Women can shape-shift to different identities. They're mothers, friends, CEOs... But they're also compassionate. Strong enough to be vulnerable. And they literally have the superpower to create life. They're amazing. To show that women don't need fancy filters to be appealing, Instagram account womenirl has been sharing real, raw moments of their everyday life. By doing so, they've already accumulated nearly 150k followers, and this number is constantly growing. What's also cool about this project is the fact that everyone can participate. All you need to do is tag your Instagram photos with #WomenIRL and you might get featured.
"Why is it that people we haven’t seen in a while or even complete strangers ask us if we’re #married or if we have kids? I get messages from complete strangers asking about my relationship, asking when I’ll get married & asking why I haven’t got children yet as I’m ‘getting on’. It’s annoying & to be honest, it’s downright rude. ..... ..... What business is it of other people? Why do they feel the need to comment on my life? I’m HAPPY and honestly, that’s all that really matters. ..... ..... If you’re going to ask an old friend a question or worse yet, someone you don’t even know; let your first question be 'HOW ARE YOU' or ask if they’re happy or living their best life? Ask them if they’re ok? - You might be the first person to check in with them! ...... ...... To all my #ladies (and men) who feel behind in life… trust me YOU ARE NOT! Although it might feel like everyone around you is getting married, having #kids or growing up… it’s just your focus. Trust me that there are equal if not more people starting new relationships, ending relationships, going back to uni, starting uni, traveling the world, throwing in their jobs or changing careers to purse what truly sets their soul on fire. There’s no right or wrong with life - you just do it the best you can & honestly as long as you’re happy that’s ALL THAT MATTERS ...... ..... This is your little reminder that no matter where you are in life, you are NOT behind. You are not in front. You are not at the top. You are not at the bottom. You are exactly where you need to be ♥ So let’s stop asking questions & making people feel inferior, let’s instead start asking how they are - because being #kind is all that really matters ♥"
"My hubby snapped this pic as I fell asleep sitting up, breastfeeding our 2 week old twins. Exhausted doesn’t fully describe this experience as I was healing from 2 types of births (Baby A vaginal, Baby B cesarean) and my body is working non-freaking-stop to make all the milk for these boys.
“Being a mom is the ultimate sacrifice. You give up your body for 9 months to grow this little baby. You go through labor and delivery. You go through the emotions that come with childbirth. You let go of all shame as you walk around your house in diapers and ask your SO to spray warm water on your rip while you pee to avoid that burn. You spend tireless hours latching your baby and feeding your baby to establish and keep up your milk supply because you want to breast feed so. damn. bad. You remain patient through leaps, growth spurts, and cluster feeding. But most importantly, moms give up who they were before they were a mother. Most moms give up a lot of their hobbies, dreams, and plans. Moms put their lives on hold so their babies can live out theirs. We deal with so many emotions that we internalize- just so we can be mothers to our babies. Don’t ever discredit a mother. You don’t know the half. I used to be Autumn. Fun loving, crazy, outgoing Autumn. But now I’m Layla’s mama. And I’m okay with that.”
"The first and last time my precious Hazel ever nursed. I didn’t know that one person could feel so proud and so broken at the same time, right now I am a hormonal, emotional, and mental mess. Raising my arm in this picture was very difficult for me as I had to fight through uncontrollable tears: this picture meant that I would never breastfeed my Hazel ever again. I have been nursing for so long, that I don’t know what it’s like to not nurse anymore. As I looked behind the camera, Tim is crying like I had never seen him cry before, like seriously, a deep gut cry. I was her comfort, her safe place, and I hope she still finds me that way. A month shy of 2 years old, she finally has a bed in a shared bedroom with her sister. We bought Hazel her first bed, used any distraction we could come up with, snacks and new toys to keep her mind off of it. Tim has taken over bedtime completely, including all nighttime wakings. We are on our third day, and every day gets a little bit easier. The guilt I feel for not putting her to bed is so intense and I can’t wait to go back to it once she doesn’t ask to nurse anymore. Closing a chapter is painful, but I am hopeful that this new season of our lives will also be special in its own way. Through this maturation step she will not only grow more independent, but I will get a much needed break. She unlatched for the last time and sobbingly I said to Tim: 'I did my best.' He hugged me and responded with: 'No. You did THE best, because you gave her your all.' I love my family and am so thankful for such special and unforgettable moments like these. "
@theperfectmom:" Recently someone responded to my postpartum body with these words: “disgusting, I don’t know what husband would ever want to come home to that.” •
First of all, shame on her. If anything is disgusting it is those words. •
Yes, my body has changed quite dramatically since my pre-baby days, as you can see. But let me tell about the woman in the top photo with the gorgeous tan lines and flat tummy. She mastered shaming her body. She had such a distorted idea of body image and struggled to understand self-love and self-care. She would look into the mirror and find everything wrong with her body and worked hard to fix it. •
Then there is the woman in the bottom photo. She may not have the perfect tummy, gorgeous tan, and a stretch mark free body BUT she has more confidence than she ever has in her life. She knows the value and meaning of embracing your new body and loving yourself. She takes care of herself by reminding her of the beauty in the body staring back at her in the mirror. She is beautiful and can find strength in what some people would call her flaws. Her body is beautiful and she worked hard for exactly what it is now. •
Carrying a child, let alone 3 at one time, is not an easy task. Yes, the journey came with a whole new body, but I am also a whole new me with a greater understanding of loving myself and that is a GIFT! •
It takes time and daily affirmations of love and body positivity to really embrace your new body. You can change your perspective! You can find the beauty! You must have grace for yourself. And Don’t compare yourself to the old you and pick out all the imperfections in your new body. It will cause more harm than good. Instead, remember this, you’re on a journey. One day at a time, choose to see the beauty because it is there."
