My Body Broken for You

I had this mission. Lose all the baby weight. It seemed like a simple goal. Nursing helped. Watching my sugar intake helped. Eating healthy and getting exercise… it all helped. Even though I should be clear that my version of exercise is chasing three kids around. Well, two and a newborn. I have this friend who runs marathons and jumps over fire in those extreme obstacle courses. She’s awesome. Her version of exercise and my version of exercise are two completely different things.

But in my own way, on my own schedule, I eventually lost all of the baby weight. But the day that the scale finally showed the number that it did before I had kids… the mirror had evidently not gotten the memo. I remember standing there looking at myself confused.

“Wait. The scale says that I weigh what I used to…. So why don’t I look like I did before?”

The weight was gone, but the girl in the mirror looked nothing like she did before she carried and birthed three babies. My heart sank a little.

Motherhood changes us. It just does. It changes us in every beautiful and powerful way. We suddenly have the ability to love like we didn’t know was possible. We have the strength to keep going despite complete exhaustion. And we have the determination to always do what is best for those we love so passionately no matter the circumstances.

But it also changes us in other ways. Our priorities, our friendships, our marriages, our relationships with those around us… and our relationship with ourselves – some better, some worse, motherhood changes all of it.

I have realized this. While I thought I was just trying to get back to how I looked before I was pregnant, I was really looking for who I used to be before I had a baby.

To be honest? There are days when I don’t really know this version of me. This mom lady. She’s new. She does a lot of things that I said I would never do, she sometimes showers less often than I ever thought she would, and she drives a van. But the truth is?

My goal shouldn’t be to find the “me” that was lost. My goal should be to make friends with the woman that I have become. To embrace her for who she is. Scars and all.

Because even though she is different, she is worth knowing. She is worth being kind to… She is worth loving.

And while my body will never be what it once was, I have decided this,

My scars and changed self serve as a reminder of the Great Love that sacrificed His own body. Who bore His own scars. Whose body was broken that we might have life. I suppose great love always requires sacrifice. But if His love has taught me anything, it is that the sacrifice is always worth the gain.

So, friend? Your body might not look like it once did. But it tells the story of love. And there is no story more beautiful than that.

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Comments

  • Coleen says:

    Made me cry a little. My daughter is almost two and I had hit the weight I was ‘before baby’ somewhere around her first birthday. But my body just wasn’t the same. I had known I would always have the scar, but it had never even occurred to me that my body would be forever changed. Thank you for putting that out there, it was really needed today.

  • NicoleW says:

    This made me cry. I haven’t lost all the weight,I’m not sure I ever will be as small as I once was and I know my pants size won’t be. We won’t discuss the scars after three c-sections in three years. I still can’t believe the other ways I’ve changed in daily life and sometimes it’s hard, but sometimes it’s amazing to realize I grew three babies and I am raising three little people. It does tell the story of love – my body changes and my self changes. Definitely something I need to work on loving more.

  • Megan says:

    Thank you, Becky. Your blog touched me. They always do. Yet, something about this one….
    I am a mom to a 10 & 6 year old. I used to have a FT job outside the home. I have been a FT mom now for 6 years. Sometimes, I still struggle to figure out who I am. When you said, “My goal shouldn’t be to find the “me” that was lost. My goal should be to make friends with the woman that I have become. To embrace her for who she is. Scars and all.”, it really hit me. I think I spend too much time looking backwards, and, not enough at the present. I am not who I once was, and, that is OK. He did make the ultimate sacrifice for us. And, I made a sacrifice for my family. No where near the same. :) But, you are completely right when you say, “the sacrifice is always worth the gain.” I will try to remind myself of that much more often. Thank you!!
    Megan

  • Erin W says:

    Wow. Thanks

  • Kelly says:

    My thoughts exactly!

