Today’s Mom Tears™ are brought to you by “I’m gonna party like it’s my birthday” and “This is me” proudly sponsored by “You will not be able to un-see this… I would apologize BUT I have chosen to own it”
Six years ago, I started this thing I have since done it every year. When I turned forty, I decided it was high time I put on a bathing suit and wear it out in public (GASP!!) I was joined by two other women we walked across the street while our girls were at gymnastics in our bathing suits to have a chilly dip in the near by lake.
I was at a point in my life where I had a lot of self loathing. I had hidden behind my gang of kiddos and truthfully felt quite naked and alone when I did not have one attached to me. I was on the brink of quite literally losing my mind. I felt extremely ugly, useless most of all unappreciated. It dawned on me as “middle age” started pulling me closer to her chest that those feelings were a continual record being played in my mind, that the people I chose to have in my life received some gratification with my negative self talk.
There we were three moms who took opportunity to be nothing more than girls going for a swim. I was so focused on the beauty of the ladies with me; women who had given birth, who had I am sure sobbed in the shower at some point, felt disappointment in their bodies but there they were laughing and joking along side of me. I was secretly wishing I could look like either of them. There is nothing wrong with admiring the women you surround yourself with BUT there is a problem when you cannot embrace all of whom you have grown into.
I have had bathing suits that the elastic has worn out of because its been in the drawer for too long! We all have swim suit bodies cause we all have swim suits!!! Yet there I was at 40 and too stupid (YES STUPID!!) to look at myself with kinder eyes. I had birthed seven children and could look at any one of them for hours lost in the complete beauty of all they are. (Yes, even the one who insists of picking their nose and wiping it on the wall….I may break his or her wee fingers but still think they are perfect.)
I could not see that the marks on me were because of them. My jiggly bits are the arms that pull them close, no matter how grown they may seem…they still need mom from time to time. I am their safe place, their shoulder to cry on, that hug that shows them that I am never gonna give up on them. They love me stretch marks extra skin and all. Apparently, the yelling none of them are fond of but if they listened the first time, I would never raise my voice!!
For me one of the most terrifying moments in my life was putting that suit on six years ago. Now I look forward to my chilly dip. Hey! I have this one life. I am physically able to do it. Until the time comes, I will put on a swim suit and submerge myself in the frigid water of spring emerging refreshed refocused and with 365 new goals to achieve.
I decided this year to add a new challenge. I contacted my amazing multi talented friend to have photos taken. It was a great idea when it was just that. An idea. The day came to proceed and I became increasingly filled with fear. I am no different than any of you. I still look at myself in comparison to every female around me. I still hear the derogatory remarks whispered in my ears for longer than I should have listened. I am ashamed to say that there are days I loath the skin I am trapped in. I am guilty of pinching my abdomen as curse words turn the air blue, I poke at my thighs, pretend my finger is a laser and trace along my flabby arms blinking rapidly wishing all the extra pieces I tote around would fall off. I too forget to love the body I have been given.
I asked that the photos not be edited. Not the back ground. Not the lighting. Not me. These photos are raw. Not an easy request (demand) of me to make when dealing with a photographer who is artistic and has a keen eye not to mention all of the tools to take any photograph and make it perfect.
Thank you Nicole ❤
I wanted you to see that my fear will no longer hold me prisoner. I do not want to have you comment on how you think I look. It really does not matter what you think now does it?
I want you to reach into that drawer, put your damn swim suit on …don’t have one? GO GET ONE! Get out there be the brave girl you were at ten. Put the sprinkler on and run through it, go to the pool, pond, swimming hole, beach, back yard pool party …. NOW is the time of your life. I promise you for as focused as you are on what you don’t like about your physical appearance there is a woman wishing she looked like you, just as there is some one looking at her wishing ….
This is me. This is my forty-six. This is the body I have, my shelter, my fire, my soft place, my ferocious unforgiving, imperfect, perfectly beautiful me.