“Sleep when the baby sleeps!”
Moms helping moms
"A friend’s daughter-in-law was told to 'cover up” while feeding her baby, so she did,' said Carol Lockwood in a FB post that has now gone viral. "I’m SO over people shaming women for nursing," she continued.
This photo of a man cradling a mom’s sleeping baby so she can fill out medical forms is going viral and the sweet story behind it will make your day.
"What does a pregnancy give you? stretch marks, loose skin, weight gain, hair loss, saggy boobs? . . Or does it give you a baby? . . Both are probably true - you get both of the above, but what should we focus on? I mean... you just made a baby, you made 10 fingers and 10 toes, a tiny nose, you made a person, you did THAT. If you looked exactly the same after, it would be very rare, what’s normal is to change, so why is society shaming that change? . . We rarely receive comments about how amazing our bodies are after a pregnancy, what we do see, hear and read is how we need to “get back to normal”, “loose our baby weight”, “use these creams to prevent stretch marks” (sorry to break it to you ladies but you can’t prevent stretch marks to begin with) “get a boob job to “fix” the damage breastfeeding did”, “hide your scars” and on it goes. . . This is so sad and I feel like some of us get robbed of the joy of becoming a mother because they feel the need to start changing back to “normal” instead... I think we should bring the focus back to what our bodies have done, what they’re capable off - and be damn proud of how we look because of it ♥️ that’s where the focus should be, don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise ♥️"
"No babies. No weight fluctuations. Just a girl who’s lived 30 years and got something to show for it"
"I saw a guy insult another woman for her cellulite and it really bummed me out for a second but then I remembered that women’s bodies don’t exist to please men "
“I am 5'6, 138lbs. I eat a balanced clean diet 85% of the week. I don't count calories, macros or build, bulk, drop at any point during the year. I don't binge all day Sun and starve myself the other 6 days. I don't detox, I don't take supplements, I don't have a secret meal plan and I'm not obsessed with kale. I listen to my body when it speaks to me and I remain disciplined and make smart decisions throughout the whole process. I connect to my daily needs within the gym and workout according to that desire. I want to look good for a beach vacation and I will proudly admit to doing more cardio when it's crunch time. I want my jeans to fit right. I want to be proud of my strength when the sleeves are off. I want to live a healthy life. I don't punish myself for wanting guacamole and chips on a Wednesday night. I don't expect one spin class to drop 5lbs. I have built a LIFE around balance and the understanding you must work hard with a level of consistency, determination and focus to get what you want and this mindset stems much beyond the walls of health and fitness. I make time and prioritize what is most important to me. I wake up with the motivation to become the best possible version of myself. I have to cut time in my schedule to get stronger and find peace within my mind. I make sacrifices. I work my ass off in the gym. You may see me eating a massive pizza with a side of boneless buffalo wings with an incredible margarita but please don't chalk it up to having a "good metabolism" or getting to workout all day...Bc I don't. I am still very much and will always be a work in progress. Start to change one thing today that will help you live a more balanced, happy, healthy life. Whether it's finding time to call family on the way home or a 10 minute walk on the treadmill. Just start. Start with the understanding that it will not be easy but you are surrounded by support. Stay committed, driven and focused to whatever goal or dream it may be. Consistency is key. Never sacrifice your dreams or the things you love. Strive to find a balance on every level and what once seemed like a burden will inevitably just feel like a way of living.”
“Dear postpartum depression,
If you weren't so ugly, I would have 10 more babies.
Dear postpartum depression,
You've been the toughest years of my life, to the point where I almost wanted to end it.
Dear postpartum depression,
You're a cheat and a theif, and it's so not cool that you've stole some (what would have been) very beautiful moments from me and my young family.
Dear postpartum depression,
Why do you feel the need to hit me at my most vulnerable state? Do I not already have enough to deal with at this whole thing call motherhood?
Dear postpartum depression,
You're not welcome, and I'm here today to tell you that I've won! Stop trying to creep in, stop trying to make me feel like I'm nothing, stop making me feel so guilty at how I choose to mother my babies.
Dear postpartum depression,
Pack your bags, while you're at it, pack all you've got cause I'm sending you to a place where you can no longer touch me.
Dear postpartum depression,
This is where we part! I survived! I'm a survivor. I'm a warrior mom!
Mamas out there, let's recognize how to deal with these feelings and know how to treat them. I'm here to tell you, it's not you... It's PPD. Let's talk!”
“Stop worrying so much about not looking like you’re a brand new and shiny human,” said @thebirdspapaya on a recent IG post. “Because you’re not. You’ve lived. Loved. Experienced. Your body in its own way will show itself through those memories. Whether you live it out shabby chic or get refinished, it doesn’t matter. Because ultimately you are something that has grown in worth, not lessened. Not one bit.”
But the blogger didn’t always feel this way—after having kids, she lost 100 pounds and struggled with body image: “I found myself faced with so much self-loathing and worked my way through that and realized I had worth,” she explains to @healthmagazine. “Even amid the scars and stretch marks, I still had beauty. I knew that if I felt this way, others must too. So I decided to be vulnerable and put it out into the world to share.”
“Motherhood is not a one size fits all—what works for one family may not work for the next,” said @diaryofafitmommyofficial in a recent post. “So who are we to judge another mom’s choices or reasoning?” Fed up with haters who claim she’s not doing motherhood “correctly,” she posted a list of everything she’s been called a bad mom for to make an important point: “Workout out during pregnancy.
Working out while having kids... period.
For caring about my looks and health.
Working out in Target.
