Hot, Holy & Humorous

Embracing Our Bodies After the Babies Come with Jennifer Smith

What a treat we have today! Jennifer Smith of Unveiled Wife is here to share her thoughts on Feeling Beautiful. Jennifer has a very popular blog and a Facebook community of over 600,00! She shares marriage wisdom, daily prayers for your husband, and transparency about her own struggle from unhappily to happily married.

Also check out her book, Unveiled Wife: Embracing Intimacy with God and Your Husband, in which she chronicles her marriage journey. I’m so thrilled to call Jennifer a friend and to have her address feeling beautiful after the babies come.

Embracing Our Bodies After the Babies Come with Jennifer Smith

I had my daughter six months ago, and my son just turned three. I can’t believe how fast they grow up. It feels like yesterday that I was holding my newborn baby boy in the hospital bed just after delivery.

It amazes me how God created our bodies to reproduce and give life. The process of carrying a child, labor and delivery are all together miraculous. Women are uniquely special, in that they are the beautiful part of creation that gets to experience the fullness of this miracle.

Although I have thanked God for the joy in my heart for my children and being given the gift to bear children, my body is also on my mind. The truth is that pregnancy and delivery are very traumatic experiences for our bodies to endure. Change happens. Whether the changes are slight or completely transform our bodies, it happens. Embracing motherhood can be easier than embracing the changes we face physically.

I personally have found myself emotional over the way my body is different now. I have been grateful for the opportunity to have my children, but I have to admit that frustration has also consumed my heart when I realize my body will never be the same. I have gained weight that has been difficult to get off. I have stretch marks and saggy skin. My clothes don’t fit the same. My body doesn’t even feel the same during physical intimacy with my husband.

When I see my body, I am confronted with a choice. I can be frustrated by the change or I can embrace it as my new normal, just like I had to adjust to my new role when I became a mom.

Our culture is not good at encouraging women to embrace the fullness of their bodies. Every advertisement and marketing scheme presents us with a message to be unrealistically better than we are. The world tells us we are imperfect but that we should strive to be perfect, when God tells us He has made us very good and to be good stewards of what He has give to us. Those are two very different messages. Listening to the right message will help us embrace our bodies after the babies come.

God’s truth is beautiful and necessary for every mother to know. He created our bodies, knowing that they would change. We should embrace the changes with joy and confidence. What is a stretch mark in comparison to the miracle of life? What is a few months to a year of recovery in comparison to a legacy being built?

When I accepted God’s truth that He ingeniously made my body to change the way it has after the babies have come, it helped me embrace my body. It helped me be okay with my new normal. It helped me to be intimate with my husband and allow him access to get to know me all over again.

Embrace your body. Don’t see the changes as a negative thing. They are a powerful thing. They are evidence of God’s beautiful design.

Unveiled Wife CoverBy God’s grace, Jennifer Smith created Unveiled Wife, a web-based ministry for wives, in March 2011. She publishes weekly marriage articles including encouragements, devotions, and prayers of the day, all geared toward empowering wives.

Jennifer has served in ministry alongside her husband, traveling as missionaries to Zambia, Malawi, Canada, and Nicaragua. She and her husband have been married for seven years and live in Central Oregon with their two children.

12 thoughts on “Embracing Our Bodies After the Babies Come with Jennifer Smith”

  1. I feel for women who feel like they’ve “lost” their good body since having children. It’s different for me because I never had a good body in the first place. I am way too tall, and have been since 9th grade. I’m 5’9″, which is much taller than today’s ideal woman. Even as a young athlete, I was always a size 8/10. I will never shrink. Even at my lightest, most fittest self, I never go below a size 8. I have a large frame and cannot shrink my bones! Growing up, when people would say “you’re big boned” I figured that was a nice way to say “you’re a fatso.” Now I understand that I do have a larger frame than the ideal, petite woman. Tiny is beautiful, and I will never be tiny, so, the best thing to do is make peace with that fact.
    It is hard being as fit as I can and still having a large, tall frame. Small women do not realize how blessed they are. Small is feminine, tiny is beautiful, petite is what the majority of men find attractive. I’m blessed that my husband is able to stand me! 🙂
    So all of that to say, while yes, I do have stretch marks, I guess it didn’t depress me all that much that my body changed. I was never that impressed with my body to begin with, so I guess I don’t feel like I “lost” anything or became “less beautiful”. After all, you can’t lose what you never had! 🙂

    1. Please stop comparing! I read 5’9″ and thought, Wouldn’t that height be awesome?! Because I’m one of those short gals, at about 5’3″, and believe me, plenty of us look at the tall ladies and see the benefits of that. Here’s one right away: If I was taller, it would be much easier to dance with my husband. Our height difference present challenges.

