.
When I made the image large the first thing I thought was “wow, I look fat!” I even considered for a moment whether I could possibly liquefy myself a bit smaller in Photoshop. Then I forced myself to step back and think about how I was feeling. “What on earth is wrong with me?!?! This is less than 24 hours after giving birth to my eighth child. Shut-up you crazy woman talking in my head! I’m Super Womb-an.”
Not only should I not be ashamed, but this image is made even more beautiful by my imperfect appearance. My body had grown eight little humans (now nine). My body has birthed those little humans naturally without complications. The body in this photo had been pregnant, nursing, or both for over nine years! This is the body that allows me to read, play, and laugh with my children. Because of my body I am able to cook, clean, read, create art, play, exercise, and so much more. This is the body that my husband loves BECAUSE of the marks motherhood has left on me, not in spite of. Most importantly my body is an amazing temple of God that houses my eternal spirit and I need to show it more respect.
I am beautiful. My body is amazing. I will share this image with pride knowing that it is a truly beautiful moment that my children and their children can treasure for generations.
Mom’s please just love yourselves. Love and appreciate your body for the amazing things it does, even if what you see in the mirror isn’t exactly what you want. Don’t hide from the camera or hide away the photos because you are ashamed. There is no shame in motherhood. You are beautiful even with 20 extra pounds, no make-up and messy hair. Motherhood is beautiful in every shape and size. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to celebrate it. Show your children the beauty that created them. Give them something to treasure for the rest of their lives. Exist in photographs, it is the best gift you can give after giving them life.
Have you ever had a photo of yourself that you judged too harshly? What amazing things has your mom body done? I’d love to see your favorite documentary images of yourself! Come join the community on Facebook and share them!