The other day I squeezed tightly between my dining room table and portable dishwasher, and bemoaned to my husband about how huge I was getting. He kindly rolled his eyes, told me I was beautiful, and gently reminded me that I wasn't "huge" I'm a woman in her ninth month of pregnancy. Anna and Lily, my three and four year old daughters, were sitting at the table listening to this conversation. And soon, they too were discussing how big their tummies were getting, and sighing just like they'd seen their mommy just do.
I broke my rule.
I try very hard to never talk badly about my body in front of my kids, especially my daughters, because I don't want them to start feeling badly about their bodies. This world will push a wrong view of beauty on them enough. They don't need their mother adding more fuel to that fire.
I don't particularly care for being pregnant. My face gets chubbier, my arms and legs get swollen. My hair is four different colors, and I feel about as attractive as a whale.
But do I really want to convey to my girls that expecting a child is some sort of curse? Yes pregnancy is difficult, and no I don't feel attractive, but seriously what does any of that matter when pregnancy is a temporary condition, and when the end result is bringing another human being into the world?
I want my girls to understand that God made them beautiful. I want them to care more about what's inside than the outside. And in order to help them do that they need a mother who stops complaining, and shows them just how awesome God made our bodies.
"Our bodies are tools, not treasures. You should not spend your days trying to preserve your body in its eighteen-year-old form. Let it be used. By the time you die, you want to have a very dinged and dinted body. Motherhood uses your body in the way that God designed it to be used. Those are the right kind of damages…We are not to treat our bodies like museum pieces. They were not given to us to preserve, they were given to us to use. So use it cheerfully, and maintain it cheerfully. You want to fix your body up in order to be able to use it some more. We should not be trying to fix it up to put it back on the shelf out of harm’s way or to try to make ourselves look like nothing every happened. Your body is a tool. Use it.” -Rachel Jankovic, Loving the Little Years