messy motherhood link up: loving yourself

WELCOME TO MESSY MOTHERHOOD!

Join me and my lovely co-hosts this month to link up with us as we talk about “Loving Yourself”
You can link up from any of our 3 blogs, and the link up is live from December 18-24.

Co-Hosts

kk @ the mom diggity || brittany @ naturally estes || moriah @ moriah makes

All three of us had multiple children crazy close together. If anyone knows what it’s like to lose your identity and get wrapped up in diapers, spit up, sweatpants and no showers….it’s us. I hope you are encouraged by our “wisdom” and what we have learned in our journeys!

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I’m my own worst enemy. Isn’t that how it goes?

So here’s the deal. I carried my first baby FORTY-TWO weeks. I was massively massive. I thought that baby would never come, and there’s a good chance she never would have if the doctor hadn’t forced her arrival. Because of the massiveness of that 42 week belly, I was destroyed. My poor skin couldn’t handle it, and will never be the same again.

When I was in my early twenties, if you asked me what my favorite body part was, I would tell you it was my stomach. Seriously. That sounds totally lame now, but I was quite proud of my 6 packed perfect little tummy.

Now? It’s frightening.
I hide behind layers of shirts, and freak out if my amazing husband (who loves me unconditionally) even touches my stomach. Ugh. I’m scared of it. Never again will a bikini be a part of my life and you better believe there will be none of those icky bare belly maternity pictures where I’m wrapped in silk in my baby books. Praise be to blurry.

bump1
But there’s a reason for that.

My babies. 3 of them in 3 years. The first two are perfect, and the tiniest little one still cooking is perfect too. They are worth this new body, but that doesn’t mean I struggle with it. I’m not the same size I once was. I don’t look or feel the same way. And that’s hard for me. I struggle with those fears that my husband won’t look at me the same he did when we got married. I struggle with those fears that I will never be the same again.

But I WON’T ever be the same again. I am a mom. I am changed.

I earned my stripes.

It’s believed that tigers have stripes because they have adapted to their environment over time. They earned those stripes. They worked to be a part of the enviroment they are in. I wanna be a tiger. RAWR. And tigers are beautiful, are they not??

I am beautiful too. Stripes and all.

So let’s get real.

bump3

bump2
I’m learning to love my stripes, because it’s evidence of my environment and my environment is amazing. This is EXACTLY how God created me. He knows every stretch mark, every extra inch, every wrinkle, everything. He designed me in HIS image and loves me.

So I love me. I love the person He created me to be and although I struggle with what the world tells me I should look like, I choose to focus on what He tells me. And that’s how I love me. 

“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands.” 1 Peter 3:3-5 

 

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THE LINK UP MISSION:
We come to be real, to be loved, to encourage and to uplift. We come from all walks of life and stages of motherhood. We learn from one another and grow together in this amazing responsibility God has given us to raise His people. Bring your messes, your dirty hair and your tears. We embrace each other with open arms and love deeply because we are in this together. It’s a beautiful mess.

LINK UP RULES:
Take the subject for the month and run with it. You can write a post based on it. You can do a vlog. You can answer the questions. You can do whatever you like as long as it fits within the topic for that month! Make sure you add the button to the bottom of your post and make lots of new friends!!!



Comments

  1. Ah, stretch marks. I don’t think about them most of the time, but negative comments from family members can be so hard to swallow. Thankfully my husband still finds me beautiful. :)

    Thanks for the honest post. Your little ladies are so precious!!

  2. I had a conversation very similar to this post with a friend recently. After 4 months on the couch you better believe I squired a few stripes. At first I had a VERY hard time accepting that fact and definitely had to mourn the loss of bikinis too. But then I realized that God created my body to be used for a certain purpose and how sad if I make it to the end of my life and have not used it for that reason. You’re right, you have definitely earned those literal stripes and I’m right there with you. I’m very proud of you and I thank you so much for sacrificing your body for my beautiful nieces! Love you!

    • You said it SO PERFECTLY. There’s no way I would ever go back just for body image. It’s taking time, but I’m getting more comfortable in my new skin :) Your sweet words made me cry!! Darn hormones!

  3. Oh my gosh so something I needed to read after freaking out about it being summer here and the dreaded thought of a bikinni haha.I often try and remember that my stretch marks are a trophy of sorts along with my c-section scars (and hey at the end of the day I need to remember to pregnancies in 20 months is kinda tough on the ol bod haha)!Thank you so much for sharing and keeping it real,you’ve made me feel a little bit more normal :)

    • You are totally normal!!! I think we get so wrapped up in looking at those “perfect moms” and honestly, they are probably struggling just like us :) Get yourself an awesome mom swimsuit and rock that mom body girlfriend!!!

  4. girl, you are wonderful.

    i mean, there. i’ve been staring at this blank comment box for several minutes trying to figure out something profound to attach to your post…i’ve got nothing. your words are so beautifully genuine and perspective so spot on. you’re like kinda my hero ;)

    • I can’t even begin to tell you how much your words mean to me. You are someone I look up to SO MUCH and I pray daily that my kids will be as close as yours and as close to me and their daddy! You are so sweet, and I appreciate your encouragement! Thank you thank you thank you!!!

  5. First of all, I’m in awe that you were ever in a place to say that you were proud of your tight little stomach. Wow, girl. I’ve never been able to utter that sentence in my life! Bikinis are the creation of Satan, in my opinion.

    But I digress.

    You are so brave to put this out there. You are so strong to have done what you’ve done. And you’re so beautiful, stripes and all. Anyway, one piece suits are super cute anyway. :)

  6. Love this. Thanks for visiting my blog! I have heard amazing things from Brittany about your blog too (plus I see that you are also loving Shereadstruth). I am so glad that I get the option to take those baking jobs whenever I can (I do a small baking business out of my house haha) and just be mommy the other days. God is so good that He gave us exactly what He wants us to do.
    I totally hear you about being afraid of your stomach! I am just working hard to get mine to fit back in my pants and I’ve only had one baby! I love how honest you were here and how God is showing you His purpose in all things. Self-esteem is something I really struggle with and I have been begging Him for help since He is the only one who can change my heart.

  7. Good for you sister! When I posted my marked up belly I freaked out too, but then it was so freeing!! Its hard to remember that we are all experiancing the same things. It takes someones brave action to pull us together :)

    • Amen sis. It’s so scary, but sometimes all it takes is saying “you’re not alone” and realizing how many people are in the exact same place.

  8. Kristin Stewart @ thismamasheartthoughts.blogspot.ca says:

    I am new to the blogging world so I don’t understand how to link up but I want to thank you for writing this post. This topic is near and dear to my heart. My daughter is 10 months and I am still struggling with balancing body image and yet thankfulness and love for my daughter. I would never want her or anyone to ever think I was complaining about having had her. But I mourn the loss of many things, my former figure being one. I don’t envy you going to 42 weeks…my little one came on her due date and even that felt like forever. You look beautiful and your kids are beautiful. I am excited to start following your blog.

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