Some of you are ready to pounce and lecture me just because of the title of this blog. I understand your hesitancy to accept my charge – but hear me out.
Many of us have experienced the fascinating phenomenon that is the postpartum body. We’ve carried babies and brought new life into this world and have been left with stretched skin, odd marks, and lumpy bellies that don’t fit as smoothly into a bikini as they once did (or at all if we are being honest). It doesn’t matter if it’s your first baby or your tenth. It doesn’t even matter if you are a Size 2 or a Size 14. Either way, you know the uncomfortable feeling of trying to put on your pre-baby clothes after giving birth.
It’s not pleasant.
I gave birth to our third baby last May. Having experienced this post-baby dilemma three times now, I am very familiar with this thought process:
I refuse to buy new clothes.
I will not buy a bigger size because I’m going to lose the baby weight quickly.
I’ll be focused and dedicated, and it’ll only take a few weeks to be back to my normal body size.
I know I can’t be the only one who has had this irrational conversation with myself. For some reason, we, as moms, think that we must be superhuman and bounce back to “normal” overnight. (What even is normal?? Another conversation for another blog).
Maybe it’s because I’m older this time and hopefully half an ounce smarter. Maybe it’s because I have finally realized how unpractical these thoughts are. Either way, I made a big decision last summer.
I bought the next size.
Not because I was being complacent. Not because I didn’t want to be healthy. Not because I wanted room to pig out and eat whatever I wanted. Not even because I didn’t think I could eventually lose the baby weight. I bought the next size because I realized that there is no reason to torture myself and walk around feeling uncomfortable for a year (or five) while my body recovers from bringing a human life into this world. I decided to embrace this season and wear clothes that actually fit so that I could feel good about myself, enjoy getting dressed, and not feel defeated every time I stepped into my closet.
One glance at Pinterest or Instagram will tell you that buying the next size is not the most popular opinion. There are thousands of posts about post-baby workouts, diets, and meal plans all targeted at vulnerable and emotional moms who are going through some of the most emotional days of their lives.
Workout plans, meal plans, healthy eating, and all that go with them are fabulous tools. I support them and live by them more often than not. But clinging to them and allowing them to take over our lives during such a beautiful, raw, trying season is anything but healthy.
My husband likes to say that sometimes we just need permission. We need someone to hear us out and tell us it is OK to do what we need to do to move forward. Maybe you are in, or have been in, this season of post-baby-body-struggle. Maybe you had a baby five years ago and you still find yourself here.
If you’re struggling to move forward because you refuse to accept this season for what it is, can I just give you permission?
Can I give you permission to breathe, heal, and recover? Can I give you permission to buy the next size and love yourself in that place? Again, I am not encouraging you to become complacent, lazy, or unhealthy. I am encouraging you to embrace the season you are in and put your worry about size aside so that you can enjoy every second of these days you are living with your little people all around you.
I’m sure many of you have some very strong opinions about this topic. So tell me, what do you think about buying the next size?