It is probably safe to say that from time to time, most women worry about how they look. Whether it's a wrinkled neck, chunky thighs or spotty skin, there's usually something that makes us feel bad about ourselves. I am no exception. There are days when I avoid mirrors and flirt with the idea of a diet, but since becoming a mum, those days are few and far between. Almost as soon as I knew I was pregnant, I began to feel more comfortable with myself. Of course my waistline was expanding, I was growing a whole new person! Silently, miraculously, I was forming a baby. Cells were developing and tissue was created inside me without any conscious direction. How could I view my body with disgust when it was doing such a wondrous job?
After the birth, my skin sagged around my stomach, my breasts constantly leaked and one was significantly larger than the other! The rush of hormones played havoc with my skin. I know all this, and yet I had never felt so secure in myself. My body had done as it was meant to. It had performed the miracle that happens every day all over the world, and I felt beautiful.
As time has passed, I sometimes lose that secure feeling, but Alice soon restores it. Yesterday, I was cuddling her on the sofa and she began pointing out moles on my arms. For each one she saw, she'd joyfully crow "Mole!" and give it a kiss. They weren't blemishes to her. They were a part of her mummy, and she loved them.
I am starting to value my body for how it serves me rather than how it looks. I feel my legs and back growing stronger than they ever have as I carry Alice in the mei tai. My breasts provide her with food, drink and a boost to her immune system. I am grateful for my health and that I am able to look after my daughter well. Somehow, in the face of this new found respect, my hang ups about appearance have all but faded away. I'm starting to be happy with who I am, inside and out.