Post-baby body and self-preservation

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Turning 35 and having my fourth baby this year has made me hyperaware of how much I have changed since having kids.

When my husband and I were first married, we had only our fur-baby, Sadie. We were the stereotypical fur-parents, scheduling vacations based on dog-friendliness and spoiling her, happily. Those were the carefree days.

My “look” was similarly low-key. Comparatively, I was much more bright-eyed and glowing than I tend to be these days. Long nights with fussy babies and long days with headstrong kids leave me looking and feeling more foggy and, well, ragged, than I ever imagined I could. I have really been mourning this tired, stressed out mom look that has taken over my mirror, even on the best days.

But, you know what? I have decided that it isn’t all bad. And not just in celebration of embracing my mom look, body acceptance, or any other positive message, though those are all nice, too. But, darn it, I don’t need to look young and dewy-skinned these days.

Evolutionarily speaking, thick hair, bright eyes, clear skin, specific waist-to-hip ratio … these are all desired traits, not just because they look young and healthy, but because young and healthy indicates positive breeding attributes! That’s your body signaling to potential mates that you could probably help carry on good genetics to the next generation.

And I don’t have the time or energy or interest in backing that up! Yes, I’m tired! And, exhausted. And, frankly, some days I’m barely hanging on by a thread. And that’s okay. I pursue a relatively healthy lifestyle and fitness so that I can sustain the energetic life that I have created and make it through the days with some semblance of self-mastery and control. Once I acknowledged that I do not need to pursue the same body I had before kids, it removed a lot of pressure from what I expect to see in the mirror or get out of the gym.

I am a mom of four. I look like it. And I am totally fine with that. Fit for my family. Not for perception.

When Sadie was our only child.

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