Using canned goods and plastic crockpot liners.
Having tattoos and piercings.
Enjoying wine every now and then.
For letting my kids use technology.
For letting my kids have sugar and happy meals occasionally.
For not ‘covering up’ around my kids.
For running a full time business from home.
For co-sleeping with my kids.
For collecting sports cars and motorcycles aka having a hobby.
For taking time for myself.
For having abs.” Can you relate?
"Here I am, nursing Miles on the ground because I’d rather J be on my back than on Miles’ face. Not posed or looking cute. Surrounded by laundry on the floor. Dishes sitting in the sink. Dogs barking through the fence with a hole in it."
"Sometimes I hear the rare negative comment about my decision to go to school instead of being home full time with my kids.
It’s hard to not get offended at these comments. It’s hard to not question myself and question if I’m really doing what’s best for my babies.
But then I have days like today.
A full day of clinical hours, gone before they wake up, home just in time to get going again (to study) then this... My little guy running toward me, all smiles and excitement and I just know, I’m doing something right. "
Ok this is "Mom of the Year" territory.
"This is postpartum in all it’s glory. Soaked nursing bra, naked newborn (bc blowout), matted hair. Cellulite and stretch marks and rolls on rolls. This is me. 6 weeks after delivering Bronx. 2.5 years after Deuce. 4 years after Harlym. And 5 years after Brooklynn.
@_maramartin_ walked the #SISwim runway while breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter and we are here for it. “I can’t believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day,” said the model the next day. “I’m so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL.”
“A letter to my one year postpartum self, Stop hating you for thinking you have an ugly stomach and start loving you for how absolutely stunning and beautiful you were and still are for carrying and caring for you two gorgeous little humans. Stop thinking about how hard you need to work at bouncing back after baby even if at 1 year postpartum you still look pregnant and focus on your objectives at staying healthy and happy and active. Stop worrying about what others will think if they see your wrinkled stomach and start thinking about how absolutely blessed you are for what you've created. Be you! Be the best you, your negative energy about you and your body shows and it's ugly. Give yourself some grace (a lot) and time (a whole lot) to heal emotionally, mentally and physically. You're one tough mama and you've got this. :muscle: Embrace you today and remember that your kids adore you, in the world of so much hate let their love nurture you back to loving you! Now, tomorrow when Levi turns 1, don't just celebrate him, celebrate your "birth" day and know that you are amazing no matter how you feel. With all the love, Your dearest self!”
The pictures of ‘perfect bodies’ you see on Instagram... don’t let them get you down,” said influencer @ownitbabe. “Most of them don’t represent reality and if they do, it doesn’t mean that these bodies belong to a healthy and happy human,” she continued. “It’s just what we are made to believe, but it’s mostly not true.”
Allow #VictoriasSecretmodel @angelcandices to remind you that you don’t have to hide your postpartum belly for ANYONE
Sometimes you just have to make it work
"Shout out to all the women who are trying.
Trying to look in the mirror more often at the gym.
Trying to get in the photo.
Trying to take off the cover up at the pool.
Trying to add more weight to the bar.
Trying to order the two piece.
Trying to speak up for themselves.
Trying to start hard conversations.
Trying to do push-ups.
Trying to allow themselves to be seen.
Trying to silence the negative self-talk.
Trying to learn.
And to accept their journey.
Even if today was hard.
I woke up this morning and I honestly didn’t feel like trying. My head was in a weird place. Already sweating, got to the gym, and felt my stomach hanging more than normal. I felt it taking up space. I felt it being noticed. And yet, more often than not, I found myself looking in the mirror.
Even in a moment of feeling defeated, I noticed myself trying.
It was simple.
But it meant everything."
@bybrittanynoonan at #3monthspostpartum: “For however motherhood comes to you —it is a miracle. Whether it’s vaginally or cesarean birth every birth is a miracle and all mothers are amazing, strong and fierce.
My scar may fade or it may not but honestly I don’t mind, I actually hope it doesn’t completely, I quiet like the reminder of where my babies came from, it’s a very special reminder each time I look down at just how lucky I am.
There are a few things I am extremely passionate about and helping other mums and mums-to-be feel empowered and strong about their csection birth is one of them especially because I am forever messaged and emailed by mums who are scared, ashamed or overwhelmed about their csection birth and have only ever heard horror stories or been met with negativity surrounding it and to me I feel so sad that they feel this way when they should be proud, excited and feel like the bad ass woman they are. I hope one day women everywhere don’t have to feel the need to justify their birth and can proudly say they are a C-section mama without any guilt or shame!
Which ever way you birth, you are a legend and I can assure you your baby will only care that both you and them were safe and well! Yes it can hurt but I’d do it a million times over to have my beautiful babies in my arms!"
“When your 5 year old sees your post-partum stomach and gives it a big ol’ tummy twister while laughing hysterically and hollering, ’IT FEELS LIKE BUBBLE GUM!!!!’, you post that ridiculous, unflattering open-mouth pic instead of the prettier one,” said @janenecrossley in a recent viral post. Ask any mom about her postpartum belly, and she’ll likely describe it as jiggly, mushy, or flabby—it’s the normal and natural result for most women after nine months of pregnancy. “Oh, sweet girl... I hope you always feel confident in the skin you’re in,” she continued, making the point that she hopes her daughter will continue to approach beauty this way.
Giving birth allowed Crossley to become more aware of the near-impossible standards of beauty imposed on new moms, often exemplified in advertisements on how to “repair the damage” of pregnancy and childbirth. “Before having babies I was a lot more critical of what there was NOTHING to be truly critical about,” she explained. “Now after 3 pregnancies my body is quite a bit different, but I appreciate what it has gone through to bless me with my children … I feel very proud of my stretchy skin and changed body that will always tell my story.”
