Motherhood: A Post Baby Fashion Blog
Motherhood; the snuggles, the smiles, the smell of a newborn, the sleepless yet grateful nights, the peace amidst the new transition into parenthood, the joys of each baby milestone, the extra care family, friends and your spouse provides, besides all those joys…something very uncomfortable does indeed occur. What is that? Well, a change in body-image.
At 3 months postpartum, after having a c-section and having to recover longer than 6 weeks it was time for me to go out and buy a new pair of jeans. I knew hands down I would no longer be a size 4 (which I was pre-baby) I knew that this time, I’d be trying on maybe a size 8, or 10, or 12?? Well the joke was on me when I entered the Old Navy fitting room with about 8 different pairs of jeans in all sizes from 8-14.
I was so happy I had just conquered one of the most difficult moments that would probably occur in my entire life, going into surgery for the first time to deliver my first-born son but at that same time, I felt like the girl I knew, before becoming a mom, was gone. I looked in the mirror and didn’t even see myself. Maybe not my personality had changed but physically I couldn’t bare the sight of my own body. The c-section scar, the stretch marks all the way up to my belly button, the floppy tummy. The negativity over came me, you know those thoughts that are not our own but lurk sometimes? “you’re not pretty, how will you ever lose all this weight? You should have worked out more during pregnancy, those jeans won’t fit, you’re gonna have to buy more clothes than you planned”…the list goes on and on.
So let’s go back to the sizes, the 8’s didn’t go past my knees, the 10’s wouldn’t go past my thighs, the 12’s wouldn’t zip, the 14’s wouldn’t button up. None of the jeans I had picked fit me. Another devastating blow to my self-image and confidence, indeed.
Teary eyed, I stepped out of the fitting room to search for three more pairs. My husband was waiting for me outside the fitting room and when he saw my face he immediately knew I was about to have a melt down. With my voice cracking, I told him: “Let’s just go please, I’ll shop when I lose weight, I feel anxious today, I feel insecure.” He then approached me in a loving way, gave me a much needed hug and this was exactly when Jesus used him to calm me because he told me what I needed to hear:
“Babe, you are beautiful, this feeling that you’re feeling right now isn’t going to last forever, you’re more beautiful than I’ve ever seen you. God made you in His image, you’ll inspire others by being confident during this season. Remember that your strength comes from Him and He will help you overcome this.”
Which reminded me of this verse:
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
In that moment, my thoughts were lifted, my anxiety was gone. I remembered who I was working so hard to be more like; Jesus. I felt a sense of peace, despite my trouble in finding jeans that would fit me because I knew that Gods grace was enough to get me through my current weaknesses. I knew that if the day came, where I would one day share this story to be able to encourage someone to love their new mom-bod then it would make all the difference.
I cleared my teary face and returned to the fitting room with sizes 16,18 and 20. This time I started with the bigger sizes first (fashion tip: work your way down from biggest to smallest to lessen insecurities) the 20 was loose around my waist, the 18 was loose around my thighs, the 16 fit comfortably and snug, I had finally got it right. After trying on 11 pairs of jeans in my swollen, still recovering body, these felt perfect not just because they actually fit but because my outlook changed, once I clothed myself with Christs sufficient grace, it was enough. I felt beautiful again and comfortable in my own skin, but let me be clear, that was just one day and it can be so easy to forget that. Which is why it’s so important for us to wear the armor of God daily, it’s crucial to check our thoughts and our insecurities and remind ourselves of who we truly are in Christ:
Your true identity is defined by who Christ says you are.
Gods word clearly states this:
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV):
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
There will be plenty of times in this life, before and after becoming a mother that we won’t feel beautiful, we won’t feel comfortable in our own skin, or we won’t like the clothes we wear but we must kindly remind ourselves that we are His workmanship, we must remind ourselves He has prepared good works for us to do, we must remind ourselves Who defines our identity every day, Not Just Sunday.