  • Kayla says:

    As I’m getting ready to have my first child in a short 10 weeks, I needed to read this. I have worried about my body after baby. What will happen to this huge belly riddled with stretch marks? Will breastfeeding help me lose weight? Can I lose down to my pre-pregnancy weight and then some? Will my husband still find me attractive? I’m glad to know it will be different, but worth it. Thank you for sharing!

  • Amanda says:

    Beautifully written. Thank you for putting my feelings into words!

  • Christin says:

    Thank you for this. Our first little girl is a year old now and I have struggled with insecurities with my “post-baby” body the whole year. God had taught me so much and my husband has loved me well and been so patient with me. Bottom line is that my identity is not in my body or appearance, it is in Jesus. And I will seek to honor him through my body. <3

  • Amanda G says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This is absolutely the perspective I needed today. New mom with a 7 week old baby… Feeling so different and unattractive. I’m grateful for the reminder of Christ’s love and the sacrifice He made. I really needed this!

  • sylvia says:

    Thank you so much! Your post is making me cry. I always felt so horrible about it taking me 4 years to loose baby weight and now I’m putting it back on and it’s such a struggle. I just want to be happy and eat yummy food. Your view of the change in our bodies being a result of love is the most beautiful view I’ve ever heard and it makes me feel better about myself. Thank you. I really enjoy your posts.

  • lollie says:

    YOur post was beautiful and deeply touched my heart. I am a 55 y.o. grateful and proud mom/step grandmom and I’m obviously not what i once was before my babies but trust me, the yearning to be what i once looked like, before babies. still creep up every now and then. But you put it so eloquently, ” My scars and changed self serve as a reminder of the Great Love that sacrificed His own body. Who bore His own scars. Whose body was broken that we might have life. I suppose great love always requires sacrifice. But if His love has taught me anything, it is that the sacrifice is always worth the gain”. Thank you for your post, it has deeply blessed me.

  • Patricia says:

    Beautiful and so much love.

  • Beautiful post – so true. I’ve really been reevaluating my self image and just life in general with kids/marriage. Definitely will never be the same, but will be better.

  • Katy W. says:

    Thank you for sharing this. So much truth and so beautifully written. You touched my heart.

  • Jeff Place says:

    I absolutely loved seeing my wife pregnant. There was an honest glow even on the days where she was really sick.

  • Brandi says:

    Thank you. I needed to hear this today. Even though you can be the size you were before, clothes don’t fit the same, areas you still try to hide (not so tight skin, stretch marks, etc) It is easy to get down looking at the before pictures, but reminders like these give me new eyes to view the changes. If I didn’t look different today than 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have three little ones to wrap their arms around me today!

  • Pamala McBrayer says:

    Well, I never did lose the last 10 pounds from child #1. I once got back to within 20# of my original pre-pregnancy weight after child #2. So, after 24 years I am 45 pounds heavier, but only one clothing size bigger. Is it ideal? No. But I have accepted that I am never going to be my old self before motherhood, I am now a new creature. For the men who have judged me to be less for it, kiss my $%#! Most men don’t maintain their physique, either. So go chase those younger, skinnier women, but don’t come back with an empty wallet, a wounded ego, and expect any comfort here…I found someone who would accept the new me. I married him, and love him for seeing more than just a number on the scale. I am not what I weigh.

  • Landis says:

    Thank you for sharing this!! I now have tears in my eyes!! I have 3 kids as well (4,2&1 year old)and this is exactly what I needed to hear!! I have been having a hard time lately…because things change, everything changes wwhen you have kids!! Again thank you!!!

  • Steph Gatten says:

    So thankful for the Lord using you, again, to challenge and encourage me right when I need it. I’m 5 weeks away from having #3 and between each of my pregnancies (in the past 3 years) I keep convincing myself that I’m going to lose the baby weight. But what has caused more grief, anxiety, and frustration is the “me” in the mirror. The person I was 3 years ago seemed so distant. But it’s because that person is no longer the same person anymore. My life has changed, yet I expected me as a person to stay the same. My loves, joys, trials, excitement, challenges, desires, pet peeves, disgusts, etc. etc. have all changed. So why would I expect to be the same person?! Still trying to figure out who I am, but trying to just shift my focus to my identity in Christ. My physical appearance will change daily, but who I am in Christ is forever the same!