This #tbt from @padmalakshmi is peak multitasking mom
@once_inamomlife sums it up perfectly
“What a journey this has been! From the huge shock of learning there were three, to people’s reactions, the numerous scannings/checks and all the preparations and planning for this life-changing event,” said @triplets_of_copenhagen, who documented her pregnancy before giving birth a few days ago. “Nothing like the ordinary.“
Her baby bump weighed 20 kg total and she’s so ready for the next chapter. “It’s strange to have ended up with such a big belly and it’s even stranger that it can stand out like that without falling down,” she said.
"Yes, I do I have a valley of lines mapped across my belly, mountains of stretched skin left over my mid section, lightning bolts on my sides and back, all signs that I carried life inside of me.... five times!
I also have a cesarean scar reminding me that my belly was cut open twice!
My body is amazing.
My body is beautiful.
My body is powerful.
My body is strong.
My body is capable.
My body made me a mother.
My body grew a human inside.
Not everybody has that privilege.
So while society wants to sit behind a screen and label us as flawed, I am here to remind myself and all of you that to our children we are perfect. They see behind the stretched out skin, marks, and lines. They see us for who we truly are. They know our hearts and love us unconditionally. And that is all that matters.
"Traveling with young kids is so fun."
"Every mom has one: The Secret Stash."
"Someone once needed to drop something off to me and asked 'what time works for you?' I responded with 'anytime, I’ll be home all day.' The comment back shocked me, they said 'gosh I wish I was a stay at home mom so I had all the time do anything.' That was 3 years ago and I have never forgotten those words. So let me tell you what I do with my time all day. I breastfeed my second on demand all day. Thats 109,500 mins a year (but most likely more). I breastfed my first until 3 so that’s approximately 328,500 (who yes I continued to breastfeed on demand the whole time) and approximately 164,250 with my second so far (taking only a 3 month break in between). I change diapers all day sometimes multiple times an hour. I do loads of laundry, dishes, pick up toys about 100 times a day, heal ouies with a kiss, bounce a crying baby, play dress up with a wild toddler, figure out how to make teething more comfortable, cook breakfast lunch and dinner, teach colors, numbers, letters, shapes, and words, rub backs, and take care of sick children even when I’m sick. I read about 50 books a day and help paint a multitude of pictures. I rarely sit to eat, have a break to watch tv, or simply go to the bathroom alone let alone take a shower. I’m a cook, a cleaner, teacher, 'doctor,' a healer, comforter, lullaby singer, mother, and wife. I have no sick days, no time off, and barely any alone time. Yes it’s exhausting and yes it’s a lot of 'work' but I know for me, and I think for most, wouldn’t change it for a second. Because in all the chaos and piles of laundry there are millions of moments that fulfill me more then I could every dream. There is joy in the chaos and love in the mess. It is hard for all mothers whether working or stay at home. One is not better then the other and one is not harder then the other. Working or stay at home, we are all mother working 24/7 So let’s stop assuming what a mother’s day is like and praise every mother for all the work that they do."
Pro runner @stephrothstein recently shared what her stomach looks like 3 years postpartum, revealing that she still has Diastasis Recti: “This is as good as it will get for me,” she says. I still have a 1 finger gap, extra saggy skin, and stretch marks.” But she’s grown to love her body for more than just looks: “My core is also the strongest it’s ever been, and the proof has been no major injuries in my hips, glute, back, and core since giving birth. This is how I look, but not how I feel. When I’m training hard, lifting, sprinting at the end of races I feel the strongest core possible. It doesn’t look the same as the women I race against who haven’t given birth, but who gives a crap. It took me a while to be comfortable in my own skin, but every time I run in a sports bra, wear crop top shirts I grow a little more confident in my postpartum body.”
This mom *thought* she was having a third baby girl — and now the exact moment she found out she actually gave birth to a boy
“It took me 4 days and several internal battles to finally decide I would post this picture. Why? because this photo was never intended to be seen by anyone, in fact, when my husband took it my first words were “OMG DELETE THAT NOW!” You see, this photo highlights so many things that are deemed “wrong” with the postpartum body.
Stretchmarks, loose skin, and a big, round belly. Surprisingly, though, none of that bothers me. The reason why I hate this picture is because it shows the giant, sagging bulge of fat that hangs off of my midsection. The “mom pouch” that makes all other mom pouches look like an ad for the perfect body. The mom pouch that I always hide behind high waisted bottoms. The mom pouch that made me hate myself for several months postpartum. This photo reminds me of that hate; how I used to stare in the mirror, rub that pouch and think “I’m hideous, this child destroyed my body”. I hated those days and this photo is a reminder of who I was before I truly loved myself.
I want to be clear, I love my body. Now, more than ever I had embraced every “flaw” and I truly love myself and how I feel. Becoming a mother helped me realize that I am made of magic and no matter what I look like on the outside, I am worthy and beautiful. We all are.
Just because I spread body positivity and selflove doesn’t mean I’m perfect. Far from it, in fact.
I still struggle with that mom pouch; yes, I wish it wasn’t so saggy and maybe just a tad smaller, but I no longer hate myself because of it. I no longer look in the mirror and call myself names or try to push it in so it won’t sag down as much.
I am no longer defined by that damn pouch.
It doesn’t hold me back anymore or make me feel inferior.
This mom pouch is a much a part of me as my arms, legs, breasts…so I have chosen to embrace it because hating it means hating a piece of myself, and that just won’t be tolerated.
Once you go down that road towards self love you realize that although you may have bad days, you are still worthy of all the love and magic in this world."
