Unpopular Opinion: It’s Okay to Care About How You Look

body image after kids

I’m certain I’m going to annoy people by writing this; and if you’re one of those people… I’m very, very not sorry. Because I know there are other women out there who are feeling, or have felt, this same way.

My body has changed. This is a very recent thing. I somehow made it through the first two kids mostly unscathed, but since having our third–actually, since stopping nursing her–my body is behaving in some sort of way.

It’s not changed to the degree that many people around me have noticed–or will admit–but it is unmistakably, and objectively, different. I am not going to bash myself here, because bottom line, I am grateful to the good Lord above that I am healthy and happy and here. And I know that’s what matters most. But man… things are different. And it freakin’ sucks.

So What Is Happening to My Body?

There is no more eloquent way to describe these changes, but moms out there know what I’m talking about. The way your jeans are suddenly snug in new places. The leggings you now have to adjust, and adjust again, to feel right. You know what I mean.

And while I’m not qualified to write some Big Think Piece on body image, I am qualified to own my own feelings about my own body, and to open up a conversation about it so that if you, too, have found yourself in that tricky spot of caring about how you look, and then feeling immediately guilty, you know you’re not alone.

Because I do, guys. I care. And isn’t it kinda fucked that we have to care about being judged for caring?

But really, think about it. We’re conditioned to care about our looks, and then when we care too much, we’re told to Stop it and just accept everything as is! And all of this mixed messaging gets thrown into the thought tornado, and… you know… Bad.

I do accept and love myself as-is. And I marvel–daily, really–about how magical women really are… these insane beings who literally create life.

But when I put on these damn jeans and they’re cutting into me in spots they didn’t used to… I get pissed.

Having kids changes your body. Getting older changes your body. We are told these truisms time and again, and we deal well with them in theory. But then they actually happen, and we’re all, “What the fffff is this?!”

That’s where I am. In the What-The-Hell-Is-Currently-Happening-to-my-Body stage.

What is happening to my body? The short and objective answer to that question for me is, I don’t know. My doctor is running a hormone panel–the results of which I’m still waiting on–but I suspect that it’s just a case of getting older–the blessing of getting older.

And hell. I’m more grateful about that than I am angry about having to buy a few new pairs of jeans that fit me. But if you’re in this boat too–this torn feeling of gratefulness, and annoyance–I just want to say, I feel you, sister.

And hell. I'm more grateful about that than I am angry about having to buy a few new pairs of jeans that fit me. But if you're in this boat too--this torn feeling of gratefulness, and annoyance--I just want to say, I feel you, sister.

Yes, there are bigger problems in the world; but no, you’re not a shallow, vapid, shell of a human being if you care about your body changing after having kids.

Because as beautiful as it is to bring babies into the world, it can do a real number on everything in your life. Including your waistline.

The more we acknowledge all the feelings we have–good, bad, unpopular or annoying–the closer we are to showing, and accepting, our full selves–at any, and every, size.


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