  • Carrie says:

    That is exactly what I needed to read! It is time to break ties with what once was and embrace what is. I will always try to be healthy and exercise but I know I will never look or feel like I did before children. And that is ok. I wouldn’t change a thing! Thank you for the beautiful statement.

  • Stephanie A. says:

    WOW this is so incredibly amazing.

  • Jett says:

    Ah, so beautiful. Aging does the same thing…the scale says one thing and the mirror another…and you have to repeat the process of speaking truth…I have lived these years and done good things for Him, and the toll on my body is worth it, and the age you can see on this body is glorious. Keep speaking good words.

  • i loved this sweet post. Thanks souch for sharing. Trying to make friends with the new me as well. What a good perspective.

  • Sarah says:

    One word… Triplets.
    This post is beautiful- I have definitely thought of my body as changed and broken, but never equated it with Christ’s sacrifice of Love. This has challenged my thinking. Thanks!

  • Katie says:

    I have a slightly different perspective. During my first pregnancy and after my daughter was born, I struggled a lot with the changes to my body. I hated all the swollen everything and the unwieldy belly and the constant discomfort, I hated how I looked after she was born. And then I started to try for a second baby a couple of years later, and I struggled to get pregnant again. I had a miscarriage. Suddenly, the saggy skin and stretchmarks from my pregnancy were not a sign of the things that were WRONG with my body, but a sign of all the things my body had done RIGHT. I love them now. I look at the signs that my body once carried a baby in awe.

    You are not broken. You may not look like someone in a magazine or a celebrity mom back in a slinky evening gown 6 weeks after giving birth, but you look exactly like millions of other women who came before you who have gone through pregnancy, given birth, and nurtured babies. Your post-partum body is not aberrant, but looks exactly how a mother’s body is supposed to look. Stop thinking of your body in terms of what it’s not anymore (which is just a social construct–do you think Jesus ever cared if his mother could fit into a pair of size 2 skinny jeans?), but instead in terms of the miraculous things your body has done to give you 3 beautiful children and to make you a mother.

  • This is so beautiful and true. I often look in the mirror and even though I look similar to my pre-baby self, I know I’m a different person. I go from loving this new, brave, resilient, responsible woman, to hating my impatience, lack of control and knowledge of how to handle what’s next. It is a constant journey of relearning to accept and love the person I need to be with this role.

  • T Butler says:

    Wow. Thank you so much. This is beautiful and had me in tears. As a recent first time mom, I’m still getting acquainted with the new me. Thanks again!

  • JB says:

    Love this! I feel the same way; most of the baby weight is gone (according to the scale), but my body just looks more “squishy” than it used to (especially my thighs and stomach). I know there are more important things in the world than how I look in a swimsuit, and I am so grateful for my wonderful little boy, but I do sometimes feel a little disappointed that I don’t look as “good” as I used to.

  • Jen says:

    i just read this; the commitment to motherhood isn’t just giving yourself to a newborn; its watching your baby go to school on their first day and allowing a teacher to influence your child’s beliefs and growth; its watching your child deal with the “mean kids” and loving them through the pain and hurt; its encouraging your child to always be their best, no matter what the rest of their peers believe. Commitment to motherhood is explaining to your child that they did not meet their expectations and delivering consequence; its the heartbreaking decision to keep privileges from them…parenthood is absolutely the most difficult thing you will ever do; parenthood is absolutely not a privilege; its an honor, and if you are not in a partnership with your spouse and God, parenthood is probably not an honor you should reward yourself. As a parent, you are given the OPPORTUNITY to influence a life; if you aren’t ready don’t do it. If you choose to be a parent, appreciate the GIFT you’ve been given and embrace that gift.