"One week postpartum.
I will heal slow and gentle.
I will take long hours swaying and just breathing.
I will release all expectations.
I will not hurry.
Or be anxious.
This week I will savor and trace your outline.
For I plan to remember how you feel tucked against me for as long as I live.-Mia"
@katiemcrenshaw: "I didn't post the photo on the left anywhere, it's just lived in my phone for four years (Charlie is in there ). I've always loved this photo because it made me proud of my body and what it could handle. That was my hardest pregnancy, physically, made worse by working 12 hour night shifts in Labor and Delivery. ⠀⠀
I was thinking about how much we love our pregnant bellies and how proud we are during that time. We rock the bodycon dresses, take selfies, and we have so much respect for our midsection during that time... we even show it off. We are so confident in our bodies for nine months.⠀⠀
So, why do we stop?⠀⠀
Why do we start disrespecting it as soon as no one is living in it? Why do we start hiding it, hating it, and wishing it was everything but squishy/stretched/wrinkly etc.? Doesn't make a lot of sense, right?⠀ ⠀
We're more than a host.⠀
I'm practicing being just as proud of the *former* home of three humans as I was when they were growing there. Join me? (Ps- LOL at my identical tan lines four years later. )"
When you’re into your outfit but not so into your toddler’s tantrum because you’re going out...
@theperfectmom: Am I the only Mom out there who loves a long bath at the end of the day, but is too lazy to take the kids toys out of the tub??!
@torii.block: "Today marks the two year anniversary since the day I completely broke down and faced the scary reality that I was going through postpartum depression (see photo on left). It was the scariest time of my life, and a reality that is very much avoidable. Ever since then, I’ve openly talked about my mental health in the hopes to bring light to the subject, creating a less taboo environment regarding the sad stigma that surrounds this illness.
I’ve been made fun of and had my character ripped apart all because I’m on medication to stabilize my hormone levels related to anxiety and depression. Those people are called energy vampires. Don’t ever let anyone knock you down for trying to better your mental health. There is zero shame in it, and those who partake in this kind of behavior need love more than we do. One of you said the most profound thing to me recently, “feel gratitude that you have the autonomy to reflect on what you see around you”.
Though me on the left two years ago is on antidepressants, so is the me on the right two months ago. There is so much [frikinn] light after darkness. And putting the work into a healthier mindset, and healthier lifestyle is worth every hard moment, every life lesson, and every tear that slowly but surely makes life worth living.
I stand by you.
I stand with you.
We stand together ♥️"
"Not feeling well and this is how my four-year-old 'helps out!"
"My workout for the day? Trying to make it through the airport by myself with these two and all our stuff lol. Anyone who has traveled with young kids knows how hard and stressful it can be.... My one suggestion: If you ever see a mom struggling, offer to help. I promise you she will be grateful."
"It's so hard to ask for help. Because you're supposed to be Mommy. And you never want to say: I need help being Mommy. I carried this person for nine months. I knew she was coming. I felt like I should be able to handle it and I didn't want to ask other people to stop their lives. Especially if they had no part in making this baby. But eventually I had to give in. I'm just one person and being Mama 24/7 can make you crazy. I found myself getting frustrated that other people were going on with their lives. I let things fester. And it was unhealthy for my relationships. I get heated with my mother and boyfriend. Instead of beginning with 'Can you help?' I'd lose my temper, and jump straight to: 'Why arenu2019t you helping?'"
"If you had to describe this square with one word, what would it be?
While I see a Iot of words and I'm sure you do too, I need you to see the most important one to me: "committed"
To loving myself
To healing my mind
To mending my heart
To feeding my soul
To strengthen my body
To finding my true happiness
To acknowledging my emotions instead of burying them
To staying positive about accepting myself
To knowing that I deserve to be happy
To being determined at staying active
To ensuring I'm always kind to myself
To giving myself permission to not being afraid of food
To enjoying a healthy life!
To recognizing self hate.. Self doubt and shutting it down.
To always staying beautiful me, an amazing wifey and one awesome MAMA!
The first image was taken 2 years ago... The second taken this week. A key difference is I was able to identify my weaknesses and shut them down, I found my strength and I ran with it. It made me happier and it shows."
"Postpartum moms feel like their bodies are seen as something that needs 'fixed,' 'brought back to normal' and with this shake everyday and a workout, they say, it can be achieved.
Postpartum bodies are not business transitions.
They are not wrong.
Postpartum bodies deserve to be praised- not preyed upon. .
If we want to find ways to transition back into habits, we’ll let ya know. But don’t you dare look at a new mom and subliminally tell her something is wrong because her postpartum body is new and different. This body is a rockstar for what it has done and I won’t settle for less then honoring it."
"My phone buzzed at 5:36am. I heard some noises on the monitor. With crusty eyes and probably next-level dragon breath, I opened one eye to check the camera on my phone.
She was squirming a bit. So as usual, I sat on the edge of the bed. For like ten minutes. Idk. Maybe longer? Who knows. But I always just sort of sit there breathing. It’s another day.
I take one last deep breath before standing up from the edge of the bed.
Before I wash up.
Make the bed.
Start a load of laundry.
Make breakfast in my undies.
Sip coffee as Maci runs circles around the island and between my legs.
Brush her hair.
Get her dressed.
Prepare my workout drinks.
Pack her bag.
Put on my workout clothes.
And finally sit back down to read her some books before we head out the door to the gym.
Before the next wave of the day washes in.
Before I’m able to give myself a pat on the back for everything I do #before9am.
Moms do A LOT.
So here’s a pat on the back for us stay at home mamas and working mamas and mamas who do both.
Because who run the world?
