Body Positivity is a battle. What helps me is to try and see my body through my daughter’s eyes. To her, I am the most beautiful, most wonderful person in the world. So she can’t understand that Mama doesn’t like her belly or arms. Worse, if she did understand, would she extrapolate that she is less than perfect too?

She loves my upper arms. The ones that fashion and the world at large would have me hide. They’re soft and flabby unlike my (relatively slim) forearms. Whenever I am wearing short sleeves or a sleeveless top, T creeps up silently to sit beside me and nuzzle my arms. She used to get quite rough with them which left me really sensitized, but she’s learned to be gentle with me and it’s really sweet. Her love of them makes me appreciate them more. They’re soft and comfortable, but also strong enough to hold her and carry her.

What has your body enabled you to do?

There’s this awful pressure on women to look a certain way and it’s especially hard on mothers. We’re supposed to give birth, keep a baby alive, and not just go back to our pre-baby body, but maybe even to something closer to that “ideal” body. I carried my weight in my belly and butt before T came and while she was gestating she ate my butt. Now, if I measure my hips under my belly, I’m proportionate, but once I measure over my belly it’s 5-6 inches bigger. I get really hard on myself about this. She’s two and a half and I’m still a size up from where I was pre-pregnancy and even if I were to go down to where I was I wouldn’t want to wear those old clothes anyway.

This year I want to try to make pants and fitted skirts. I’m tired of hiding under a full skirt or wearing ill-fitting RTW pants. I had this epiphany, that just like I choose my dress pattern size by my above bust measurement, I should choose my skirt or pants size from my waist. Now I just need to find the correct alteration…

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