Mom Tired of 'Perfect Body' Compliments Goes Viral For Baring Her 'Real' Belly (PHOTO)

Kimberly HendersonI love women who show the good, the bad, and the ugly (it’s an expression, not a judgment) of motherhood. Even though someone’s Instagram feed will never show a complete picture of their lives, I always appreciate a glimpse behind the curtain. And that’s exactly what mom Kimberly Henderson gave us on Facebook.

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The slim mother of four bared her belly in all its “flabby skin and stretch mark” glory. She admits she has struggled with her post-baby body, especially when she compares herself to how she looked before children.

Everyone always compliments me on how I have such a "perfect" body after 4 kids. I decided to upload this pic and leave...

Posted by Kimberly Henderson on Thursday, June 18, 2015

I know what she’s talking about on so many levels. Accepting the changes that motherhood brings can be difficult, no matter how much we love our kids or how much we enjoy being a mother.

On a superficial level, although I weigh as much as I did before my two kids, my body does not look or feel the same. Henderson offered a very real shot of what happens to skin when it’s been stretched to its limit one, two, three, or four times over. It’s easy to be fooled because pregnancy is a temporary condition, but the changes that come with carrying a baby don’t disappear once they are born. And the pre-baby/post-baby differences go beyond skin-deep.

My entire identity was altered with the arrival of my children. Once completely devoted to my career, I craved more balance as a mother. With a new focus on family, I missed regular get-togethers with my girlfriends. Sleep became precious, whereas I once took it for granted. The baby dictated our new schedule, and frankly we all craved the structure and certainty. Very little about life with a young child is set in stone. For a type-A planner like me, that alone turns life upside down.

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As they move out of the infant and toddler stages, everything shifts some more. It wasn’t until I was out of the cloudy haze of the first two years that I recognized how overwhelming I found their complete dependence. And it makes sense from my old perspective. I went from a woman who was calling the shots at work and had an equal partner at home to suddenly being at the complete mercy of the infant I felt 100 percent responsible for. It’s a dramatic shift, and one that isn’t always easy to metabolize.

With children, change is the name of the game. The best you can do is be honest, accept what is, and know that different stages, along with new joys and challenges, are waiting around the corner. And like Henderson’s example, it’s best to embrace what you love -- like the “beautiful, smiling faces” of her four children -- rather than focus on the negative.

What's your most honest confession about being a mother?

 

Image via Facebook

 
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