To The Mommas
As you may or may not know, I am pregnant with my first human. Check out our announcement here to get the scoop on how we found out, how we chose to call it Baby Dino, and all the things!
So, Happy (Belated) Mother’s Day!
I’m a Mom apparently. Which is weird. And for Mother’s Day (ok, it’s already happened, but whatever) I wanted to share some tips on fighting self-love I’ve gained from what I have experienced so far in motherhood.
So, pregnancy is a wild thing.
Entering motherhood for the first time is a wild thing.
There have been so many ups and downs.
I haven’t loved being pregnant. I know many women who had hard or down right dangerous pregnancies and loved it.
For me? Mine has been pretty dang easy, and yet, at times I have hated it!
That’s just me.
But, that hasn’t stopped me from feeling guilty.
There was a point in my pregnancy where I started gaining a desire to do things again. I was in my second trimester and my mind was getting back to normal. The proverbial fog had lifted.
But my body wasn’t there.
It was still tired and hurt a lot.
I woke up on a Saturday with a to do list, fully prepared to get it all done. I had a plan. I’d been thinking about and planning that Saturday so that I could get it all done.
But my pregnancy and a few things out of my control happened.
I found myself in the Shreveport Lowe's parking lot, at 11am, feeling defeated, after aimlessly driving around Youree Dr trying to figure out where to start because feeling defeated makes focusing hard, with nothing done on my list yet. Then my phone rang and it was Trey.
I answered and he asked how it was going and I just started crying while explaining how much I absolutely hated being pregnant. I hated it so much. I just wanted to be able to be independent and be productive like I used to. And I couldn’t.
I was actively trying to be productive and I had the want to. But I couldn’t because my pregnancy wouldn’t let my body do all that it used to.
Trey helped calm me and was super supportive and wonderful. I was feeling better and he had helped me.
But then I got off the phone and the reality that I hated being pregnant hit me.
I hated the thing that would bring me my child!!!
How could I hate the very thing that would bring me the human I will love more than all humans?!?!
I felt so guilty.
I didn’t want to, in the future, look at my child and remember hating being pregnant and then regret hating the thing that brought me the human I loved so much. I didn’t want to be mad at myself. I didn’t want to feel guilty.
I also felt like hating being pregnant was, in a roundabout way, hating my own child.
So, I walked around Lowe’s (my happy place, might I add) fighting back tears while getting everything I needed to.
That was my lowest point.
Then my older sister called and I talked to her about what I was feeling.
She assured me that what I was feeling was normal and there are blogs upon blogs out there talking all about how much pregnancy sucks. That it does not in any way, mean I don’t like my kid. Those are two separate things and should never be confused. That you can so hate being pregnant and it is just fine.
My Mom later echoed the same thing because she hated being pregnant.
That all was so encouraging to me. I could feel my feelings and still love my baby. I wasn’t awful for hating being pregnant. I was human. It was ok.
Mommas, I can’t speak for motherhood as a whole. I’ve not even given birth yet. But, I can say that self love is a constant battle. It is internal more than it is external.
That may be odd for a boudoir photographer to say, but I think that working to love your exterior goes hand in hand with loving your heart and soul self.
It goes hand in hand with giving yourself grace.
It goes hand in hand with not letting you hate on yourself for whatever you did today that wasn’t perfect.
It goes hand in hand with being ok with not loving all the parts.
Loving your exterior is letting go of an ideal you have of what you should look like.
And when you let go of that ideal for your exterior, a natural next step is letting go of that ideal you have for yourself as a wife, Mom, daughter, person, friend, worker, woman etc. and allowing yourself to be yourself.
It is letting go of the ideal of who you should be.
I had to fight off an ideal that day and the following weeks/months of what I was supposed to feel while pregnant with Baby Dino. I haven’t struggled much with loving my exterior while pregnant. But I have been fighting to be ok with my thoughts and feelings and love myself in the midst of all the hormones, all this stupid guilt, and so much dislike for something I planned and chose to do. That last part is I think what really gets me. I chose to be pregnant. We planned this. I wanted it. And yet, I hated it so much. That was really really hard to wrap my brain around and not hate myself for.
Like, it was really hard.
And I even knew that a lot of women didn’t love it. But, I dunno, i had to process my own emotions and confusing/conflicting thoughts and feelings. And I needed my Mom and sister to tell me that it was normal and ok, even though I knew that in my head.
So, I am here to tell you, if you hated your pregnancy, you are normal.
I am also here to remind you to fight like hell against self-hate and fight like hell for self-love. Because if you don’t actively fight, the devil will devour you with your own mean thoughts about yourself. You know how easily those evil thoughts about our own selves creep up. Don’t give them the time of day to fester and become part of your belief system! Those thoughts are not your identity.
Remember, this is an ongoing battle. So, you might get to that place where you let go of whatever ideal you are fighting today, and then wake up tomorrow having to fight to remember those truths again.
It’s not a place your really arrive at.
It’s a place you work towards every.damn.day!