Friday, October 28, 2011

For the Love of Moe

Welcome to the I Love Me! Carnival!

This post was written for inclusion in the I Love Me! Carnival hosted by Amy at Anktangle. This carnival is all about love of self, challenging you to lift yourself up, just for being you.

Please read to the bottom to find a list of submissions from the other carnival participants.

In the last six years, I gained and lost 40 pounds, and watched my midsection balloon and flatten, three separate times. I have given birth to three babies.

Two-day-old Agent J
My body changed, but it accomplished much. My tummy may be a little stretchier, my hips a little more, um, vast, but it's been a beautiful vessel three times over, and our family is now complete

What I remember the most fondly of those early, wiggly, newborn days is the time I spent feeding each of them, even when I had no idea what I was doing.

Breastfeeding, more than anything else, forever altered my perspective of my body, my abilities, my calling as a mother. I love that I fed my babies my milk. But I also love that I can reflect that sense of joy to my daughters. I know that when they hear me speak of my body, it's not to disparage or to wish for my old self, but to beam about what great things our bodies can do. 

I don't think my girls really remember breastfeeding; they stopped at 3 years and 2 years, respectively. (Something I was never going to do.) But they still have an innate affection of sorts for my breasts. When J sees me with my shirt off, she says, "Mommy's Moe! Two Moes!" (Anyone want to guess what her word for nursing was?) Sometimes E gently pats my breasts when she hugs me, and talk softly to them, like an old friend.

Agent E holding five-day-old Agent A
And of course they witness me caring for their little brother, which includes lots of nursing time. My baby boy turns one this coming week. When their little brother breastfeeds, the girls watch, and ask questions, and imitate with their dolls. When he wakes up in the morning, they greet him with enormous love. When he is sad or hurt, they comfort him (and tell me, "Mommy, he needs some love"). They do these things because they have seen me do them. And for that I am most thankful, and proud.

I love that my girls see and hear me speak of my physical self not in terms of size or shape or weight, but in respect and awe of its purpose. I love that they think Mommy is beautiful as is. I hope they carry these memories with them as they grow into the awesome women I know they will become.





Thank you for reading this post from the I Love Me! Carnival. Please take some time to read the contributions from the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by the afternoon of October 28th with all the carnival links.)

  • The Art of Being Thoughtful – Becky at Old New Legacy likes that she is mostly thoughtful but wants to become more thoughtful. She shares a story that demonstrates that giving gifts doesn't have to be expensive.
  • I love me (and running)! – Sheryl of Little Snowflakes writes about her new love of running and how it has helped her learn to love herself!
  • For the Love of Moe – Valerie at Momma in Progress shares her thoughts on a body forever changed, but forever loved.
  • Where I Find My Worth – Sarah at Parenting God's Children shares how finding her worth in worldly things always falls short.
  • Oh Yeah, I'm Cool – Tree at Mom Grooves shares her very favorite gift and the thing she most wants to pass on to her daughter.
  • Loving – Rosemary at Rosmarinus Officinalis talks about some of the things she loves about herself - some easily, and some by choice for the sake of healing.
  • caught in a landslide – jaqbuncad of wakey wakey, eggs and bakey! shares a list of reasons why zie loves hir body.
  • I Love Me! - A Rampage of Appreciation! – Terri at Child of the Nature Isle stops waiting for anyone else to tell her she is wonderful and goes on a rampage of appreciation for herself!
  • Raising Healthy Daughters – In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Kate Wicker offers tips to pass on a healthy self-image to the young ladies in our care.
  • Unexpected Benefits of a Healthy Pregnancy – How does it feel to have a healthy pregnancy? Dionna at Code Name: Mama discovers that making positive choices can be empowering.
  • Filling Up Our Watering Cans – Nada at miniMOMist believes that practicing Sabbath is the same as being a gardener who lovingly tends to the flowers in her garden. She needs to fill up her watering can first.
  • Better Body by Baby – Jess from Mama 'Roo and Family Too! shares how having her first baby makes her feel even more beautiful and confident about her body than ever before.
  • These Breasts Were Made for Nursing – Becoming a mother helped Mandy from Living Peacefully with Children to embrace her womanhood and improve her self image.
  • Yeah, I'm Pretty Cool – Amanda at Let's Take the Metro writes about her own self love and how she hopes to foster the same self-respect in her children.
  • Who I've Become – The future is bright with That Mama Gretchen who shares her past and present perspective on body image and how she hopes to become a change agent with her daughter.
  • Ever-Evolving Me – Joella at Fine and Fair writes to her daughter about her innate drive to continue learning, growing, and evolving.
  • I love you for your mind – Lauren at Hobo Mama turns a dubious phrase on its head with a little self-loving slam poetry.
  • Stop Think of Love with Your Body – Amy of Peace 4 Parents shares an exercise to gradually transition from hating to loving your body - stretch marks, sags, imperfections, and all.
  • I Love Me! – Jenny @ I'm a full-time mummy shares the things that she loves about herself!
  • First, I'm Superwoman. Later, I'm SupperwomanPatti @ Jazzy Mama explains how she loves taking care of her amazing body. It birthed 4 children, after all!
  • Baby Strikes A Pose – Emma from Your Fonder Heart writes about her family's decision not to let their 7 month old model, and uses the opportunity to think more deeply about girls (young and old) and how they determine their self-worth.
  • Love Your Tree – How do you picture the ways your body and mind change? Amy at Anktangle writes about how trees help her have perspective about her own growth over time.
  • Pumpkin Butt – Zoie at TouchstoneZ writes about how birth and pumpkins are the way to accepting her body
  • I do love me – Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about the lessons about loving herself she wants to pass along to her daughter.
  • Appreciating Who I Am – Linni at An Unschooling Adventure describes the things she likes about herself and the way she appreciates who she is as a person.
  • I love me! : A journey – Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares her journey on arriving at the point where she can say: I love me!
  • My Daughter Doesn't Care So Why Should I? – Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama calls herself on the carpet for the image of self love and beauty she portrays in front of her toddler.
  • Finding out who I am – Melissa at Vibrant Wanderings shares an exercise that helped her identify positive qualities she possesses, and how that has helped her learn to love herself.

