Motherhood is a life-changing experience in that it changes a woman; you say goodbye to the person you once were and emerge a different person, whether or not you like it.
One mother is not afraid to admit it.
In her Family share article, Patricia Masonheimer doesn’t shy away from that fact.
“I had a baby and now I’m ruined,” she said.
It is her new reality now, she said. The body she now sees in front of the mirror every morning looks so unlike the body she once had.
“There are changes I never expected, tiger stripes in places I didn’t know could stretch, hairs and darkened things and love handles and jeans that don’t fit the same as before.”
Despite that, however, Patricia is grateful for it. She is grateful that her baby ruined for her for the ordinary and for the status quo and for the shallow.
“It taught me there is more to life than what I once knew,” she said. “I have realized that my body is meant to do, not just to be; that I am more than a gym membership and a calorie app; that true strength is knowing what you can do and who you are, not how far you can run or what you can lift.”
During her sixth month as a pregnant woman, Patricia couldn’t run anymore. At nine months she could barely lift herself.
At that point she had learned to accept that in that moment she had to accept that her self-perception would be based neither on her physical abilities nor her appearance.
“Pregnancy changed me from the inside out—to a woman whose confidence comes from within.”
Another lesson she learned was the ability to accept love especially when she feels unlovable, and to be able to believe her husband when he told her she was beautiful.
“This body teaches me to thank God for every mark—because our bodies are marked as our souls are stretched, expanded to love in ways we never knew we were capable of loving.
“I’ve been taken deeper than the surface, to a place of security I never knew before. I have been changed, taken over by a mission outside myself. I have been a vessel of life sustaining growth, my body the soil, my baby the seed. Without me she could not grow. Within me she thrived.”
Of course she will no longer see her old body, but that’s fine. The one she has now has a story to tell.
Every morning it reminds her that she has birthed a living soul. Without her scarred, flawed body, she wouldn’t have a beautiful daughter and her beautiful smiles.
“Without the changes I so desperately tried to avoid I would have avoided life.”
Photo credit: Karly Vedan
READ: Mom celebrates her stretch marks by recreating famous underwear ad
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