Friday, 16 January 2015

Dear Mommy Body. I Heart YOU.

Approximately one nanosecond after we passed a motion to book WEM waterpark as a BG fundraiser/activity, the maternal physical self-loathing began. The BG Mom’s started trash talking their own bodies ……… and it hasn’t stopped since.
“Oh, the kids will love it, but I’m not going in.”
“Hahaha, I’ll help sell the tickets out front, the kids can go in with their Dad/Uncle/Grandpa.”
“Gahhhhh! Do WE have to go in with... them?”
Moms of Brander, lets promise ourselves something. Let’s promise to be kind to ourselves. Let’s be REALLY wild and crazy and just go swimming with our kids. Let’s break with tradition and leave the body hating at the door.
Now don’t get me wrong, by January 25 I have lost any sign that the sun has ever touched my body; ever. My pigmentation will have retreated back to my natural state of white (and I don’t mean like Caucasian, I mean white …… practically translucent. You can practically see my liver through my skin if the light is right, but I digress). By January 25, shaving will have become largely optional (as time allows), and I will have put on my annual layer of winter insulation (aka “yes, I’ll have another cookie”). By January 25 my pants will all still be tight so when I arrive at the pool and change, you will be able to see the imprint of the seam of my Mom-jeans on my inner thigh (for at least 45 minutes). By January 25 I will have not yet begun my 2015 resolution to ‘start working out’ and will be having a full on panic attack about the ravages of time on my, then, 503 month old body ……….. and saying it in months won’t be helping.
But I’m going in the pools anyways, and so should you. It is said ‘Time is a Thief’, so let’s not give any of our precious time with our kids away because we didn’t like the way we looked in a bathing suit. I am proposing something radical: let’s just accept our selves for the beautiful and amazing mothers we are and go swimming with our kids. Many of us bore these beautiful children into this world, and all of us use these bodies to love and care for them. We use these bodies to nurture and dote on them, nourish and clean up after them, praise and admonish them, raise and mother them. And that makes a Mother’s body, every Mother’s body, beautiful and amazing. Shouldn’t we give these bodies the love and respect they deserve?
So please, on January 25th, let’s go swimming. It will be the gift we give ourselves but also a gift to the kids, especially to the girls around us. Let’s teach them that our bodies are exactly what they need to be to go swimming and have fun, because they don’t need to look a certain way to do that. Let’s go ‘Mom’ the place up!

‘Twas the Night Before the Waterpark ~ with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before the waterpark and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The swimsuits were hung by the front door with care,
In hopes that they weren’t too worn out to wear.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of waterslides swooshed through their heads;
And my spouse is contentedly snoring, asleep in a snap,
While I obsess over cover-ups, still far from a nap.

The image in my mirror is nothing to flatter,
I weepily moaned “could I be ANY fatter?”
Away to the kitchen I flew like a flash,
Tore open the cupboard for my chocolate stash.

The moon shines on the foil wrapping below,
Illuminating the fact there was just one bite to go.
When, what to my self-loathing eyes does appear?
But a full length mirror and I’m standing quite near.

There I see a lady, a bit curvy and thick,
Her worst feature? I just couldn’t pick.
More rapid than Eagles the criticisms came,
She glared back at me daring each one to name.

“There jowly, there flabby, too many spots to list’em,
And is that a C-section scar that needs fixin’?
A Hobbit in height, you’re chubby and small!”
Then that face in the mirror, she started to bawl.

But I didn’t relent once I made her cry,
No, I added something about her “jiggly thigh”.
“Rolls! Cellulite! Saddle Bags!” The insults, they flew!
“Vericose Veins! Muffin Top, no matter what ab work you do!”

“Stop!” she screamed. “I need no more proof.”
“You see all those things, but I know the truth.”
And then her face softened but she held her ground,
She just wiped away tears, not making a sound.

And I took her all in, from her head to her foot.
Maybe, it’s ok that a Mom looks like she has kids afoot.
After all, she spends every moment picking up the slack,
She toils day and night to keep her family on track.

Her eyes …. How they glistened with love, warm and merry.
She has strong arms from hugging and each load she must carry.
She has strong, patient legs for walking, sometimes ever so slow,
When a bug or a rock is more urgent than where she must go.

Those rolls cuddled in children when they cut all their teeth.
Those knees bent to check beds for monsters underneath.
All those crow’s feet are because she laughs from her belly,
From every fun time, even when they get dirty and smelly.

Sure, she’s chubby and plump, but she tries to be her best self.
For her children make her feel she has an infinite wealth,
Of wisdom to bestow and kind words to be said,
Of adventures to share, and bedtime stories to be read.

And her kids don’t care about each physical flaw and quirk,
So she decided to go swimming, and to not be a jerk
To that Mom in the mirror because, goodness knows,
Her kids don’t care what she looks like as long as she goes.

She crept back up the stairs, heart light as the down on a thistle,
And promised to end self-defeating thoughts which make her bristle.
She peered in at her children, feelings of love taking flight,
They love her just as she is, and tonight … tonight that feels right.

No comments:

Post a Comment