9 comments :

  1. I *love* seeing little ones nurturing babies like they see us nurturing them :) The times Kieran "nurses" his babies or wears them or talks so lovingly to them, I have to admit - it gives me a little bit of validation that I did something right.
    And I, too, wonder what he will remember about breastfeeding - it will be interesting to ask him in a few years!

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  2. I can really relate to the things you write here, as I also have felt a deeper sense of love for myself and my body in particular since I was pregnant with my son. There's something truly *awesome* about seeing the functionality of womb and breasts bringing new life and then nourishing that little person on the beginning of their journey in this world. Thank you for writing this!

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  3. What a beautiful post - our bodies are so amazing! I love the start - all the changes we go through as life grows within us and we give birth and nurse - it's all just amazing! What beautiful little treasures you have :)

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  4. I love that my girls see and hear me speak of my physical self not in terms of size or shape or weight, but in respect and awe of its purpose. I love that they think Mommy is beautiful as is. I hope they carry these memories with them as they grow into the awesome women I know they will become.

    I love this paragraph, quite a lot. Girls and women in US American society receive so many messages about the value of their bodies, many of which are damaging, that they absolutely need to hear messages about how truly amazing a body is. How fantastic and lucky for them to have such a positive source of affection and appreciation in their lives!

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  5. I loved reading this. Breastfeeding, too, has changed the way I feel about my body. Life-giving vessel :)

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  6. This is so beautiful. I really love it. Your children are so sweet. You writing here is infused with feeling and warmth.
    I especially love the way your girls care for their little brother.
    I'm so glad you shared this!

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  7. When I was about three, I think, I had a habit of pretending to nurse a babydoll of mine..."just like Mommy." I guess my parents and their friends thought it was funny, because everyone would talk about it and laugh. It made me self-conscious, as if there was something wrong with me wanting to grow up to be a mother. Glad to see your kids getting a more positive response from you.

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  8. Love reading all these comments. Thanks for the positive words. Jenny, I'm so sorry that happened. I try really hard to be positive about aspects of child-rearing when I speak to my daughters. I read (I think Dr. Sears) a line about how your children will care for their own children the way they witness you caring for their younger siblings.I try to keep that in mind.

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  9. Beautiful post - it is certainly amazing what our bodies can do! My two young kiddos regularly pretend to breastfeed each other! It's great to hear from a mother with such a positive body image.

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