Real Mom-Bods

You’re in the grocery store and strewn across the racks of the checkout line are magazine covers with so-and-so-famous in a bikini, 3 months postpartum, and she’s telling us how she got her body back. You roll your eyes as you unload the cart in your maternity shorts {and you’re 9 months postpartum} or sporting a bra where the cups do not runneth over due to post-breastfeeding deflation. You’re reminded that you’re at the grocery store for the afternoon’s pool party. It’s still up for debate on whether you will get in your swimsuit with your mom-bod. Then, the snowball of body shaming and self-loathing begins – I’m too flabby. I’m so pasty. These stretch marks. Those saggy boobs. I should work out…but I’m not. That means I’m lazy.  Etc, etc, etc…

Girl. Stop. Just stop.

How is it that we allow the photo of a stranger to completely diminish our self worth and self esteem? We females are so guilty of focusing on our imperfections that we often overlook our strengths and badges of honor. We overlook the fact that there’s a reason our bodies are the way they are. The stretch marks, the sagginess, the lovely lady lumps… All signs of growing and sustaining human life. We overlook the things that can’t be seen at face value – our faith, our degrees, our careers, our volunteerism… All signs of a passionate and dedicated person. These positives should greatly outweigh {yes, pun intended} the insecurity we may feel as we step into our swimsuits.

Those magazine images are staged, touched-up, and completely removed from the real world. That is not real life. This, here, is real life. These are real mom-bods rocking their post-baby bodies.

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{All photography in this post is courtesy of the talented Momma’s Gonna SNAP. She did such a beautiful job of capturing our smiles and our post-baby bodies.  No editing, no touching up, and no head-swapping necessary.  Just pure beauty through her lens.}

At Houston Moms Blog, we want you all to know that you are amazing just the way you are {queue Bruno Mars}. Every body is a beach body. Your kid does not notice that you do not look like that bombshell on that magazine cover. All they care about is that you are in the water playing with them and that they will have memories with you rather than about you.

Our contributing team wants to emphasize that there is no definition for the “right” post-baby body. While it was a little bit out of our comfort zones {okay, maybe completely out of our comfort zones} to pose for these pictures, we all realize how important it is for us, as mothers, to have a positive body image in order to set a good example for our children. Insecurity is learned. Imagine if the negative thoughts you have about your body were running through your child’s mind about their own body. It’s heartbreaking.

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Andrea
36 years old // 2 pregnancies // 2 girls

Why are you participating in this campaign?

For probably the first time in my life, I feel confident in my own body. I don’t typically wear a two piece {hence the whiteness!}, but I really wanted to put myself out there. Since having girls, I have made a conscious effort to stop talking negative about my body as I want to be an example for them. Over the last 5 years, my body has been stretched out with 60+ weight gains with each baby. Always a runner, I recently started weight training, and I am feeling so strong. Both inside and out!

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Breonna
32 years old // 1 pregnancy // 1 girl

Why are you participating in this campaign?

Nothing is the same as it was before I had Addy…over 4 years ago.  The numbers on the scale might be the same, but nothing fits right. Some things are stretched, out of place. WIDER. But none of that matters when you have a tiny you begging for you to get in the water with them. Does it matter that I mix-matched Target separates from two different seasons? NOPE. Hormones out of wack producing backne AND grey hairs? No matter. We’re getting in the water. Plus, I’ve seen a few moms give an odd – “You, you with the glasses have tattoos”. And I smile back like – “Why yes, yes, I do.” And nothing detrimental has happened to my kid because of it.

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Kristine
32 years old // 3rd pregnancy // 1 girl & 1 boy on the way

What do you want your children to know about a woman’s body?

Being healthy and beautiful doesn’t mean being a particular size, weight, or shape. Being a 5’7” Asian American {translated :: GIANT; I was called “big boned”}, I grew up comparing myself and being compared to the “typical” Asian American woman {5’3”-ish at maybe 110-115 lbs}. Forget that I was a competitive swimmer/water polo player and did the MS150 twice. All of that didn’t matter because I wasn’t a size 6 at 120 lbs, and my booty didn’t fit into European-cut pants. Now, I’ve learned to embrace my round face and curves because fitting the mold is a game I do not want to play, nor do I want my daughter to play as she grows-up.

