Apparently, my baby stole my body.
Maybe "stole" is a little harsh, but it would seem that she took it away and is currently holding it hostage.
Apparently, it will be held against its will until the point that I win it back. Or beg for it back. Or work for it back.
Because getting my body "back" is something that is supposedly coded into my genetic makeup as a woman who has birthed a child. It seems that getting my body "back" is a requirement that I shouldn't be questioning.
But what if -- and I'll say this with a whisper -- what if it's not a requirement at all?
What if we, as mothers, actually embraced our postpartum figures? What if we cherished our bodies and valued what -- and who -- they have so skillfully created instead?
Because if there's one thing I've learned about motherhood, it's that there is no going "back."
I cannot turn back the clock to cuddle that bundle of terrifying doe-eyed love, back when she was small enough to cradle in one arm.
I cannot turn back the clock to re-watch my daughter's eyes sparkle at her first sight of rolling waves.
I cannot turn back the clock to relive the joy of watching her taste a lemon for the first time.
In truth, there is only The Now. And tomorrow.
What if we collectively decided to stop trying to turn back the clock? What if we consciously decided to stop trying to squeeze ourselves back into our pre-pregnancy jeans? What if we stopped looking back and decided to look forward instead?
Because there are countless cuddles to come.
Because nature has a million firsts just waiting for us to discover.
Because lemons won't lose their zing.
Sure, yesterday was filled with cuteness... but tomorrow is filled with adventure. And yes, my skin was once smooth and taut... but now it has the markings of a warrior.
Because I faced death while delivering life. And I lived.
And here I am, still living.
I'm living with under-eye shadows, due to my inevitable break-up with sleep.
I'm living with breasts that have changed shape, size and direction more times than I can count over the last three years.
I'm living with skin that stretched so far that it scarred.
Because apparently, my baby stole my body. She claimed it as hers and won't be offering a refund. Apparently, I'm supposed to reverse this reality... to turn back the clock. Or at the very least, I'm supposed to want to.
But if my baby stole my body... she can keep it. Because I have a new one. A new one that has stronger arms and legs. A new one that has an infinite reserve of smiles. A new one that is soft and used as a pillow... a Mama Pillow, no less.
Yes, if my baby stole my body, she can keep it. Because I have a new one. A new one that has a stronger mind, a clearer conscience and a peaceful heart. A new one that has pure love pulsing through its veins. A new one that is truly powerful.
Because my baby stole my body -- and she can keep it.
This post originally appeared on Mama Bean Parenting.