The Enchanted Mother | Hampton Roads Breastfeeding Photographer | Hampton Roads Birth Photographer

As mothers we are quick to judge our body. After having kids we look in the mirror and we do not see what we saw before. Our wombs have been used and carried our children. Stomachs stretched to accomidate a tiny human growing deep inside. How could we ever expect our bodies to be the same ever again? We watch things jiggle and pick apart every stretch mark that we find in all the places we never thought they would be. 

I myself have been my hardest critic over the years from having kids. I was once as thin as my husband and thought I rocked a bikini in front of a crowded Florida beach. Motherhood came one day and I was expecting my body to bounce back. I thought that I was going to be the same size in no time and the weight was just going to fall off. Each passing day I looked in the mirror at my larger hips. My breasts were engorged and fuller. My stomach still round with the empty womb that once carried my son. 1 year passed. I beat myself up so much over that year that I believed everything that I ever thought about myself. I was fat. I was sloppy. I let myself go. I was lazy. I believed every last word of that because what society saw as beautiful was not what I looked like. My face was rounder. My chin grew random hairs. Stretch marks still lined my stomach like a perfect little map leading to now sagging breasts. I hated myself. I worked out and ate healthy and yet my body and weight was not budging. 2 years postpartum I noticed that I lost some weight. The next week the same. I went down 29 lbs in two months. I was not starving myself. I was working out like I had been before. What I didn't realize is that I Just needed to give my body time. I needed to let my hormones from breastfeeding even out. I got pregnant soon after. I watched my weight and managed to only gain 14 lbs my second pregnancy. I was determined to make it easier this time. One week after delivery I was 1 pound below pre pregnancy weight. I did it. I loved on myself. So happy that I was able to be one of those women that bounced back. One month postpartum I noticed that my clothes were not fitting again. I checked the scale. 10 lbs gained. 10 lbs. I sank. What did I do to gain the weight? Nothing. I was eating great foods, being active and yet my body still gained. I fell back into a rut that was full of self hate and judgment towards my body. Now twice my womb had been stretched. Twice my breasts had been full and empty. 

Fast forward to this session. Ashlyn came out and was perfectly happy to strip down in front of me to do these images. I asked her to. She agreed. After a revelation a few months ago I really wanted to bring moms to step out of their comfort zone and get in front of the camera. I want them to feel like their body, that is PERFECT, should be loved. I want women to see themselves as they should, beautiful. I want moms to leave their session feeling like the goddess that they are. I want women to be confident. 

No matter how many kids your body has carried, it is still beautiful.  Every inch of your body has served a purpose to create life, birth life and sustain life. Every inch of you is a amazing creation that is just so lovely. You need to look deep inside and give yourself grace. Give yourself patience. You need to give yourself love. You only have one you, only one life. Why waste it hating every bit of your body because of some skin or some fat? Embrace the skin and stretch marks. That very same little child you find so beautiful, they created those perfect characteristics of your body. Those stretch marks are now a map leading right to your heart. Your body tells an amazing story. 

Michelle Collins1 Comment