"Channeling peace, tranquility, and two year olds."
"We delight in the pregnant female body, yet do everything we can to erase the remnants of it postpartum. And today, I sit & wonder - why? These two photos were taken about two years apart. On the left, I’m 36 weeks pregnant with my firstborn, and on the right, I’m two years postpartum. Learning to love my stretched post-baby belly, rather than try to change it, has became the key to my entire journey toward self-love. I actually credit the challenging, yet ultimately rewarding love story of wholeheartedly embracing my postpartum body with inspiring me to fiercely advocate for universal body acceptance today. The discovery - that my body was, is, & always will be beautiful, worthy, miraculous, & just as it needs to be through every phase of life - has quite literally set me free. I share this with you today NOT to discourage new moms from taking actions to feel good about their bodies by methods of weight loss or exercise or dieting or restriction - but to rather give you a powerful alternative & complement to all of these experiences. Here before you is a visual of a risky, vulnerable choice that has the life-changing potential to allow you to breathe easier, live more fully, & love yourself a whole lot more than any short or long-term diet may promise to offer. If you can find it deep within yourself to value, admire, and embrace the woman on the right AS MUCH as the woman on the left, you have a very special opportunity to change your entire life for the better. I know I sure did. I now see beauty in ALL bodies. I see beauty in all parts of myself. And I want to continue looking for beauty of this kind for the rest of my life in everyone I meet. But especially myself. The woman on the right deserves the respect of the whole world - just as much as her pregnant counterpart. And when we as mothers rise up and fully own this truth, I honestly believe we will all be set free."
"Um... we NEED this straw"
"Oh my gawwwwd, I’m going insane. Can I just make a blanket statement right now? Do NOT take your kids with you when you go to buy birthday presents for other kids. Ever. Yes, I know it’s good for them to learn that sometimes you’re not buying stuff for them, blah-diddy-blah-blah, but it is NOT worth it. Because even though I’ve told Zoey twelve times “we’re not here for you,” she insists on “looking” at every single toy on every single aisle and right now she wants to get a $75 suitcase full of I-don’t-know-what. And I’m not making that up. It’s this LOL surprise doll thing and it’s literally a suitcase that you don’t know what’s inside and I’m like N-O are we spending $75 on something that we don’t even know what it is, and besides, WE’RE NOT HERE FOR YOU!!! So if you need me, I’ll be on aisle 47 banging my head on the shelves."
"Motherhood is motherhood and at the end of the day we’re all just trying our hardest and doing our best. Today’s best for me and let’s be honest, are you really a mum if you haven’t held your baby while going for a wee."
"I came home from the hospital with a newborn exactly one year ago today. I was swollen and everything felt out of place. I thought my body would never be the same again. I feared that all the work I had put into becoming strong and healthy had officially disappeared forever. I walked slowly and couldn't even think about exercising. It seemed impossible.
But four weeks later, I just tried. Attempted to move my body however it could move. Another month later, I kept trying. Moved my feet fast enough to consider it a jog. Lifted a light dumbbell the best I could. Two months later, I packed some weight on my shoulders and squatted down. I grabbed the heavier set of dumbbells anytime I could. .
By the summer, I was adding more and more weight to the bar. Passing personal records from my "skinniest" days pregnancy. I was changing, but the mirror wasn't. What I saw in my reflecting wasn't looking any different than the day I looked at myself in the hospital bathroom mirror for the first time. My stomach still hung down low and frustrated me.
I had the choice to give up and cave into self-hate. Or to add more weight to the bar, get up off my knees when I do push-ups and enjoy how it felt when I beat my own records. So I added the weight and got off my knees. I showed up proudly, threw my gloves away, dusted chalk all over my hands, got dirty and crushed my records.
Because I'm strong and capable no matter what my body looks like. Because it makes me feel SO GOOD. I am stronger right now in this moment than I have ever been in my entire life. And that right there is more than enough for me to celebrate. Stomach flab, muscles and all."
"My reality a lot of the time Unwashed hair (for over 2 weeks now but that’s what mum buns are for right ?)... and an extremely clingy toddler who doesn’t really understand the concept of ‘no’ but it’s her favourite word at the same time I swear the bigger I am becoming and less Mobile it’s like a little switch has gone off in her head and she thinks it is the perfect time to play me aka not sleep, chuck tantrums in the middle of the street (She knows well and good i can’t bend down), throw food at randoms on the bus AND run as fast as she can through shopping centres while pulling down any item in her reach and stealing kinder surprises .. I honestly must look like a frazzled mess half the time.. but we have fun"
“When I was little, my grandma used to poke my tummy and constantly remind me to suck it in,” said @maryscupofteaa. “This habit was engrained into me so deeply that I’m STILL learning how to relax my belly (yoga has been helping me breathe deeper into my belly by allowing it to relax), she continued. “From the time I was very little until 2 years ago my #selfconfidence was attached to how flat my midsection was... I’d walk around with my abs flexed, only post photos where my stomach looked slender and killed myself with diet and exercise to have that ‘fit’ body. If I didn’t like how I looked in the morning my whole day was RUINED. I wouldn’t socialize, I’d restrict my food, or I’d just binge because ‘f**k it, I look like :hankey: anyways might as well feel like it too!’”
She then asked her followers who else has ever allowed one bad thought to ruin an entire day—here’s how she learned to combat this mentality in the present: “I don’t let my body-IMAGE get in the way of my life EXPERIENCE.
Yes, there are days where I don’t necessarily like how I look, but I don’t let those interfere with my values. My body is no longer attached to my confidence because they are 2 separate things. :v:
And you know what helped me realize this?