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Kelly
32 years old // 2 pregnancies // 1 boy & 1 girl

What do you love about your body?

On most days, my answer would be a dramatic – NOTHING!  But today, staring at myself in a bathing suit and looking so vulnerable and so open, my answer is simply – everything.  I love my unruly hair and bare face because it means I spent time playing and laughing with my kiddos that day rather than standing in front of a mirror for hours on end like I did pre-baby.  I love my saggy breasts because they fed my sweet newborns and helped them grow big and strong well into toddlerhood.  I love my squishy stomach and wide hips because they carried life.  Two lives.  Two miracles.  And I even love my chunky thighs and pasty skin and chipped toenails because they are signs of my motherhood and the sacrifices that I have gladly made.  I love my body – for it is fearfully and wonderfully made.

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Kristy
33 years old // 1 pregnancy // 1 girl

What insecurities did you have before kids and that have now disappeared?

Before I had Charlotte, my weight always fluctuated thanks to a thyroid condition I have. I battled and worried about weight constantly. Post Charlotte, I still have the same issue, but I don’t worry about my weight constantly anymore. I try to eat healthy when I can, but I do not stress about it. Stress = not healthy. Healthy is the lifestyle I want for me and my family and definitely something I want Charlotte to see. Healthy = loving yourself and the way God you made you.

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Meagan
35 years old // 1 pregnancy // 1 girl & 1 boy {twins}

Why are you participating in this campaign?

Honestly, I decided to participate as a challenge to myself. If I am being truly candid, I haven’t always had the healthiest relationship with my body. I tend to pick and pick over my “flaws”, instead of focusing on the parts that I like. And as I have gotten older, I look back at pictures from my 20’s and wonder why the heck I ever thought I looked “bad” or “fat” or “insert other negative language here”. So my prayer is that I will look at these pictures {and it may take a few years, ha!} and appreciate where I was at 35 with young twin children.

Real Mom Bods - Misty

Misty
40 years old // 1 pregnancy // 2 stepkids, 1 boy {adopted}, & 1 girl {biological}

What do you want your children to know about a woman’s body?

I want my kids to know that a woman’s body is WORTH taking care of and that being healthy is important. SO many precious people depend on mom…being healthy can only make our job easier. Side note :: I believe that being healthy can look MANY different sizes!!!

For many of us, there’s only roughly 1 more month of summer left until school starts {hallelujah!}. It’s not too late to join the kids in the pool! Nothing will feel better than when they shriek with joy when you jump in with full-blown cannonball. So go ahead, y’all. Free your mind, tell them that you’re all about the bass, and that every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top…that your body’s too bootylicious. Shake ‘em haters off because haters are gonna hate, hate, hate while you splish-splash with your littles at the splash pad and having the time of your life.

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Kristine grew up in Houston where she met her husband Richard. The high school sweethearts welcomed their daughter Kara {2014} after naturally overcoming infertility. Sixteen months later, their son Ray {2015} joined their family. She balances the allergy mom life as well as a full-time job at an oil & gas supermajor where she is the queen of PowerPoint. Her Houston roots run deep with her Bachelors degree from the University of Houston and MBA from Rice University. Kristine loves traveling, good food, and experiencing all things H-town with family and friends, especially drinks {bars, breweries, boutique coffee shops!}, museums, and of course, BEYONCÉ. You can follow her adventures on vu hu life, Instagram and Twitter {@vuhulife}.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Awesome message and one that is gaining momentum on social media thanks to people like Stasia Savasuk / Stasia’s Style School and Allison Kimmey. As a mom solidly in my 40s I can attest that I care less and less and am just thankful for all my body does regardless of what it gets from me!

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