Loving My Imperfections

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IMG_7026 I posted this photo on Instagram last night with the caption below, and I wanted to share it here as well:

"When I first saw this photo my husband took, I immediately started picking apart all the things I didn't like about myself in the picture. And then I stopped and looked at the smile on my face. The one that was reaching up to my eyes. The one that was hurting my cheeks because I couldn't stop smiling. And I stopped what I was doing and smiled again. Because it's such a genuine moment at the park with my son and I didn't want to taint it with my insecurities."

Since becoming a Mom, it seems that every time I look in the mirror all I see are my imperfections.  The extra weight, the stretch marks, the tired eyes and the hair that is desperate need of a brush.  I am hard on myself every single day about the way that I now look.  I diet and stress and wonder if I'll ever get back into my pre-baby clothes, if I'll ever feel like my pre-baby self.  But the thing is, I'm NOT my pre-baby self.  I created another person and I carried him in my body.  There is no way for my body to reflect anything but that fact.

And when I look at this photo, I see something else.  The joy on my son's face.  He doesn't care about the extra weight, the stretch marks, or the tired eyes.  All he cares about is if I'll catch him at the bottom of the slide, if I'll carry him to the car when he's tired, if I'll sing his favorite song, if I'll tickle his back as he falls asleep.  The only thing that matters to him is if I love him.  He thinks I'm perfect exactly as I am.  So why am I so hard on myself?