Meet Sandra Ballard. She’s the beautiful mum in the pic above, surrounded by her three adorable children. In the photo, she’s nine months postpartum and looks amazing as she spends the day at a pool.
Is her body ‘pool’ ready? By society’s standards, probably not. But it’s a body and it’s at the pool. So, yes, it’s a pool body. And, most importantly, it’s a body ready to make beautiful memories with her kids at the pool.
And, that is what matters.
This is a postpartum body, by the pool
This is something we all are guilty of forgetting. But, hopefully, Sandra’s inspiring message will remind us about how important it is to learn to accept our postpartum bodies, squishy bits and all.
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As Sandra writes,
Nine months in, nine months out. Or something like that. This is postpartum (x3). This is mushy belly, jiggly booty, & bowling ball boobs because #breastfeeding.
This body is pool ready. Is it skinny? No. Is it what it used to be? No. Did it bounce right back? No. But it’s a body & it’s at the pool. So it’s pool ready.”
Sandra grew “three giant babies”, breastfed two of those babies around the clock, experienced two c-sections and could barely walk without help. But here she stands. Happy, healthy and with a heart bursting with love.
I used to spend hours wishing away everything about how it looked. All the stretch marks & imperfections. I could name them off at the drop of a hat. I put things off until I lost the weight.
Then I realized I was missing out on their lives. These little people I love so much. I worked so hard to carry to term, I delivered them, I did it all for them. Then I wanted to sit out & cover it up & hide it. Why?
Because society tells us we should be one way or have a beach body.”
Sandra’s a-ha moment
Well after my third baby I finally realized I already have a beach body & full arms & a full heart. These kids are watching me & listening to how I talk about myself. Postpartum is beautiful.
For every scar & stretch mark & wiggly body part, there’s a woman desperate to have those lines, desperate to have given birth & here I am with not one but THREE healthy happy babies.”
‘They won’t remember your lack of thigh gap’
It can so hard to look at yourself in a mirror and see a very different version of yourself looking back. One with tired eyes and crazy hair. With stretch marks and squishy bits. Add an unforgiving bathing suit to the mix and it’s even harder.
But, ladies, as hard as it is to look past this person in the mirror, we need to. Because, if you do, you’ll see your eager children at the bathroom door, togs on, smiles as wide as their sun-brimmed hats, waiting for their mummy to take them for a swim. Our kids don’t care about your postpartum body – the tummy skin, the bum dimples, the extra squishy bits. All they care about is being with you.
Don’t waste time praying to be skinny cuz it ain’t gonna work, trust me. Spend time playing in the pool with your kids. They won’t remember your lack of thigh gap, they will remember this moment when you had so much fun together. I am working hard to love the skin I’m in.”
Hopefully, Sandra’s message inspires us all to learn to love our skin too.