Letting go of society’s expectations of the ‘perfect body,’ gaining some weight, AND realizing that the sky didn’t fall, my friends and family still love me (grandma included :older_woman:), and I can still do amazing things without perfect abs. :woman-tipping-hand:”
However, she isn’t completely immune to negative thoughts. “Yes, there are days where I don’t necessarily like how I look, but I don’t let those interfere with my values,” Jelkovsky said. “My body is no longer attached to my confidence because they are 2 separate things.” Another thing that helped her: Allowing herself to gain some weight. “The sky didn’t fall, my friends and family still love me (grandma included), and I can still do amazing things without perfect abs,” she wrote.
If self-love is something you’re working on (aren’t we all), adopt Jelkovsky’s mantra: “I no longer let my body image get in the way of my life experience.”
"When you’re doing yoga in your undies & your 8-month old decides to join in. This mom life is never dull, that’s for sure. Also - health really DOES exists for someone in a larger bod. Well, how about that."
"Multitasking mom life"
“[I’ve] been doing a lot more showing all the angles someone can pose or what leggings can do or what [lighting] can do because I don’t do it enough,” said fitness influencer @laysanetofit in a recent post. “I still get girls who feel they need to be this picture perfect model and you don’t!”
On the left, she is relaxed, revealing what she looks like “99 percent” of the time. The photo on the right displays her flexing her abs. “I am literally not breathing in the photo,” she admitted in the caption. The image in the middle is her most vulnerable one, as the mother of two grabs her stomach. “I show my wrinkles and ‘sags’ and extra loose skin from having two kids,” she explained in the caption. Tap the link in bio for more"
"Honestly, It’s important to force yourself to feel confident even when ya don’t " said blogger @becklomas along with this makeup-free photo. "3 years ago I probably would have never left the house without makeup, let alone gone to work, done a workout, or posted a photo for thousands of people to see, especially when my skin is like this- but I’m a very different person to what I was 3 years ago," she continued. "I’m not saying my skin issues don’t phase me anymore- they absolutely do, but I’ve grown to realise I’m so much more than just a few pimples or a bit of redness"
"the one infamous pregnancy picture I PROMISED myself I would never share....yet here I am! I was 8 months pregnant with the twins and busy eating my favorite chocolate donuts...off of my bump.. in bed! Yep. It happened. More than once! Oh, well. You have to be willing to laugh at yourself every now and then, right?"
"I finally decided on my word for 2016: SURVIVE "
"Today at Old Navy, I saw the cutest white jeans. I wanted to try them on because I instantly loved them - so I grabbed my three sizes (I’m always between 10-14) and headed to the dressing room. ⠀
Here’s a photo of me in the size 10s. One year ago? This would’ve ruined my day, possibly my week. I would’ve ripped the jeans off of my body and left the store without buying anything. I would’ve harped on the numbers printed inside those jeans. ⠀
I let a two digit number made up by a ridiculous sizing system control my mental health, my moods, my days. I wasn’t good enough and my body wasn’t worthy because I didn’t fit into a certain size. ⠀
Now, when I try on jeans (or clothes in general), I grab size 10, 12, 14 because I’m not sure which size will fit. Every store and brand has different sizing systems - literally I’m a size 10 in shorts at Target but a size 14 in their slacks. ⠀
I STOPPED letting those little tags control me. I started appreciating clothes for what they are - pieces of cloth designed for US to wear. Not the other way around. Clothes shouldn’t have the power to change us. I won’t give them that power ever again, because it was the most exhausting and abusive relationship. ⠀
By the way, I got the size 12s and I am freaking excited to rock them."
Katio Sturino of @the12ishstyle saw her #MakeMySizecampaign take off when she posted a series of dressing room photos, captioned: “This is how small the largest sizes in @clubmonaco are on me.” So we asked her what inspired her to start this movement: “I had an online shopping order come in and nothing fit me,” she says. “I’m a fashion blogger in New York City and I have a really tough time finding something to wear,” she continues. “And if I have a tough time, imagine how the regular woman who's not a fashion blogger feels. I'm hoping that designers will take note and extend their sizes. And if they don't already have plans to introduce extended sizing, I want them to see how many beautiful women they're missing out on.”
"today it happened. I looked down at the scale at my doctor’s appointment: 202 lbs. for a few fleeting moments, i felt bad about myself. some of my best advice for curvy gals is to toss their scales out the window and never let a number define them. in fact, i don’t even own a scale and haven’t for years! but being pregnant means I get weighed at least once a month at check ups, and I do ask to know the number so i can mentally track for my health and baby’s development. my doctor and her nurses have never once made me feel less than for being curvy and pregnant. my [husband] @tripp tells me at least five times a day that i’m even more beautiful when i’m pregnant. I’m so thankful to have these positive voices around me! so why did I let a scale make me feel that way today? maybe it’s because i haven’t weighed this much since before i was really yo-yo’ing with weight gain and loss in college. or maybe because being pregnant is a very emotional stage of life. maybe it’s because I look nothing like all the cute, thin bloggers I scroll past with their adorable basketball bellies and fab maternity style. or maybe it’s because no one really talks about being curvy and pregnant, let alone show it with pictures and vulnerability. your girl officially joined the 200 lbs club today, and I really had to take a step back and remember that i’m growing a tiny human inside of me and it’s okay. and even if I weren’t, it would still be okay! my body grows and changes and gains weight. it doesn’t define me... and it doesn’t define you either! I’m sticking with my motto of throwing out your scale, being kind to yourself during different stages of life, putting importance on heath, and learning not to place worth solely in numbers. you got this curvy ladies and mamas! you’re so beautiful."
"It's painful getting pictures with this kid."
