Who do you listen to?

Do you listen to fashion magazines and makeup manufacturers and surgical clinics whose very livelihood would disappear if you valued yourself for who you are instead of what you look like–or to the people who love you?

To Nestle and Gerber and the retailers who make money when babies are fed artificially–or to the moms next to you who breastfeed because it’s normal and healthy and actually quite convenient?

To pharmaceutical companies and medical lobbies whose livelihood is based on suspension of illness, not actual health–or to someone who teaches you how to support your body’s innate ability to heal and function normally?

To financial gurus whose main source of income is selling financial advice–or to someone who actually lives off their own investments?

Who do you listen to? The people who want you to internalize their messages unconsciously, or the people who want you to think for yourself?


Thank you to Caitlyn Blake for sharing her poem and beautiful stretch-mark photo on Birth Without Fear.

Commercialized “beauty” is fake, brittle, cold, and dead.  Real beauty is found in a father’s strong arms, a mother’s fertile belly, and all the other ways our bodies look when we live in them.  The great delusion we have allowed to be foisted on us through unrealistic ideals of appearance is that body changes from motherhood and maturity are a sacrifice.

Having the body of a mother is not a sacrifice, or a punishment, or an embarrassment. Having the body of a mother is a blessing.

If I did not have the body of a mother, my babies could not have grown to full term inside my big, stretchy belly.  My babies were born beautifully round and healthy because I grew beautifully and healthily round.

If I did not have the body of a mother, I could not have nursed my own babies for as long as they needed, and provided extra milk for others besides.

Those of us who long for children and have been unable to conceive, or who dearly wanted to nurse their babies and could not breastfeed or did not get the support they needed, would give anything for those stretch marks or those unpredictably-sized breasts.

We put on wedding rings because we feel the need to signify physically that we have committed our lives to loving and nurturing another.  When we become mothers, we make that same commitment to our children, and we are blessed with the beautiful changes that signify our motherhood.

For pictures of the many badges of motherhood, check out The Shape of a Mother.

While I don’t usually post personal news on this blog, I’d like to think that I have a reader or two who might wonder where I’ve been the past two months!  I have, in fact, been in first-trimester land, where all-day nausea is just not conducive to coherent writing.  We expect baby in February, so that elusive transition to second trimester is gradually bringing me back to the world.

This will be baby number two and, barring any evidence-based reasons otherwise, home birth number two.

I’ve been adding many drafts that I look forward to polishing and posting soon.  Thanks for hanging in there with me!