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Posts Tagged ‘body issues’

As all the mothers who read this blog will know, your belly is just never the same once your precious little one stretches it out.  And if you can’t relate because your belly is now the same as it was pre-pregnancy, I hate you.

So I’ll tell you about my belly.  It is not the same as it was before, although it is much improved in the last year.  I’m pretty sure, though, that my belly will never be flat again (unless of course I decided to dedicate hours every day to working out my core; that is just not going to happen).  I’m more than a little self-conscious about my stomach’s appearance, which would explain my heavy investment in Spanx.  My favorite is the higher power line, in case you were wondering.  (They make maternity Spanx, though I’m not sure why you would want to wear them.)

Anyways, I worry about my belly, I obsess a little about it, I do my best to conceal it, as most of us do.

All of my efforts are for naught though, given my son’s current obsession with bellies.  That’s right, C’s current obsessive phase is with the human body, particularly the belly.  This means that when it’s nap time or bed time, C usually lifts the hem of my shirt to reveal my non-flat, very white, heavily stretch-marked belly and gently pats it.  (Odd or affectionate? Hmmm…affectionate with me, odd when he starts trying to examine other people’s bellies, which has happened.)

The first few times this happened I was self-conscious.  My poor belly was exposed!  And it did not look its best.  So I would gently remove C’s hand, pull my shirt down over my tummy, and try not to think about my former two-pack in high-school.  Sigh…

Yet C is persistent.  For whatever reason, rubbing my mommy tummy made him happy.  If I tried to stop him, C just got upset.  He was insistent that he snuggle next to me and rub tiny strokes across my belly button!  Why this makes him so content, I don’t know, but it does.  Meanwhile, nothing about my white flabby belly sticking out of the bottom of my t-shirt looked attractive.  Nothing!  It didn’t matter though, it made him happy to do it, so I let him.

I was initially hoping this was a phase, some kind of momentary obsession to emerge and pass.  In his infancy, one of the only ways I could get C to calm down was to undress him down to just his diapers, strip myself down to just my intimates, and hold him, skin to skin.  There was something magical about that direct skin contact that soothed him.  It didn’t last long though, fading with time, as I was sure this would too.

But as days and weeks went by, C continued to love on my belly.

I knew that no matter how flabby, how white, how covered in stretch marks, C just loves my tummy.

Or I should say, he just loves me.

And there’s something more than a little liberating in that thought.

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