Have you seen The Footballer’s Wife photo, taken 4 days after having a baby, by a fitness blogger in Norway? Carolin Berg Eriksen posts a toned selfie the week of her daughter’s birth.
Take a look.
It’s caused quite a stir. People are crying out saying she’s fat shaming, saying the photo hurts women, or claiming she’s a fraud. Myself? Yeah, I’m a little jealous of her nursery. But I’m not coveting her body.
Do I think it’s photoshopped? Nah. Other pics of this blogger show she has a natural beauty and quite a fit body. Like many blogs, her website shows all the best parts of her life. Beautiful clothes. Perfect hair. Life on a stage.
That’s not life. Life is messy.
Brace yourselves, folks. I’m about to get real all up in here. Because this blog is not about life on a stage. Well, it is a poorly directed production with a cast of all star miscellaneous children. I’ll give you that.
I’m not sure I even believe the hype about that photo. It looks a little suspicious to me.
She is not wearing a mattress pad stuffed in her underwear. See, when you give birth you end up with stuff coming out of places you didn’t even know you had. It’s so bad the hospital gives you DISPOSABLE UNDERWEAR. And no woman is ready for a discreet pantyliner mere days after hoo-hoo-hooing a human out of her hee-hee-hee.
Yes, ladies, this is what postpartum life looks like. Baby Phil was born 3 weeks ago.
I actually weigh less today than I did before I got pregnant yet I still look like I’m due in a few weeks.
The makeup is still in the cosmetic case. The roots are showing because I was just too tired to care in my ninth month, even though I knew I’d want photos every day during his first month.
My abdominals haven’t seen each other for months. Thigh gap? Please. I’m just glad I can see my feet. Even if I need a pedicure.
This is what postpartum looks like.
Your boobs will get bigger. Your eyes will get dark shadows. Your skin will freak out.
You will wear your maternity clothes home from the hospital. You will wear elastic waisted pants and your husband’s sweat pants and tank tops without a bra. You will learn to love prints, because it hides the leaks. You will wear your glasses because, contacts? Ain’t no one got time for that. And you can’t sleep in them.
Sleep? Sweet sleep. Sleep becomes your holy grail and you snatch any chance at it you can find. Contacts interfere. Contacts must be eliminated.
You will clean yourself with a plastic bottle and be thankful for it.
You will wear blankets over your shoulder and babies on your chest. You will occasionally wear baby pee on your leg. (Pro Mom tip- if you wear baby pee on your leg often, go up a size in diapers. Problem solved.)
Your bras will have flaps.
This is what normal looks like.
Ha ha ha, not really. This is what SUPERWOMAN looks like.
This is what it looks like when you grow, nourish, and birth an entire new person. This is what it looks like when you come together with your husband in love and create a family.
This is what superwoman looks like when she gains 10 pounds of fluid and placenta, 4 pounds of blood, then labors through and loses it all at once. This is what superwoman looks like when she puts an ice pack between her legs and soldiers on to feed a baby, using up 15% of her daily calories just making food for someone else.
And it’s okay.
It’s okay if you don’t look sexy.
You are a woman of uncommon strength. You are a woman of infinite worth. Your man would die for you, and your Savior already has.
You are beautifully and wonderfully made. No one can nurture your children like you will. You have the heart, the instincts, and now you have the body for it.
You are a soft place to land, a refuge for body, heart and soul.
You do not have to be sexy twenty four hours a day. Your worth is not dependent on how well you can attract a man.
I know. That’s just crazy talk! But you know what? We have so much more to offer than sex. Although your new breasts will probably really rock out that demi-cup now.
It’s okay to not be perfect, it’s okay to be vulnerable, it’s okay to be real. Your children, your man- they want the real you.
Be the woman who gets up five times in as many hours and still gently kisses her babies head. Be the woman who puts a fistful of wilty dandelions in a drinking glass, and makes a centerpiece out of it at dinner.
Be the woman who protects her daughter from images of models in their underwear so that she doesn’t feel ugly or shamed by her own humanity. Be the woman who shows her sons that real, authentic womanhood is more than tanning and toning.
Be the woman who stands proud, scars and sags and stretch marks and all.
Because you know what? Real women have tiger stripes.
We’ve been stretched and torn and poured out on behalf of our children and we’ve come out on the other side.
We are fierce. We are strong. We are tired. We wear yoga pants because comfort, hello.
We are ultimately feminine, having given ourselves over to the one task that a man can never do.
We are mothers. Be proud.
Like this blog? Get new posts in your inbox or RSS reader and don’t miss a thing! Click here.