This body made four humans.
This tummy was cut open and put back together three times in four years.
This waistline has measured 42 cm, then 56 cm, then 40 cm again.

For some reason I'm only just realizing that my body has stretched, bent and grown - but my heart + mind are only just catching up. My tummy expanded to its absolute capacity to grow my babes, and I constantly overlook how magical that is. And when I struggle, and spiral, and suffer from
anxiety and self doubt I don't allow myself the grace to let my soul do the same, to expand to its new capacity. Because that stretch is the most important of all, adapting to this new version of me. .

This metamorphosis of motherhood does a number on a woman, body and soul. We work so hard to get ourselves "back" again after 9 months of pregnancy and endless months of parenting, but I've only recently discovered it isn't possible to be the person we once were. A version of her, yes. But her exactly, I truly don't think we can be, and that's GOOD. We are challenged daily, we are stretched thinner than our bodies ever were, we are constantly adapting to a child who grows faster than we like. We lose a sense of ourselves for a while, a sad reality, we exchange the awareness of self for the needs of our children. But I hope it's only to one day wake up and realize we are better versions of ourselves than we ever could have dreamed. Strong, resilient, hard and soft. Wiser, with a deeper well of patience, love and understanding. A new version of me, one that is mother and wife and woman. .

A few more pounds on my frame and a tummy stretched out is a trade I'm happy to make for a life well lived, a soul sated and full. In a way, I'm only as old as my youngest child - that day of birth isn't just for him. My heart and mind are still stretching, I'm still getting used to this person I see in the mirror, but I'm liking her more + more everyday.