      I’ve learned to appreciate the body I have, though. I pray you can do the same.

    2. Whoa – I’m 5′ 9″, too … but I think I’m very feminine! Yes, petite would be nice sometimes, but I’ve learned to “own” my largesse. My body functions well, is strong and I certainly stand out in a crowd. My husband (whom I outweigh) seems proud to have me as his own. He likes the curves and strong muscles. I like feeling safe in my own skin. There are many who are tall and full, but also fully feminine!

    3. I am also 5’9” and a size 10 and I find what you say about tall women is wrong and slightly offensive. I think tall women can be just as feminine and pretty. I love my body and being tall.

      1. Dear M and Sarah,
        I apologize! I did not mean to offend you. I am sure you are both beautiful, and I think it’s great that you love your own bodies. I wish I could feel the same way. Maybe someday. I’ve learned to accept what I cannot change, and that’s a start.

        I’ve been offended and put down my entire life. I am the tallest woman on both sides of my family, and I’ve been called every name in the book. Amazon woman, jolly green giant, clam digger (because I wear a size 10 shoe), etc. I apologize if projecting my own pain and dissatisfaction came off as offensive.

        I am sure there are tall, feminine women, but I’ve never been pretty. Just a big tall “big boned” gal. One of those “big girls” (the term I hate the most).

        Again I’m sorry if my comments about myself offended you. They wre not intended as they came off, for all tall women, just for my big clunky self. I envy your confidence and I think it’s great that you love your tall bodies.

        1. B- I too used to just think of myself as ‘big’, rather than as womanly, and I never seemed to have a ‘youthful figure’. Because of a rapid weight gain when things were going wrong in my family and no one was watching out for me in jr hi, I had stretch marks on my breasts and backs of my legs even on my young body. I was thinner when I married, and trying to get used to being slim and change my body image, when I got pregnant within 3 months and gained 55 pounds of healthy BIG baby. My mother had changed her values and left the things I held dear at a crucial time in my life and so I didn’t learn from her to be a woman and to feel confident that way, but because I know that God has created me to be a woman, I have worked on learning from other women and good books over the years, until somethings are more natural for me now. And too, we have to believe/accept when our husbands find us lovely, even though we can’t see it, we need to embrace it to be more attractive to them.When we are always reluctant to share our bodies with them or are hiding from them, they can’t enjoy as much as if you are enthusiastic. i hope you can come to be more comfortable in your own skin, for your sake, your husband’s sake and your children’s sakes as you are modelling self image.

    4. to B – I also have large bones, though not quite as tall as you, I have heavy bones, so that at my thinnest I weigh more than most people and more than I look. All that being said, I understand your admiration of petite as feminine, but it is not true that all men are more attracted to petite frames. My own husband, though he does not disdain small women…they are friends…he does not find that attractive. Each person has their own tastes and there is much that is lovely about every figure! Look at the Gibson Girl, an admired ideal in history , or the chubby paintings in historical France, styles come and go, and each person has their own ideal. And those of us that are larger, can still work toward femininity, in manner, in dress, etc. Nothing to disdain about your size…use it to learn to be a woman 🙂

  2. There were times when a woman’s body….a softer, fuller, matronly body…..was desired, desirable, and celebrated. It was the stuff of goddesses.

    I prefer my post partum body over my 19 year old body any day, and so does hubby. He is more physically and visually attracted to me now than he was when we first met and got married.

    I am not a little girl. I am not a teenager. I am a WOMAN. With a woman’s body.

  3. J, you think you’re short? I’m 4’9″ and petite. I would have to look up at you.

    I’m not married, but thank you for this Mrs. Jennifer. I have issues with my body as well, but I’m trying harder to accept it.

  4. My new body after childbirth after one of my children made me realize that if I didn’t take care of it, who knows how it/I would end up. I think it was then I renewed my commitment to being healthy. I view stretch marks as badges of honor.

    When I got married I was 99lbs! 99. Therefore I’m quite content to be where I am today. I could never go back to 99 and be healthy.

    Anyhow, as a person of color there’s a double whammy with images of beauty that are projected. I never really bought in to it (i.e. I like not having a pancake butt) but the body image struggle is real. Between me having my head right and my husband thinking I’m fine (foine..thats slang), I’m good. But it starts with me first.

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