Or I’m trying to.
Hardly anyone in my family openly breastfed, let alone had conversations about the way their breasts looked. Especially after almost 8 consecutive years of doing it. Oh my goodness.
Do anyone’s boobs seem to deflate after nursing? Not the beginning of nursing, of course. I still have stretch marks from when they grew to the size of watermelons. But now? When I look in the mirror it’s very easy for me to want to cover up. To feel embarrassed or shame that I don’t have the perky, full breasts that society says I should have.
“Those aren’t pretty,” I think. Then I look over and see my
“I like your nursies,” she says. I laugh.
“I know you do,” I tell her. “I like them too.” For she will internalize the way that I talk to my body. And I want her to love her body and all of its magic. I don’t want her love for her body to depend on what other people say about it.
On the flip side of this idea of loving our bodies and loving our breasts, I want to hold space for the pain and disappointment that comes with these bodies and the traumas they experience as well.
As Louise with Mama Bean Parenting says, it’s ok to feel gratitude for what we have and also disappointment at the same time. Maybe your body has fought against you, you couldn’t breastfeed, you’ve experienced trauma or illness or struggle, whether internally or externally, that has cast a shadow over the gratitude you feel.
You are allowed to experience gratitude and disappointment. You are allowed to be thankful for the life you created and anger at the way that experience has altered your body, your mind, your heart, your finances. It’s ok to be thankful for breastfeeding for 8 years and disappointed that you’re left with deflated pancake boobs.
The message that I hope you walk away with today is knowing that you are beautiful. Whether you have no boobs, pancake boobs, perky boobs, or watermelon boobs, your body is beautifully you. You don’t need to fit into what society says is ok. You just need to be you in all of its human glory. Because you are enough. You are love. You are worth it.