  • Misty says:

    Thank you for this. It made me cry. My baby was still born 7 months ago. Not only is my body scared my heart is. What you said really touched me. “So, friend? Your body might not look like it once did. But it tells the story of love. And there is no story more beautiful than that.” Thank you for sharing!

  • Katie says:

    <3 Just Lovely!

  • […] have baby fever so bad. I can hardly wait to have my own child to love and care for. I read this beautiful blog post this week and it made me tear up and yearn even more for children. (But first I need a job to pay […]

  • Jamee says:

    Wow this brought tears to my eyes! I wish we could be real life friends because you are the first person I’ve found in 5 years who gets it like I do! I love all your posts and have been personally touched by several, but this one REALLY hit home with me. I’ve been feeling like a stranger to myself and no one understands. Thank you for sharing this. God has truly blessed you with a wonderful gift.

  • Angela harris says:

    Beautiful words and so true.

  • TJ says:

    I liked this article, but the last paragraph was a bit of a stretch. (no pun intended) 😉

  • JaclynC says:

    This also made me cry a little. So precious to hear. Accepting my new body and this new person I have/am becoming as a Mommy is something I always heard about but never thought much over. It is real. It is real and it is scary. So good to hear this other feel the same way. I so needed this!

  • brittany crisp says:

    As cheesy as this sounds I feel I was led to read this.
    I have been having the worst week.
    I have a 5 month old And trying desperately to get my body back.
    I actually Sat and cried in a dressing room 3 hours ago. Trying in a crop top with high waisted skirt. Only showing half an inch of skin. And all I could see where stretch marks. I don’t feel beautiful anymore. I don’t feel sexy for my husband anymore. I am a stay at home mom who rarely has time to fix my hair and breastfeed my daughter in a spit up stained shirt. I don’t have time to do my makeup anymore. Or even shower half the time if We are being honest. But I have a beautiful healthy happy baby girl. And this article help me come to the realization that I am beautiful for being a mother. Each and every stretch Mark in my stomach have a purpose and are a beautiful reminder to me everyday that I grew a child within myself. Spent 20 hours in labor and I am strong. My body will get back to normal hopefully one day. But I’m not stressing about it today. Thank you for your beautiful words.

  • Brittany says:

    i simply love this! How beautiful :) I teared up and by heart strings were pulled! What an amazing way to look at it and to shine the light and glory back on Him! I feel changed just by reading this and will share it with friends and family! Thank you for this :) Blessings to you and yours

  • Brittany says:

    i simply love this! How beautiful :) I teared up and by heart strings were pulled! What an amazing way to look at it and to shine the light and glory back on Him! I feel changed just by reading this and will share it with friends and family! Thank you for this :) Blessings to you and yours

  • Sarah says:

    This is a great post. Thanks for sharing. This immediately made me think of my C-section scar (and maybe those couple of pounds that I can’t seem to shake). It certainly “tells the story of love.” It is a reminder that my sweet daughter was there and was so incredibly loved during her time here on earth.

  • Laurie says:

    Thank you for such a sweet and kind post. The new women we have become deserve to be loved and respected, just as we deserved it when we were young, skinny, and wrinkle-free.
    I managed to lose all my baby weight with #1, but a series of miscarriages and depression meant I carried #2 with some extra packaging, and I just can’t seem to shake it off. But I notice that everyone in our little universe likes to come cuddle on mommy! My LO pulled me close to the changing table today so she could lean against my “fluffy” tummy. I could see her smile of pure happiness and comfort in the mirror over the table.

  • thanks so much Becky for sharing this! I’ve struggled with a lot of weight & depression the last 8 years of my beautiful girls life! I’m half way losing the weight I’ve wanted to, but daily struggle to like myself & my body! I KNOW I’m a temple of the Holy Spirit & that God so loves me, but still struggle with that realisation considering I’m 20kgs off the goal of getting to 95kgs! I so want my daughter to grow up with a great God-image of herself, but I want to believe God will continue to make me well so I can be a good example to her! Your story does help, believe me & thank you for wanting to believe for all of us mummies too! (Sorry I told you some of my struggle?!) a God bless you heaps!
    Jo McInnes

  • J says:

    Inspiring to read. I am in pain and discomfort everyday from birth issues that broke my pelvic floor. Having a baby was without a douby a big sacrifice for my body but this article puts it in perspective.

