Posts Tagged ‘body positive’

Why I Don’t Hide My Body from My Kids

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Why i Don't Hide My Body From my KidsAs I sat waiting in the chair outside the dressing room, I could picture what was going on: The quiet snaps and fabric stretching, then the frantic removal of clothing. Another try, maybe this one would be better. No, no, no. This one has to be a winner—no. An exasperated sigh escapes, as she returns the clothing to the hanger and dresses herself again. There’s a long pause before she exits the dressing room.

“Did you find anything, Mom?”

“…No. I didn’t.”

The time spent together after each swimsuit shopping attempt was always in silence. Eventually, my mother stopped trying, and our summers were spent with her always on the side of the pool, reading a book.

And now, as a mother myself, I have so much empathy for that valiant woman who sacrificed so much for me; one of those sacrifices, of course, was the body she had before children. Her mother-body didn’t measure up to the beauty standards set for women. And though I never considered myself magazine cover-worthy, my postpartum lumps, sags, and stretches have me even further from contention.

But when my little boy lifted my shirt during a tickle fight and said, “Mommy, your tummy is big like a trampoline!” I fought the urge to cower, to cover, or to hide. Instead, I laid back, pulling my shirt up to my bra.

“My tummy is big, baby! You know why?”

His eyes looked at me in curious wonder.

“It is so big because you used to live in it! Can you believe that? And your brothers and your sister lived in it. And some people have their babies live in their tummies, and their tummies get small again. And some people, like me, have babies live in their tummy and their tummy stays big! Isn’t that so neat? Isn’t it neat that our bodies can do great things, and are all different?”

I lost a part of my mom when she was told she didn’t measure up. I’m doing what I can to tell my kids that they get to decide what the standard is.

Keighty Brigman is terrible at crafting, throwing birthday parties, and making sure there isn’t food on her face. Allegedly, her four children manage to love her anyway.


Loving Your Postpartum Body

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Loving Your Postpartum BodyAs moms, we’ve all been there. You get pregnant. You have this amazing belly that everyone wants to touch. You wear cute maternity clothes and elastic pants. This is the life! You allow yourself to have that piece of cake or coveted latte, because you know that a few more pounds won’t hurt. Then, it happens. You have your baby and for some mysterious reason, you are not the same, emotionally or physically. It’s not an easy thing to love your postpartum body. As I write this blog, I am currently 5 months postpartum and 10 pounds over my pre-baby weight…still. Here’s what I’ve learned.

Remember Where You’ve Been:

It’s so easy to focus on the stretch marks, saggy belly, and oh so wide hips after you have a baby. I remember feeling like I had a deflated tire around my waist after my daughter was born. The second time around, there was that silly tire again, only this time it came equipped with its own set of stretch marks. Remember, you grew a baby. Your body gave life to an amazing miracle. Focus on that. It took you nine months to gain the weight, so it will take time. This is of course easier said than done. Focus on taking care of your family. Breastfeeding your baby will aid in burning those calories. Spend time making memories with your children, not regretting your pant size.

Remember Who You Are:

When you have a child, you become more than just a woman, you become someone’s mom. I recently turned 30, and I can tell you that I do love myself at 30 much more than I did at 20. Moms are fun, free-spirited, amazing people. It’s not a title to take lightly. Find local moms groups that you can connect with if you feel like you are losing yourself. Spend time investing in hobbies you enjoy like reading, exercise, or watch your favorite television series. Have your spouse watch your kids and take a day to go shopping for your new curves. Even with baby weight hanging on, we all could use a new outfit. I love stores like Clothes Mentor, because they sell nice, used clothes at affordable prices. Spend some time getting to know the new you.  Sip your favorite hot tea or coffee and just relax. You’re a mom now. Wow.

Remember You’re a Work in Progress:

I would be lying if I didn’t say I wish I could fit back into my size 8 jeans today. As I type this in my size 10 jeans, I feel a longing for those pants that almost fit comfortably. But I know they will fit again. Give yourself time. I remember feeling amazing around my daughter’s first birthday in my new body. Of course, I was pregnant again a few months later, but it felt good to be able to wear my clothes again. Maybe you have new bigger breasts or curvy hips post-baby? Embrace them!  Buy yourself a new, fun bra.  I plan on joining the local YMCA here to get myself motivated to lose the rest of my weight, but more importantly, I want to be healthy for my children.

We only have one body, so we need to be kind to it. Babies make us moms. Our postpartum bodies make us beautiful.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana. She would like to be back at her pre-baby weight by summer, but she loves flavored lattes.