Lately my big boys have been obsessed with their belly buttons and the belly buttons of everyone around them.
Honestly, I have no idea why, but they are fascinated by them.
This fascination has led to my boys constantly wanting to look at mommy, daddy and even grandma’s belly button. They show you theirs and then think they need to make sure you have the same thing.
One day they decided they wanted to see mommy’s belly button.
You see, mommy’s belly button doesn’t look like their belly buttons. Mommy had 3 babies in 14 months and still wears all the marks of pregnancy.
I have what I loving refer to as “twin skin” and all the stretch marks that come with growing 2 babies (quickly followed by a singleton) in your belly.
I didn’t realize I was still so uncomfortable with my post baby body until the boys wanted to see my belly button. In that moment I hesitated, I hesitated because I don’t think it is beautiful and I really don’t want anyone else to see it.
As this was happening I could feel God gently speak to my heart.
“I think it’s beautiful” He said.
He reminded me that my marks are signs of life. They are reminders that God created a miracle in me. A miracle I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to experience.
He reminded me that even though my skin is still loose, and slightly resembles bread dough, it is what had to happen so that I could become a mom.
He also gently spoke to me about how I play an integral part in shaping how my boys view beauty.
Because I have 3 boys I never thought I would have to deal with beauty and the way society portrays it. By wanting to hide my stomach from my boys I am really hiding from them the truth about what women really look like.
Most women are not a size 2 or even 4. Most women don’t have perfectly flat abs and chiseled thighs. Most women aren’t stretch mark free (especially after children).
These are just the truth about women. By hiding myself from my boys I am perpetuating that ideal of beauty and the lies told to our children by the media.
One day my boys will get older, they will meet a girl and get married (in many many many years). I am sure they will have children one day and their wife’s belly will grow as it develops a tiny human (or two).
One day their wives may have stretch marks and loose skin and look at their body with insecurities. On that day I want my boys to hug their wives and tell them how beautiful they are. How each mark on their belly represents a breath their child took inside of her.
How those marks and loose skin symbolize life and miracles. That she got to experience something not all women will experience.
I want them to tell her how amazing her body is and if it never returns to its pre-pregnancy state that is ok, because their beautiful child grew inside of her, and because of that she is more beautiful now than she has ever been.
As my boys attempted to peek at my belly button I let them.
They did notice that mommy’s belly looked different and as they started tracing the marks on my belly I gently told them about how those marks remind me that their life is a miracle. God answered mommy’s prayers when He gave me them and I feel blessed each and every day to be their mommy.
My marks, are marks of beauty and gentle reminders that God truly gives us the desires of our heart and works miracles every day.
My marks will forever remind me of the year I prayed for my boys and how God finally answered that pray.
My marks will show my boys that you don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful, that in the imperfections is where true beauty is found.