  • Charmaine says:

    Will your husband still find you attractive? Eleven years and seven babies later, my husband thinks I’m more beautiful now than the day he married me. Yes, your husband will find you attractive.

  • shaun says:

    Your blog was spotlighted on thebertshow.com. Great writing and going to share with my wife. Hope you get lots of hits from it.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I absolutely love your insights. The body of a mother does tell a story of love just as Christ’s does.

    We ache to be something we cannot be until we are called home. We ache for wholeness. Perfection. In that aching, we miss the beauty of our sacrifices here on earth. Our body does tell a beautiful story.

    Thank you for this!

  • Shanna Leigh says:

    Thank you for this post. I recently came upon your blog and I’m so encouraged by you and your transparency. I feel the same way, my weight is essentially back to normal, but I’ll never feel like my body is totally back to it’s old self. If I’m being honest, I don’t expect it to be the same and I don’t want it to be the same. It performed a true miracle when it carried and delivered my beautiful girl one year ago. Simply amazing!

  • Shanna Leigh says:

    I don’t know what I did, but I don’t think my comment posted…user error I’m sure! 😉

    Anyway, I just stumbled on your blog recently and I’m so thankful for your transparency. I, too, feel the same way about my post-baby body…it isn’t the same and I don’t even expect it to be. It truly performed a miracle and I never want to forget that.

  • Kathryn says:

    Thank you SO very much for your beautiful words of wisdom!! Your blog is filled with encouragement, truth, inspiration and wise words – all of which is invaluable to me and other moms. What a gift you have! And, what a contribution you are making with your time here on earth. THANK YOU! xo

  • as a soon-to-be first time momma i needed to read this. beautifully written!

    http://www.lifestyleschizophrenia.blogspot.com

  • Jacki says:

    Love this! By this ALL people will know you are my disciples IF you have love for one another John 13:35….it is time for the churchto stand and prover their love for Christ goes deeper than their own comfort level :: we love because He did not because we agree!

  • Stephanie says:

    Thank you! Sometimes I feel like you speak directly to my heart! I am trying to find out who this new lady, in this new body, is? I have birthed a baby boy, and 30 days later, buried that same sweet boy. I have changed! Five miscarriages, and I have changed! The adoption of our perfect and beautiful son! I have changed! Two years after his adoption, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjrogens syndrome. I have changed! I am no where near who I used to be! I’ve gained 100 lbs from steroids! There are many basic things I can no longer do. There is clothing I can no longer wear, because it hurts me. I don’t know who this woman is or why she is here? I am learning that it is ok to love her.
    Thank you!

  • Rosalie says:

    I am a great grandmother, watching my next to youngest granddaughter prepare for the birth of a daughter in September. Your words are very touching and insightful! Appreciate them very much. Warms my heart!

  • Td says:

    Absolutely beautiful and wonderfully stated. I have 11 children and, though I have always squeezed in running, it’s now for sanity and health rather than for getting into a bathing suit. You have put into words a sentiment which every mother needs to embrace. Thanks so much and God bless

  • Victoria Crisman says:

    Good morning. I came across your page because another mom I look up to had liked your page. I know God put it there for me to see because just reading the first couple of posts totally hit home with how I have been feeling as a new mom. I have been struggling with getting to know/ understanding the new “mom version” of myself and I don’t just mean my body. So thank you for your words! They helped this momma out! ❤️

  • Angelica says:

    Agh, that worries me! Not looking the same. I know it’s inevitable but I want a miracle to happen. I’m a “mom Lady”, I like the sound of that. I wrote about how relationships change after a baby here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/angelica-sereda/having-a-baby-changes-eve_1_b_7857118.html

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