“One of the coolest things about how my body has changed since being pregnant is just being able to nurse twins,” says #HillaryScott of #LadyAntebellum, who had a hard time breastfeeding with her first daughter. “I did not know that would be a success for me and I am so happy it is,” she continues. Because she’s had two totally different experiences with breastfeeding, Scott understands that it’s not for everyone and says that she wishes every woman could embrace her own journey without judgment. “There might be some moms that nurse for six weeks or some that nurse for six months, but being their best selves for their children is the answer,” she says. “Whatever feels good to you is what you should do.” Watch our Instagram story for more—including what Scott says is the not-so-pretty side of motherhood.
@jennagetshergoals: "These thickums are out and proud this summer and from now on! No amount of cellulite, bruises or chub-rub can stop me! These legs are so powerful and have carried me literally everywhere I've ever been and ever will be. I am way too busy being grateful to be bothered by what society views as sexy. "
Family photos today! It went a little like this (as to be expected with a 3 year old and 11 month old)."
"If my life has been looking too glamorous on Instagram lately, just know 4 out of 5 times this is how I use the bathroom."
Teach them to power pose young—strong moms raise strong women
On anxiety and depression: "This is sleepless nights, terrified someone is going to break in and kill your family. ⠀
This is unexplained sadness during the happiest of times. ⠀
This is not being able to drive without fearing a horrible car crash. ⠀
This is loving your kids so dearly, but fantasizing about life without them. ⠀
This is unexplained anger over trivial things. ⠀
This is shaking, crying, ears burning, chest heavy, shortness of breath after watching one minute of the news. ⠀
At the worst moments, this is wondering if it would all be easier...to not exist anymore. ⠀
But. I didn’t give up.⠀
This is contentment after years of suffering, thanks to medication. ⠀
This is a beautiful support system that held me up and pulled me from the depths of despair. ⠀
This is taking action and standing up for myself, instead of praying and hoping things get better. ⠀
Don’t give up, mama."
"You say “mom bod” like it’s a bad thing! Mom pouch? Just a bit of loose skin below my daughters first home.
Stretch marks? Just a natural occurrence when the skin stretches as much as mine did.
Saggy boobies? Just a part of nourishing my daughter from my body exclusively for her first 7 months and supplementally even now, at 19 months.
Dirty hair? Just cus I’m too lazy to wash it most days, sometimes sleep is more important.
Tired eyes? Just comes with the territory, I’m a mom 24/7, even through the night.
Mom jeans? Just embracing clothing that fits my new body best.
Comfy bra? Just easier to nurse in, even if it isn’t the snazziest.
Mom bod? Yup. And I’m damn proud of it.
Without this bod my daughter wouldn’t be here. It created her, grew her and nourished her. If some stretch marks and saggy skin had to come along with her, well then, l love those too. I love this mom bod.
It’s beautiful, worthy, squishy and all mine."
"The greatest goddamn gift I’ve ever received has been learning to be myself."
@masseya: "I’ve been asked a lot recently how I manage to be “so put together all the time with 5 kids” .. and the truth is, I’m not. sometimes I don’t get out of my pajamas because I feel insecure in the way jeans + most shirts fit my #postpartumbody right now. other times I don’t put on makeup because that means I have to wash it off at some point before I fall asleep in front of the TV. I just want to offer up a friendly reminder to never compare your behind the scenes mess to someone else’s highlight reel. we’ve cut, chopped, and smushed the best of our best into these 2x2 squares and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, we have to give ourselves some grace before scrolling social media- remembering that pretty posts are not always a true depiction of everyday life."
@theperfectmom is sharing her favorite quote:“For every women unhappy with her postpartum marks, there is one wishing she had them.”
She says she's been on both sides of this equation: "I once was her, the 'one,' waiting, wishing, hoping to be a Mother," she continued. "Finding out I was finally going to be a Mom was one most incredible feelings. It didn't matter whether I was going to give birth naturally or have a cesarean (however you do it, you’re amazing). And it didn't matter that my body was going to change drastically. I was finally going to be a Mom, a Mom to triplets!"
While this new mom never expected her body to look the way it does no, she knows it holds deeper meaning: "There is a lot of extra skin, stretch marks, sag and wrinkles. And while my new Mom body may be hard to love sometimes, it is a new me that represents the power of the female body and the miracle of carrying three babies. As I have shared before, I call my postpartum marks my 'Hope wounds' and they have taught me a greater meaning of self-love and appreciation for my body. I think that it is important to change our Mom body perspectives. There is empowerment for yourself in loving yourself. Our postpartum marks are stories of hope, stories of love, and sometimes stories of loss. There is so much beauty in our Mom bodies because above all they represent life, our children, and the undeniable love we have for them. For the 'one' somewhere wishing, hoping, praying for her miracle, this is for you. For the one who delivered and lost your baby, I know these are all you physically have left of your angel. You are strong mama. And to all the Mama's struggling to love themselves: you're beautiful, strong, and may you be empowered to love yourself a little more today!! Choose to change your perspective because your beautiful!"
"Asleep at the boob (•)(•) It’s been two years and I‘ve held onto breastfeeding for a long time, likely because he is my last baby and because I worked so hard to figure it out that once it finally got easy, I didn’t want to stop. I went through pain, plugged ducts, mastitis, leaky boobs, power boobs, pumping schedules and dream feeds over the past two years, but I am finally getting ready to wean him. Not because he is two, but because I am ready. I will be very sad to let this stage go, but I also feel very ready to have my body back.
So no matter when you decided to stop breastfeeding at two days or two months or two years, or for whatever reason, good for you momma. You did an amazing job, because it’s certainly not easy, and our babies have nothing but love for us no matter where their milk comes from."