I have gained A LOT since I’ve been pregnant. More than I ever thought I would. If my 21-year-old self saw me now, she wouldn’t recognise me — and I’ll be honest, it’s brought me to tears more than once. You want to know how much I’ve gained? I will tell you.
As of today, I’ve gained 18.5 kilograms of a smart, funny, sweet, sensitive, silly human and 10 kilograms of a snuggly, giggly, curious, chubby-cheeked little human.
Please listen. So much attention is paid to our postpartum physical appearance. Everywhere you look, celebrities are posting bikini selfies days after popping out a kid and the media is screaming at you to “lose the baby weight in 30 days!” and “get your pre-baby body back!” Then we look in the mirror and wonder why our bodies aren’t Victoria’s-Secret-catalogue-worthy. That’s why I want to talk, not of loss, but of GAIN. Let’s focus on what we really gain when we become mothers.
We gain perspective. Think about what mattered to you before you had a child. Now think about what matters today. Think about when your baby is sick or frustrated or sad, how your heart aches. Think about what keeps you up at night, what is always in the forefront of your mind. Think about how your entire being is affected by just the thought, sight, sound, smell of your baby. Everything in the world is suddenly put into perspective.
We gain the trait of selflessness. It sneaks up on us slowly. We don't wake up one day deciding to be selfless. It just happens. Our soul takes us gently by the shoulder and guides us in that direction. Quietly. Your world no longer revolves around you, as it did in pre-baby life. The part of our self we focus on today exists outside of our body. Every decision we make now, we make with someone else in mind. That someone else comes before everything else. We sacrifice: sacrifice that comes in the form of sleep, vanity, time, money and self. And we do it without thought or hesitation, for it is natural to us.
We gain a sense of meaning. The joy, the pain, the highs, the lows. Our life has so much importance now that we are raising little human beings. We have so much power -- so much responsibility. The enormity of that is truly daunting, and at times it's just plain overwhelming, yet it's our reality nonetheless. And we embrace it.