My Body Broken for You

I had this mission. Lose all the baby weight. It seemed like a simple goal. Nursing helped. Watching my sugar intake helped. Eating healthy and getting exercise… it all helped. Even though I should be clear that my version of exercise is chasing three kids around. Well, two and a newborn. I have this friend who runs marathons and jumps over fire in those extreme obstacle courses. She’s awesome. Her version of exercise and my version of exercise are two completely different things.

But in my own way, on my own schedule, I eventually lost all of the baby weight. But the day that the scale finally showed the number that it did before I had kids… the mirror had evidently not gotten the memo. I remember standing there looking at myself confused.

“Wait. The scale says that I weigh what I used to…. So why don’t I look like I did before?”

The weight was gone, but the girl in the mirror looked nothing like she did before she carried and birthed three babies. My heart sank a little.

Motherhood changes us. It just does. It changes us in every beautiful and powerful way. We suddenly have the ability to love like we didn’t know was possible. We have the strength to keep going despite complete exhaustion. And we have the determination to always do what is best for those we love so passionately no matter the circumstances.

But it also changes us in other ways. Our priorities, our friendships, our marriages, our relationships with those around us… and our relationship with ourselves – some better, some worse, motherhood changes all of it.

I have realized this. While I thought I was just trying to get back to how I looked before I was pregnant, I was really looking for who I used to be before I had a baby.

To be honest? There are days when I don’t really know this version of me. This mom lady. She’s new. She does a lot of things that I said I would never do, she sometimes showers less often than I ever thought she would, and she drives a van. But the truth is?

My goal shouldn’t be to find the “me” that was lost. My goal should be to make friends with the woman that I have become. To embrace her for who she is. Scars and all.

Because even though she is different, she is worth knowing. She is worth being kind to… She is worth loving.

And while my body will never be what it once was, I have decided this,

My scars and changed self serve as a reminder of the Great Love that sacrificed His own body. Who bore His own scars. Whose body was broken that we might have life. I suppose great love always requires sacrifice. But if His love has taught me anything, it is that the sacrifice is always worth the gain.

So, friend? Your body might not look like it once did. But it tells the story of love. And there is no story more beautiful than that.

 

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To the Mom Who Vacations at Target

Before I begin, I need to say this. Dear Target, thank you on behalf of moms everywhere. You just get us.

“I think we are out of trash bags,” I said one evening to my husband after he came home from work. We had a three month old baby boy who was nursing, and I rarely got a break from him. I was a new mom, and it was just starting to sink in that maybe mom breaks were always going to be a rare thing.

Now, I could have just as easily gone to get the trash bags the next day, but having just fed the baby, I knew I had at least two hours before he needed me again, and I decided to make a quick getaway.

“So, the baby just ate, and I’m going to run to Target to grab those bags. Okay?”

A look of panic flashed across my husband’s face. I don’t think there is anything that a dad of a nursing baby dreads more than the idea of being left alone with a potentially hungry baby (without any milk.)

“You’ll be fine. I am only 15 minutes away. Tops. So, if he gets fussy, just call me, and I will be right back. Either way, I’ll be back in about an hour and a half.”

“An hour and a half?” He questioned as I grabbed my keys. “I thought you were just going for trash bags?”

“Right. I mean, I’ll be back as soon as I can,” I shouted as I shut the front door and bolted to my car.

FREEDOM!

I walked inside the store and thought to myself, “Dear Target, thank you for selling trash bags.”

Because sure, trash bags are sold at the corner store, or the grocery store, or any other store that ends in “mart,” but Target just gets me.

First of all, they’re like a friend who offers you a drink when you get to their house. They might be selling coffee near the front door, but what they’re really saying is, “Hey, tired momma. You work so hard, and you look like you could really use a cup of coffee. Can I pour you one?” And I say, “You sure can, Target Starbucks. Thanks for thinking of me.”

And they say, “No problem, friend. Hey, we know you’re here for “trash bags,” wink wink, but while you stroll with your latte, why don’t you stop at our awesome dollar section, or clothing section, or stop by the office supply section on your way there?”

And I think to myself, “Target, you think of everything. Because while you knew I could use trash bags as my decoy item, you also knew that I really wanted to do a little shopping. And now I can say, ‘Well, I just grabbed this on my way to get what I came for.’”

Amiright? Seriously, ask any mom or woman who has ever “run into Target” for “just one thing” and most of them will tell you that they came out spending $100 and without the item they ran in for. Because Target is a little like going to the mall that sells not only adorable shoes, but toothpaste and diapers too.

So, to the mom who would love a tropical getaway, but will settle for a quick trip to Target, I so get it. And while Target does a great job of setting the scene for an easy getaway, it also points out a bigger truth that sometimes, momma just needs a break. And friend? It’s okay to take one. As a matter of fact? It is soooo important for you to grab a break when you can. Because while we love spending time with and taking care of our kids, everyone (momma, daddy, baby) benefits when mom takes some time for herself… Even if it is just to Target for trash bags.

So, the next time I run into you there? Feel free to smile, nod, wink or even say hello. We’re both just there to grab something off the shelf after all. Even though we all know we’re really there to grab five minutes alone. But shhhhh I won’t tell if you don’t.;)

 

I try and stay in touch with my readers on a personal level through social media! Come find me on Facebook!

Yes! Another “To the Momma” Post.

A few weeks ago, I overheard a conversation at the store between a husband and wife about how many “mom posts” were being shared Facebook. As a blogger, I couldn’t help but listen to their exchange. (Also, they were talking loudly and they were right in front of me in line.) The husband said, “Aren’t they all the same?” And his sweet wife looked at him and said, “Not to me.”

And it got me thinking. Are mom blogs just white noise? Like Mickey Mouse on in the living room while the kids play on the floor and I do the dishes? Or are they more?

Coming from someone with entire pages of “to the momma” posts… I hope that they are more. After thinking long and hard about it, this is what I have decided. Us mommas, or mamas, or mommies, or mummies, or mums? The ones that are stuck on the other side of our computer screens or mobile device wondering if anyone else feels the way that we do, the ones who spend our days thinking of everyone but ourselves? You had better believe that the post written “to the momma” feel like they were written just for us.

We come alive a little when we hear that somewhere there is another woman who just “gets it.” We want to reach through the screen and hug her when she makes us feel not so alone.

And Lord, bless her, if in the process she doesn’t make me feel bad about myself, or isn’t judgey, and might even make me laugh a little – since most of the time, I feel like I’m about two seconds away from flippin’ losing it.

We need to know that there are other women just like us who just want to eat our lunch, or take a shower, or be alone for five minutes. We need to know that there are other moms who wish that they had known how precious motherhood would be, or overwhelming it would be or how fast it would go by. There are stay at home moms who want to be seen, and working moms who want to be understood, and single moms who need a safe place to catch their breath. There are moms who need to know that they are more than their parenting, that their marriages will make it, and that they are doing a good job.

And all these posts? They gives us hope. They unite us. They help us see that we’re more alike than we realized. They tear down the “us vs. you” mentality that surrounds motherhood. They help us say, “You too? I thought I was the only one!” They show us that across the globe there are other women who want to be known for more than their parenting, but who at the same time don’t want to feel so alone in it.

So, as far as I’m concerned? Keep them coming. Keep sharing and liking and posting. And I’ll keep writing too. And together? We will see that maybe were not so alone after all.

 

I try and stay in touch with my readers on a personal level through social media! Come find me on Facebook!