I've been meaning to write about this topic for a while now, then another blog with the very same topic was shared on my wall. The other blog post was about being too fat to photograph. I didn't really want to call it that, I was thinking, "RUN, THE CAMERA IS OUT! RUN! RUN!!
Then I hear "where did Krista go?"
A friend recently commented on my wedding picture from back in 2010, then of course because Facebook is whacked, it brought the picture up to the top of my friend's newsfeeds. I knew that this was going to happen and my heart palpitated a little bit. Why did my heart palpitate you ask? I don't feel that I look the same way. I don't feel that I look anywhere close to how I looked on my wedding day. I also knew that my friends would comment and pay me compliments, because I have awesome friends. :)
With every comment, I was coming back with "that was four years ago, I don't look the same. I got married, I have two children, I don't look like that Krista."
My dear friend Jody posted a comment that I needed to stop. I needed to embrace the compliments and just say "THANK YOU!"
So, I stopped with the low self esteem comments and acknowledged the kind words.
This brings me to why I am writing this post.
I don't like my picture being taken, by anybody, ever. I pretty much stopped having my picture taken when I became pregnant with Brinley. I think maybe my dad took a few pictures at Christmas time, so I was around 6 months along with Brinley. I don't have any pregnancy pictures when I was carrying Adele. Not one. I don't have any either with her right when she was born because she was whisked away and James missed the birth. The first picture I have is me in a wheelchair beside the baby cooker in the NICU, over 24 hours after I delivered.
I see pictures all over Facebook of friends and acquaintances and I don't judge. I don't look at their pictures and criticize their weight or looks. I am thinking, oh so nice to see a picture of so and so. WOW, so and so looks great and her children are adorable. I also admire their confidence if they are carrying a few extra pounds and they jump in front of the camera, big smile and striking a pose. They are comfortable with their body. They feel good about where they are at in life, their body, their health. They are content.
Yup, I am not as content with where I am at in regards to weight and my body but I am very blessed in other areas of my life, my children, my husband and life in general. I have read several blog posts where women are shouting from the rooftops that they love their stretch-marks, they earned them, they love the dangly dog jowl type skin that now hangs down after having children, they earned every stripe and they love it.
I don't love it at all. I love my babies, but I don't love one bit what pregnancy does to your body. It turns it into a floppy mess. A floppy mess that takes a long time for some of us to get rid of. I have friends who bounced back after 6 weeks, their bodies were perfect just weeks later. They didn't try to get it back to how they were pre-pregnancy, it just went back to tight and stripe free.
I don't have that body. My first stretch-mark showed up on my belly at just 7 weeks pregnant with Brinley and they quickly took over my stomach. I looked like a game of Snakes and Ladders. They never went away, then 8 months after Brinley, we got pregnant with Adele. This time, it looked like the anniversary edition of Snakes and Ladders. :) More stretch-marks. Sigh.
So now I have two beautiful girls and not too many pictures because I am not happy with my body. I think it's a bit selfish. It is not about me, it is about my girls. It is about them looking back and seeing beautiful pictures of their mommy, while they are sitting on my lap, while we are out at the park playing, while we are snuggling on the couch, while we are on vacation. I know that all they see is their mommy, and they love me. They don't see that mommy isn't where she wants to be with her body, they see their mommy. They don't see the dog jowl type thing hanging down, they see their mommy. I want memories that they can look back on and smile. I want them to know that I was proud to have my picture taken with them and that mommy made it a priority to have our picture taken together. I had two friends tell me that their mom was always behind the camera and never enjoyed having her picture taken. They both lost their mom at a young age and they don't have many pictures to show their children. There are only very few pictures of their grandmother. I get that they have memories, but that isn't enough. I don't ever want to be in this position. I don't want Brinley and Adele to look back and question why there are no pictures of mommy. How sad.
My family deserves to see pictures of me. My parents should have pictures of their children together. They deserve to have pictures of their grandchildren, sitting on their daughter's lap.
I need to step back. I need to relax. I need to not be so critical of who I am. I need to realize that no, I am not the same Krista that I was four years ago. I have changed. I am married. I have two children. I am older. I need to look back at the pictures taken a few years ago and enjoy and savour those moments. I want to do the same thing, a few years from now. I want to look back and savour these beautiful moments.
Adele's Over the Rainbow Baskets